We guess not many people will instantly know where to find Goolwa. Luckily, there is only one place on earth that carries that name, so Google maps will swiftly guide you to this well-situated historic river port on the Murray River in South Australia.
We seem to have created a strong foothold downunder, since we introduced our mobile platform at the Adelaide Fringe festival in 2009 to play the game ‘The Mystery of the Colonel’s Ghost’. Our platform is currently being used at Goolwa Primary School for a location-aware mobile storytelling pilot project where children 10-12 years old are being enthusiastically taught by their teacher Christy Refchange through the task of researching stories on the history of Goolwa and building them into the Mobile Learning Academy.
In this project, the primary objective is to contribute to quality teaching and learning, said Roger Edmonds, an e-collaboration specialist from the Learning Technologies group in the Department of Education & Children’s Services who is managing the project.“It’s not just the technological outcomes that we are trying to achieve in this project” said Edmonds. “The pedagogy associated with using mobile devices in education is very important. We want to learn what the unique features and characteristics of location-aware mobile storytelling creation and delivery are that add value to the learning experience, over and above, what might be expected without the technology and what this could this mean for student engagement, motivation and persistence”.
Pupils are so fortunate to be able to use iPhones and even iPads with GPS and Internet access provided through a personal WiFi device for their project. Scenes are being created around the Goolwa Township. This will be followed by a location-aware mobile game that will focus on telling aspects of the history of Goolwa but in a format that not only brings more strategy and excitement into its development and playing, but new learning opportunities as well. It will involve maps, puzzles and hidden messages to deliver a more complete and immersive experience for those participating.
The State Library of South Australia (SLSA) Education Services, the Alexandrina Council Library and a Local History group are providing support for students accessing photos, video, audio and other content related to the history of Goolwa from their digital catalogs of resources.