ARIS at GLS 2014 was awesome!

Image - Owen Gottlieb and Denise Bressler finish up a fun discussion while the 2014 ARIS Summit breaks for lunch.

Owen Gottlieb and Denise Bressler finish up a fun discussion while the 2014 ARIS Summit breaks for lunch.

A big shout out to those in the ARIS diaspora who were present and/or presented at GLS. I feel really lucky to be working on a project that has encouraged so many of you to put your heart and hard work together in these endeavors and really grateful that you took the time to come and share your amazing work and brainstorm with us a bit about the future. I”m so inspired and excited to take these next steps before us, using these tools to think about how to connect learning and place, and hopefully make some really cool games.

The micro presentations were awesome, and thankfully Shelby Copeland recorded them and put them out on the internet. Go check them out!

The summit in general, wow! We got to see an impressive preview of what’s around the corner for the ARIS software – pretty exciting! – and the break out sessions helped us all talk through some important aspects of the work we do with ARIS, but more than anything else, it was the T-shirts. No, I mean the camaraderie. 40 people from various backgrounds and experiences with ARIS all talking together about what we could achieve in the coming year and more. I really felt lucky to be a part of that. I met a host of innovators experimenting with ARIS and got to find out a little about the fantastic work they are doing.

I’d like to especially thank Denise Bressler not just for sharing her research project with us but for being an active voice on the google group and stepping up to help put the summit together. I’m looking forward to working with her to make this community even more vibrant and helpful.

In GLS proper, it seemed like every time I turned around I heard someone talking about ARIS, but the real talk was about what people were doing with it. ARIS is a blank canvas in a lot of ways, and what people were excited about was what the researchers and teachers are imagining through it. I saw excellent posters and talks, and my favorite part was getting a chance to ask a panel of educators about their experiences facilitating student design and inquiry with ARIS. Laini Kovaloski, Kim Long, David Leach, Owen Gottlieb, and Edge Quintanilla – you are rock stars and I would have talked with you for a whole day if we had the room booked.

Okay, this is getting pretty long. I will sign off but find some time in the future to mention some of the other ideas and people who have inspired me or just generally made all of this possible.

I’m Looking for Novice “Game” Design Platforms

Hey readers, maybe there’s something you can help with. I’m interested in finding out more about novice design platforms. Game design or augmented reality or mapping type stuff in particular, but anything that is a bit rich works too. The Mozilla tools like Popcorn are a bit thin on the interactivity of the finished product for what I’m thinking about here, but mostly because the web editor only let’s you run code in that one file. Unity is a bit advanced for the audience I’m usually concerned with.


Right now, here’s the list I have:

  • Game Salad
  • RPG Maker
  • ARIS
  • Taleblazer
  • FreshAIR
  • Scratch
  • App Inventor
  • Star Logo TNG
  • Net Logo
  • Game Maker
  • Kodu
  • Aurasma
  • NoTours
  • Ushahidi
If you know of others, and especially if you have experience using this yourself or with students or know of cool things made with these tools, I’d love to find out about more. If you know details about licensing, computing platforms, availability, etc. that would of course be peachy. If you know of anyone else who maintains a list like this, you could just point me there.
These tools can be general purpose, education oriented, or somewhere in between.
Thanks a bunch.