"'Don't Panic' is a one-hour long documentary produced by Wingspan Productions and broadcasted on BBC on the 7th of November 2013.
"At the beginning of 2011 we started a wide-ranging conversation with Google Creative Lab, discussing near-future experiences of Google and its products. They had already in mind another brief before approaching us, to create a physical product encapsulating Google voice/video chat services. This brief became known as 'Connection Box' or 'Connbox' for short…
There were interaction & product design challenges in making a simpler, self-contained video chat appliance, amplified by the problem of taking the things we take for granted on the desktop or touchscreen: things like the standard UI, windowing, inputs and outputs, that all had to be re-imagined as physical controls.
This is not a simple translation between a software and hardware behaviour, it’s more than just turning software controls into physical switches or levers.
It involves choosing what to discard, what to keep and what to emphasise.
Should the product allow ‘ringing’ or ‘knocking’ to kickstart a conversation, or should it rely on other audio or visual cues? How do we encourage always-on, ambient, background presence with the possibility of spontaneous conversations and ad-hoc, playful exchanges? Existing ‘video calling’ UI is not set up to encourage this, so what is the new model of the interaction?
To do this we explored in abstract some of the product behaviours around communicating through video and audio. "
(Matt Jones, 26 February 2013, Berg Ltd)
"In another important respect, however, Life Is Strange is quite on-trend: it's being released episodically, every six weeks, in two- to three-hour instalments. The premiere episode arrived on 30 January; episode two followed at the end of March, and the next is set for May.
Dividing a title into chapters and publishing them in succession has become something of a phenomenon in the gaming industry in recent years. It started as a low-risk alternative to the usual blockbuster release strategy – and of late has begun to yield many games that, like Life Is Strange, might never have been green-lit under the traditional system.
Simon Parkin, a freelance writer on games for the New Yorker magazine, believes the popularity of the episodic approach has been 'facilitated by the rise of digital distribution methods', which have made it 'much easier and cheaper to release any number of titles'. Instead of pressing and shipping costly discs to brick-and-mortar stores, publishers can now upload a title to online marketplaces like Steam and Sony's Playstation Store, where players can download them instantly.
That ease of digital access has all but revolutionized the dissemination of games."
(Calum Marsh, 26 April 2015)
"Another interpretation is that schools have not yet become good enough at the kind of pedagogies that make the most of technology; that adding 21st-Century technologies to 20th-Century teaching practices will just dilute the effectiveness of teaching.
If students use smartphones to copy and paste prefabricated answers to questions, it is unlikely to help them to become smarter. Educators who want to ensure that students become smarter than a smartphone need to think harder about the pedagogies they are using to teach them.
Technology can amplify great teaching but it seems technology cannot replace poor teaching.
The impact of technology on education delivery remains sub-optimal, because we may over-estimate the digital skills of both teachers and students, because of naive policy design and implementation strategies, because of a poor understanding of pedagogy, or because of the generally poor quality of educational software and courseware.
The results suggest that the connections among students, computers and learning are neither simple nor hard-wired; and the real contributions ICT can make to teaching and learning have yet to be fully realised and exploited.
But the findings must not lead to despair. School systems need to get the digital agenda right in order to provide educators with learning environments that support 21st Century pedagogies and provide children with the 21st Century skills they need to succeed in tomorrow's world."
(Andreas Schleicher, 15 September 2015, BBC News)