A Practice Lecture for Interactive Installations and Performances

Part One: Introduction and Planning

Part 2: Being Realistic and Being Flexible

Edited Apr 26 to add reflection:

In working on this video I had to look at my syllabus very carefully for a subject that I could convey quickly, with visual aids and also in some sort of depth. I recently had an experience with installing work that I realized would be the perfect teaching opportunity. I started looking through my syllabus for a location to insert this video lesson in and realized that having more classes that were focused on the problems of installing would be beneficial. I also took the written feedback for my syllabus into consideration and revised my syllabus first. I began adjusting the focus of the coursework that would be covered, such that my lesson would be better suited for the course.

This video was a bit difficult to make, although I would say that I am not a stranger to lecturing in class. I would say that I was in a difficult position because although twenty minutes seem to be an overwhelming amount of time to lecture, you can quickly run out of time as the lecture goes on. I was checking off each point that I wanted to make as I accomplished it and also going back to re-record parts of the lecture. I was concerned about being heard clearly and having something effective to say to my students. I think my biggest worry is that I have about fourteen minutes of my face in the videos. I never realized how animated my face is. Watching it now is surreal to me. When taping, I asked several of my friends if my facial expressions were indeed normal for me.

If I could critique my lecture,I would have added more visuals to the later phases, just to break up the focus on my face. I did shoot the project specifically so that my hands were mostly not on display because I do realize that I talk with my hands and some might find it distracting. In making the video, I included text to highlight my points so that viewers can follow while I taught. If taught in a longer lecture, I would continue the lecture and come up with more visual examples and an in-class activity showing how to come up with a timeline for installing a project.

In working on this lecture, I became acutely aware of how far I still have to go to become an effective teacher. I am awed by how much effort is put out by educators and am enthused about improving my lessons and skills so that I may become a better lecturer.

Lost Boys Industries and “Mobile Mobile”

If I could add social media to a class…

If I could use a social media technology in a classroom, I would use Tumblr as a group sharing tool. I think that students would have many meaningful contributions that facilitate learning and allow for the rapid sharing of inspirations, in-progress works and idea exchange.

Tumblr has a built in aggregation that is similar to journaling websites like Livejournal, but is more informal, encouraging of meme sharing. I would hope to have the students all follow each other and me the instructor and creative a collaborative experience. A blog is fairly similar, but I think the easy sharing aspect of Tumblr where links, videos and written content can be mishmashed together is more appealing.

Design and Education: Video Games and Uses in Education

Site: National association of Educators of Art
Conference in April in Baltimore

We see that educators and game designers share some common
characteristics, Both are tasked with an interesting second order design problem:
How to create spaces that ultimately exist for people to do interesting things.

An Outline of the Topics covered by

Learning by Design: Good Video Games as Learning Machines
James Paul Gee

Empowered learners
1) Co-design – meaning created by players
2) Customize- Many Diffused paths to completion
3) Identity- communities of practice- negotiate
4) Manipulation/ Distributed Knowledge – “smart tools”

Problem Solving
4) Well Ordered Problems – build on prior knowledge and skills
6) Pleasantly Frustrating- “Flow”
7) Cycles of Expertise- Acquire skill -> confidence -> results
8) Info on demand and just in time
9) Fish Tanks – simplify system
10) Sandbox- no risk?/ risk & reward

12) Systematic Thinking
13) Meaning as Action Image -From Abstract to Personal

Discussion Outcomes

1.) Do you agree that video games trigger learning, why or why not?

The group gave an unanimous response that games trigger learning. Christy
gave an anecdote about seeing a news teaser that stated a new study that
“discovered that boys who play video games verses those who do not, will do
more poorly in school.”
The news blurb was then questioned on it’s context and the possible rigor of the academic research.
The Role of Early Childhood Education and Socio-Economic Background were discussed as important
Jane McGonigal’s recent Ted Talk was mentioned.
In the Talk: Having pleasurable increases in difficulty, info on demand AND just in time information.

Jane McGonigal – ARG (Alternative Reality Games) TED Talk on how games can change the world
Began to point games into solving real world puzzles

New Project involves the World Bank. This raises questions about the integrity
of the project and whether this is still in line with previously espoused rhetoric.

2.) Are games ever considered as work like learning?
WOW endgame involves many daily tasks and archeivement gathering. MMO Guildmasters often have
many job-like tasks in managing the guild and raiding. Wow Goldfarmers and Second Life content
makers have specific game centric jobs. There are Starcraft Tournements that generate income.
Learning is also a type of work.

