Block Magic will be ICT-based. The RFID-based technology used in the project, though advanced, will be low cost, and will require no computer-based skills from teachers or learners. This “light-weight” approach, inspired by the philosophy of the “disappearing computer”, will contribute to the goal of supporting innovative ICT-based pedagogies and practices. The authors feel it has strong future potential.
The technological components of Block Magic, include:
- magic blocks (plastic blocks of various forms, shapes, sizes, weights and textures) equipped with passive RFIDs ;
- wands or gloves with the ability to read the RFID in a block and transmit the result to the Block Magic software engine ;
- a software engine (a “Finite State Machine”) that receives input from the wand or glove and generates an “action” ;
- “scripts” for the learning activities. The scripts will define the reaction of the engine when a user touches a magic block.
The fully functional prototype and authoring tool will be ready by 31/10/2012.