Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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australian children’s television workshop – kahootz

March 27th, 2006 by Seb Chan

The australian children’s television workshop, already pretty famous with kids as the creators of round the twist, yolngu boy, lil elvis jones plus much more, are also producers of a clever and versatile piece of 3-D software for students and kids called kahootz.

The philosophy behind Kahootz is to promote creativity, problem solving, and sharing of projects and so actw have deliberately limited the assets (worlds, objects, etc) available within the program. The project files are typically only a few kb which ensures that bandwidth issues dont prevent file exchange via the kahootz online community. (Reminding me of the days before mp3 when MIDI was the way of sharing music online: the midi file contained just the instructions: which sounds/notes to play, how and when to play them. The actual sounds only exist on the users sound card).
You can however import jpegs, so designing and populating a virtual gallery is a justaddwater museum student activity.
This software and its community site represents a substantial and very elegant set of experiential learning opportunities with a focus on design process, collaborative problem solving, and sharing the interactive outcomes.

Some terrific work is being produced and there are genuine exchanges and collaborations taking place, within Australia, and globally. It’s a cool and easy game building engine too, however as yet you can’t export an executable file.

Users can import jpegs, so it’s a great environment for kids to design and populate their own virtual gallery. Some interesting work has also been done blending kahootz and other apps eg vegas/imovie and using chromakey to combine real actors with virtual characters and environments.

Kahootz is a powerful set of 3D multimedia tools that allows students and teachers to be creators, designers, inventors and storytellers. Kahootz is also an active, online community. Kahootz students and teachers can publish their work and exchange, share, collaborate, de-construct and explore with other schools in the Kahootz community.
Students can share Kahootz narratives, inventions, designs and projects with classrooms around the world.
Students of all ages can create fantastic three-dimensional environments that allow them to use animation extensively, add sounds to events and objects, link from one scene to another and navigate through their created world. They can also export their Kahootz creations as AVI or QuickTime movies.
Kahootz facilitates non-text based learning, develops visual literacy skills and allows students to create and construct their own text. It can be used in the maths and science classroom to develop measurement, spatial awareness, estimation and thinking skills. Kahootz helps students demonstrate their understanding of a range of artistic concepts, can be used to enhance cognitive skills across the curriculum and promotes higher level thinking through construction and design.

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