3.) Do people get more out design experiments if they are participating or
Each of these activities, participating and observing offers different levels of interactivity and outcomes
from the activity. Part of this is related to the learning styles of the students as well as what the
students are looking to gain from the activity.

4.) Can deep understanding of an interest in a specific topic create, “abstract and general
themes” that students are able to use in other contexts?
Our group again came to an unianimous agreement about the transferability of skills and knowledges
even when

5.) What types of games do you consider “good” games?
Me: A Game that is “Finished.” A Game that doens’t contain broken mechanics, incomplete features
or nonsensical plot or bad User Interface. The actual genre is less important to me than a complete
experience, because a really great experience can make genre secondary.
Garret: An engaging, immersive game.
Matt: Something that takes you out of your environment.

6.) Do you think we can learn from games and from what kind do you think promotes
learning the greatest?

Isa’s group:

Argumented that the barrier between engagement in games and class structure,
should be changes such that classes become as engaging as games.

What does fun mean? What is a game if you remove fun? Often the
mantra is stated that “If we make Learning Fun, then kids will want to learn.”
What if it is placed on its head? If You are learning, then it is fun. Or
at least pleasurable.

“Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond- Non-fiction book Based around the game
of Civilization. Georgraphy and Resources, without Jingoist “My Culture is better than yours”

Violence in Media and Games- Refuted in article. Gamers who are exposed to real violence have no
interest in re-enacting video game violence.
Are gamers looking at sandbox type games in an environment where all of the other people
present are NPC’s. Does this lead to a breakdown of Empathy, or DeHumanization of your game environment.
Can the game be a means of engaging in violence, and actually reducing violence in gamers?

Umut’s Group:

Addressing the possibility of having multiple games types for learners.
Different games for different learning styles. Perhaps it is not possible to find one game for all students.

Possibility of testing for learning types comes up as a method of determining
what types of games could be introduced to students.

Future of Parsons as an interface problem:
If the school was entirely online: How would you solve the problem as different people
need to experience the materials in different ways.

HW: 1-1.5 Page proposal for Social Media network that could be used for a classroom setting

Interactive Installation and Performance Syllabus

Interactive Installation and Performance

Laura Simpson
Parsons Design and Technology Graduate Student

Class: Wednesday 3pm-5:40pm
Location: 2 W 13th St. 1009

Course Description:
This course is an intermediary course that can be taken after Max/MSP1 and Physical Computing1, and before Max/MSP 2 and Physical Computing 2. The coursework focuses on combining sensor and outside data with the Arduino and Max/MSP to create interactive spaces. Students will be exposed to theoretical work on installations, performances and interaction design, as well as technical knowledge to better enable the student to further his or her knowledge in building interactive spaces.

Students will complete two smaller themed projects and a student proposed final project. The final project will not require a final paper, but in the final presentation, students must cover the design questions raised and desired user outcome from the project.

Special class sessions and guest presenters will offered to address the interests and level of the class.

The course will be structured in three phases: 1) Conceptual development via readings, lectures, class discussion and viewing interactive works. 2) Technical lectures, expanding the students proficiency with designing and developing interactive environments. 3) Lab time where students can learn from peers and the instructor can assess progress.

It is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

Prerequistes: Max/MSP 1 and Physical Computing 1

Class Blog:

Students will be sent a WordPress login and be responsible for posting assignments online.

Reading Assignments:
There will be regular reading assignments to complement our studies. Most readings will be linked on the course website or emailed directly to the students. When students begin to work on final projects, some additional readings or viewings may be assigned. All reading assignments must have a written response posted by the end of the day that they are due.

Project Documentation:
Each project must be properly documented with photographs and video of the project. Students will post the project description, documentation, materials used and encrypted Max patch to the class blog.

Final Project:
Students may work collaboratively on the final project. Collaborative pairs must show individual documentation of their contribution to the pairing.
Student’s progress and final documentation should be updated weekly as well as feedback from peers.

Max/MSP 5.0
While students are welcome to work with Pure Data, the course instruction will use Max/MSP.

Sensors will be made available in class for demonstrations. For individual projects, students can purchase sensors from RadioShack, Sparkplug.com or ladyada.net.
Other materials will vary.


