2008-12-11

Mobile Museum Experiment

A few weeks ago, I visited a 'Mobile Museum.' Now contrary to what you might expect from my website here, this museum was mobile in the sense that it moves. It's kind of a museum in a truck consisting of portable exhibits in various stages of the prototyping process for the Oslo Children's Museum (written about here). There were about 15 6-7 year old kids playing with these exhibits and toys on the top floor of a school building.

I made this visit with the informatics students I had been working with, and we had the goal of running a simple testing session for our mobile museum device. I'll explain our process below along with a few interesting observations.

To get a sense of how 7 year-olds could understand and use mobile phones to accomplish a simple game, we gave several children camera phones and had them look for and collect photos of as many 'blue' objects as they could. We had some findings that were both interesting and amusing. I've included the pictures taken by the children along with the observations.

One child began stacking as many blue objects as he could into a pile and then took a picture of the pile. When then prompted to try to collect as many different pictures as he could, he responded, "oh, I should take a picture of the whole room?" This was his photo:

After a girl had taken several pictures, she found a blue marker and began drawing new blue objects. She then took photos of each of her new drawings. Here is one:

I also noticed that the children in the task seemed more open to interacting with strangers. Though they generally ignored the adults in the room, the context of this task had several children walking up to take close up photos of blue clothed adults:

Another significant observation, was that the children really did not appear to have any problems with the technical understanding of how to use the camera phones. We passed out both an iphone and a more traditional nokia phone. After a quick demonstration, the kids were off on their own taking photos. Here are three minutes of video from the event:

video

-- Rolf Steier

2 comments:

  1. The girl with the blue marker was pretty clever, eh?

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  2. Yes, I also fell that the girl with blue marker was clever. Any way i think it's a good idea and nice team work here. I hope you must get the result which you want to required. I would like to say Thanks for sharing such a nice collection.
    Cell Phone Watch

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