Friday, November 30, 2012

اطلاق موقع واحة المعرفة التعليمي


قمت بتصميم موقع تعليمي عربي للأطفال يضم مجموعة من الدروس والتمارين التفاعلية في مجال الرياضيات والعربية   .يمكنكم زيارة موقع واحة المعرفة هنا
http://www.maarifa.tk
I made an educational website for children in Arabic, as educational website for children in very scarce on the web.

The content has been authored using Jclic and you need to have java plugin installed to play the interactive activities.
http://www.maarifa.tk

Thursday, November 8, 2012

First meeting of Moroccan game developers



After  several discution in cyberspace we decided to make a meeting in the real world at the Technopark of Casablanca.

It was just an informal meeting to know each other projects, and how we view the video game industry and how we can contribute to it.


Original N64 Zelda game in Arabic (just for fun)

Some of the interesting projects were :
  • Localization of some Rom Hacking retro games of SNES and N64 console.
  • an Android game made using Unity game engine, that take place inside human body shooting bad virus, done by a medical student.
  • a prototype of a 3D brick game done using Micro$oft XNA framework.





then I took the opportunity to presented the OLPC project and the XO laptop, and talk about my game Eviltoys only 3D that work on the XO and how I ported it to PSP console. and form the discussion I got the idea to make a neutral branch of the code so anyone interested in making a 3D educational game for XO laptop can use it as a base to start from.

I also talked quickly on the growing trend in video games known as serious games and that is our opportunity as independent developers as with the huge number of "just for fun" games available on the market, it is hard to compete with them, and more important is that we need to use this technology to make some application that have a real impact on people in education, health...

then we spent the rest of time we debated  Gamification it's impact
and moral implication and effectiveness.

Official website: (in French)
http://moroccangamedevelopers.org

Our facebook discussion group: (feel free to join us!)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/345070702226158

Monday, September 3, 2012

Demo of EvilToys running on OLPC laptop




This is the first 3D educational and non violent game to run on the XO-1 laptop, due to lack of 3D acceleration hardware (no OpenGL!) that make it impossible to run any modern game.

The idea behind the use of 3D game on OLPC laptop is to find new ways to teach some concepts that are hard to learn using 2D software or pictures. in it's current form the game try to teach risk awareness to childen living in (post)conflict country danger of unexploded ordnance (munition, cluster bombs, landmines...) and various signs that show possible dangerous area and how to avoid them to stay safe.

You can download experimental .xo package for installation on XO-1 and XO1.5 laptop models here https://www.dropbox.com/s/sly3j4f1lts2zxn/eviltoys-1.xo

Next step is to make a English (or other native language) teaching game, the idea is not really new as some institutions are researching the use of virtual worlds in education, like in this video:




Note to developers:

This project (source code + game assets) is Free Software and released under GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE, you can get the source from:
https://github.com/atphalix/eviltoys
You can find Developer Documentation 
and details on how to contribute new models and how to make game levels (underconstruction)

One Laptop Per Child 7 Years Later

One Laptop Per Child 7 Years Later
Compiled By: OnlineColleges.net

Friday, June 1, 2012

Landmine Awareness Game to Be Developed By RHOK Montreal

This article has beeen published originnaly on Montreal Tech Watch:
http://montrealtechwatch.com/2012/05/25/landmine-awareness-game-to-be-developed-by-rhok-montreal/


RHOK Montreal is hoping to bring new innovation to the old unexploded ammunition problem by teaming up with game developer Ahmed Mansour (@OLPCMorocco).
Random Hacks of Kindness is all about developing high-tech solutions that help solve real life problems, especially in developing countries.
IAU reports that in Iraq alone between 48,000 and 68,000 people have undergone amputations due to Unexploded Ordonances (UXO) and landmines. In regions like Kurdistan 24% of victims were children. Reportalso stipulates that children are not educated enough about the dangers of landmines and UXOs.
Game developer Ahmed Mansour (Morocco) had an idea for an educational game that teaches kids how to avoid landmines that still litter many parts of the world. He assumed that it’s a perfect fit for programs likeComputer Aid International (@Computer_Aid) that donate used computers to people in 3rd world countries.
“Why not load a game on those computers that teach kids how to stay safe” says Ahmed.
The project picked up some momentum, but as time went by the developer started to lose hope. Without contacts and additional coding power the project seemed to be headed for the rocks.
Tide seemed to turn when RHOK heard of the project.
While on the lookout for the next big challenge RHOKmtl organizer and CEO of DecodeGlobal Angelique Manella (@Angemanella) ran into one of Ahmed’s tweets on the IDRC facebook page and decided that it was a perfect fit and that RHOK developers will work on the prototype during the next event.
RHOK events are very similar to hackathons in which developers quickly code working protoypes that are iterated overtime into finished projects.
Most recent example is an Android app that examines water quality using petrifilm and a built-in camera.
Angelique is hopeful about this new collaboration and believes they can make a real difference together.
“If we can save one child with this educational game I consider the project to be a great success”.
ildar khakimov (@ildarius)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Video of EvilToys 3D game running on OLPC laptop