Some of the Readings for this course may be taken from the following texts:

Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art
Erika Suderburg, Editor
Designing Interactions
Bill Moggridge

Digital Art
Christine Paul

www.maxobjects.com Max Objects and Patches made by some of the most active practitioners out there.

www.cycling74.com The Max/MSP Jitter Site

www.arduino.cc The Arduino Site

www.maxuino.org The Maxuino Site

Course Outline
Week 01 27 Jan Introduction and Overview Max/MSP Jitter + Arduino Refresher
Week 02 03 Feb Reading Assignment #1 Maxuino + Types of Sensors
Week 03 10 Feb Project #1 Assigned Reading Sensor Data
Week 04 24 Feb Reading Assignment #2 Smoothing Sensor Data
Week 05 03 Mar Project #1 Due Guest Speaker TBD?
Week 06 10 Mar Project #2 Assigned Multiple Sensors
Week 07 17 Mar Spring Break
Week 08 24 Mar Reading Assignment #3 Networked data
Week 09 31 Mar Project #2 Due Guest Speaker TBD?
Week 10 07 Apr Reading Assignment #4 Wireless/ Large Spaces
Week 11 14 Apr Final Project Proposals Due Individual Meetings with Students
Week 12 21 Apr Work Session: In Progress Reports TBD: Student’s interests
Week 13 28 Apr Work Session: In Progress Reports TBD: Student’s interests
Week 14 07 May Work Session: In Class Critique What’s Next in Max & P-comp?
Week 15 14 May Final Project Presentations

Week 1: Refresher for Max
Patch Organization
Encapsulating Patches
Max Community Of Resources

Week 2: Maxuino
Types of Sensors
Sensor Ranges
Max, Arduino and your Computer
Reading Assignment

Week 3: Reading Sensor Data
Your sensor and its schematic
Maxuino Patch
Moving the Data Around

Week 4: Data Smoothing
Noisy Data, what is that?
Streams of Numbers
Delays and Buckets

Week 5: Project #1 Due / Guest Speaker

Week 6: Multiple Sensors
Multiple Sensors to one Arduino
Streams of Data
Misfiring/ Overlapping Ranges

Week 7: Spring Break
Start thinking of what you want to do for your final
Work hard on your second project!

Week 8: Networked Data
What to not send across the network
OSC Route
UDP and Max

Week 9: Project #2 Due / Guest Speaker

Week 10: Wireless/ Large Spaces
Setting up a wireless Arduino
Dealing with cords for large spaces
When is it appropriate?

Week 11: Individual Meetings with Students

Week 12: TBD – Possible topics below
Computer Vision
Java Script/ Write your own objects
Regular Expressions

Week 13: TBD – Possible topics below
Computer Vision
Java Script Write your own objects
Regular Expressions

Week 14: What’s Next in Max & P-comp?
Who’s doing interesting work
Open GL
Max for Live

Week 15: Final Presentations

Design&Education: First Principles of Instruction

“People are fully literate in a domain if they can recognize [the equivalent of reading]
amd produce meaningful new [the equivalent of writing] within the domain.”
James Gee

Central Statement: You cannot teach unless you know how to learn.
Thus the study of cognitive theories.

There was response and further building upon the models that were demostrated.
Today we shall focus on the David Merrill Article: First Principles of Instruction: Synthesis

Merrill’s First Principles:

Real world problems
Build on existing knowledge
Demonstrate to the learner, an application of the knowledge
Applied by the learner
Intergrated into real world situations

Surrounding the Problem: Activation, Demonstrations, Application and then Intergration.
All of these aspects relate back to the problem.
This is a cyclical relationship that facilitates learning.

For this course:
The Problem: How to make the students more effective teachers using their design skills.
Activation: Personal experiences with learning, Situating yourself in the world of design
and education.
Demonstration: Observation of classes and then observation of each other’s teaching style.
Application: Designing own materials, syllabi and activities.
Integration: Mini cycles of integration and Application in the revising and testing of syllabi and
practice lessons. Final integration with students who teach boot camp and for those who eventually
go onward to teach other classes.

When developing your syllabi, keep this structural flow in mind.
Not all classes will be structured like this, but for our first version, we could use this.

Bransford Article :

First Principles:

1. Work with pre-existing knowledge
2.Teach the Subject matter in depth, showing the foundational theories at work and show some
structural knowledge.
-Same concept over different contexts
3. Metacognitive Teaching
-metacognition: students in the learning process, can gauge their own process in learning.

Principles 2 and 3 are techniques that are associated with teaching experts.
Experts are not necessarily smarter or better. They are however better versed in search techniques
associated with the subject matter. Experts know their level of knowledge and have the knowledge
to acquire knowledge that would fill in the gaps.

i.e. I know that I cannot get the general twitter feed, but I know that I can look it up on the api

A departure in some ways from the Merrill. Not necessarily contradictory, but different.
The book and these principles are derived from extensive research from observing schools.

