With the growth of the touchscreen generation, educators are turning to advanced interactive displays to encourage creativity and promote engaging and collaborative learning among students. This was the case for the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery (WID) at UW–Madison and the New York Hall of Science which teamed up with MultiTaction, a leading interactive display provider, to create the Oztoc installation. “Oztoc” or “cave” in the Aztec Nahuatl language, is located in the New York Hall of Science and is an interactive multitouch table that investigates how collaboration and learning occur in informal settings like museums. Utilizing MultiTaction’s Enriched Reality™ software, Oztoc uses 2D optical markers to uniquely recognize real-life objects placed on the display. Students then play an interactive game on the table display by combining physical blocks (representing electronic components) to create circuitry and lights to attract undiscovered underwater creatures. With both collaborative and competitive modes, the game allows learning researchers to target and test specific scenarios to engage children and transform learning and teaching tools. Oztoc asks the question about how children can learn to think like engineers as they problem solve, reason and work with each other, and supports the growing emphasis placed on STEM. Check it out.
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