An example: The “How to feed yourself class (Cooking 101)”

Teaching the Subject matter in depth:
Different manners of ingredient acquition.
Different varities of the same ingredient (peas: frozen, canned, fresh)
Spice complements.

Design and Education: Schools of Thought on Education

How can we garner the same amount of respect for Design and Education?

The Logo Project:
Seymour Packard

Logo as a tool to think with.
Access to concepts that could be used in other aspects of their lives.
E.g. recursion, if then statements

Is “use” a part of the terminology shift, with Design and Technology? Is the word “useful” still a
part of the discourse?

rap·proche·ment  (räprôsh-mä)
1. A reestablishing of cordial relations, as between two countries.
2. The state of reconciliation or of cordial relations.

Ideas about New Technology as revolutionary:
“This will render that older technology as obsolete”
The old tech is usually not completely replaced
Themes pass through the technology “wringer” and pass
through as the same theme, with more knowledge/interest added.

Affordances Epistemology Semoitics Pedagogy

a potential worldview on Affordance:
Basic relationships between your muscles and the world and tools
Constrained uses given the form of the object.

Pedagogy (pronounced /ˈpedəɡɒdʒi, ˈpedəɡɑːdʒi, ‘pɛdəɡoʊdʒi,or ˈpedəɡoʊdʒi/[1][2])
is the study of being a teacher. The term generally refers to strategies of
instruction, or a style of instruction

Epistemology (from Greek ἐπιστήμη – episteme-, “knowledge, science” + λόγος, “logos”) or
theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations)
of knowledge.[1] It addresses the questions:

* What is knowledge?
* How is knowledge acquired?
* What do people know?
* How do we know what we know?

Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of
sign processes (semiosis), or signification and communication, signs and symbols,
and is usually divided into three branches:

* Semantics: Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotatation
* Syntactics: Relations among signs in formal structures
* Pragmatics: Relation between signs and their effects on those (people) who use them

Design as conversational:
One side (the designer) must anticipate the entire conversation.
The designer must use empathy to anticipate the entire conversation

other thoughts on Design and education as an intersection:
motive (intrinsic motivaiton)

Can education be made more pleasurable?  Form Following Function? (If it is beautiful, it is

What do people learn. Why? What motivates them?

Venn Diagram intersection: opprotunity for change to mind map

Skills for life vs. Specific tool use.
Photoshop/Flash/Obj C might get you a job..but the knowledge you will gain in procedural programming,
composition, and abstract thinking will make a career.

Group Work:
Research the Theory of education that you have been randomly assigned.

Charles Eames: A plan for Arranging Elements in such a way to best accomplish a particular purpose.

Articles assigned were all for the purpose of defining “best”  this is where education theory
and deign theory often comes into play.
Articles could even be divided into articles by Designers and articles by Researchers.
A break in language used and ethnographic research techniques. A push and pull exists in between
creativity and process.

Some keywords:
Problem Solving

Often uses Design Process

User Centric Design————————-Project Here—————————–Genius Design

How do you know what prototype to playtest?
Is assessment really only done in one place?

Another Model:

CounterStrike————————————————————Rockett’s New School
(genius design && same audience as developers)                  (user centric && designers removed)

Soap Dish————————————————————Operating System

imagine teaching 1 person like you
Photoshop lasso->
20 disparate people PS lasso->
20 disparate people PS->
20 disparate people  compelling photoshop photos->
20 disparate people compelling imagery

In the PostModern Age:
All of the pedagogy developers are right, wrong and we will look at their theories.

Our favorite 8

John Dewey- Experiential Education
Multiple Intelligences
Social Development Theory
Situated Learning

Educational Pedagogy:
Me + Aaron – Cognitivism
The Brain as a computer (think black box)
Thinking, Knowing, Memory, Problem Solving
Prominent Cognitivist:
Reaction to: Behaviorism
Rose to Prominence in the 60’s
Concerns itself with:
Opening up the black box of the brain, methods of
having students take in the knowledge and apply it via learning.

*Behavior that is developed out of learning.

Next week’s assignment:

Go observe another class.
Go on Youtube and find someone teaching something.

both the class that you pbserve and the youtube video, should have a observation
per the checklist that Karen will give us via link.
3 weeks form now to complete.
Readings and below project is due in 2 weeks:

Think of Three Ideas for your imaginary course that you will design,
this course is somethiung that you think should be added to the D&T catalogue.
Making a syllabus and an activity and a lecture.

Quote of the Day:
Teaching will never be a science.  Behavioral Science deals with groups.
Teachers deal (or should deal) with individual kids.
Nothing works for everyone.
-Gerald Bracey

Some Learning activity ideas for making “Navigating the NY Subway system”