3D game on OLPC laptop XO-1  
(sorry for video quality as been recorded with webcam)

UPDATE: You can download experimental .xo packagae for installation on XO-1 and XO1.5 laptop models here http://activities.sugarlabs.org/fr/sugar/addon/4574

It is based on a heavily modified Quake1 game, work both on XO-1 and XO-1.5 models as well as any GNU\Linux x86 without the use of OpenGL 3D acceleration (don't need 3D card/chip) which mean it can be used on very old computer and can be ported to tablets or smart phones .


This is just a proof of concept and not the complete game  
you can download a zip of the activity here:
http://www.4shared.com/zip/Ew1DrJbF/activity.html

and test it by running ./evil-activity inside the folder where you unziped it.
 
the source code as well as the game data are released under
 GNU General Public License v2.0  
and can be found on https://github.com/atphalix/Abcube 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

EvilToys release version 1.1

In game screenshot

Changes from previous release:
  •  Fix previous release bug, that prevent level from loading. 
  •  Switch from quakeforge engine into darkplaces, which give more modern graphic under recent computer while still maintaining backward compatibility with older computers.
  •   Now the game is playable on the following OS: Window$, Linux-32,Linux 64 bits and Mac OS. 
With this changes I hope to make the game playable not only for kids in developping world where they need it the most.
But also to make it as a tool for rising awareness in other countries who don't suffer from war, landmines and conflict about their problems and possibly rise funds to support demining operation and risk education to children.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

First Demo of EvilToys Released

PRESS RELEASE

 3D Video game to teach life saving behaviour to children


MOROCCO <2012-03-15> - Independent game developer Ahmed Mansour, announce the release of EvilToys, a free 3D video game designed to teach children in war countries, Explosive Remnants of War risk education. 
Landmines and unexploded ordnance are serious problem affecting about 35 country. according to Landmine Monitor report, in 2010, 70% of casualties were civilians and 25% of them were children.

The player navigate in a three dimensional world where he learn to
 recognize various kind kind of hazards, that has been modelled based
 on real weapons and munitions used in Libya and Iraq conflict.
 Through interacting with the virtual world, the child learn safe
 behaviour to adopt in various situations and learn clues that
 indicate potential dangerous area to be avoided. Unlike most video
 game, this one can be old computers and being small size can be
 downloaded quickly over slow internet connection commonly found in
 third world countries which are the most affected by landmines.

The game is not a replacement to other mediums used in risk education
 but instead it complement them and make them more effective, as
 children and teens learn in by doing actions and evaluating their
 consequences.

- The game use 3D model of real life danger signs,
 ordnance, cluster bombs and landmines used Iraq and Libya.

- The game is Open Source software and can be distributed and adapted
 to local needs without restriction.

For more information visit project page at:
http://www.moddb.com/mods/evil-toys
# # #

Contact:
Ahmed Mansour, independent game developer
atphalix@inbox.com
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OLPCMorocco

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Pencil Per Classroom?!

Just found this parable on how people perceive the use of computer in classroom 

One Pencil Per Classroom
Imagine that writing has just been invented in Foobar, a country that has managed to develop a highly sophisticated culture of poetry, philosophy and science using entirely oral means of expression. It occurs to imaginative educators that the new technology of pencils, paper and printing could have a beneficial effect on the schools of the country. Many suggestions are made. The most radical is to provide all teachers and children with pencils, paper and books and suspend regular classes for six months while everyone learns the new art of reading and writing. The more cautious plans propose starting slowly and seeing how "pencil-learning" works on a small scale before doing anything really drastic. In the end, Foobarian politicians being what they are, a cautious plan is announced with radical fanfare: Within four years a pencil and a pad of paper will be placed in every single classroom of the country so that every child, rich or poor, will have access to the new knowledge technology. Meantime the educational psychologists stand by to measure the impact of pencils on learning.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Can video game save children life?

In this article I explain the educational theory and motivation behind development of EvilToys game that will be released for OLPC laptop and normal computers.


By Ahmed Mansour
contact: atphalix [AT] inbox [DOT] com

Preface:

Anti personnel mines are munition designed to explode from presence, proximity, or contact of a person. whoever triggers the mine, whether a child or a soldier, becomes its victim and can still kill or injures civilians decades later after the end of conflict.

Explosive Remnants of War, are not mines, but ammunition (grenades, mortars, rockets, shells, or bullets) which has not been used or has been fired, but has failed to explode. This does not mean that the UXO is safe. In fact, it is extremely unstable and can be detonated by the slightest touch.
Usually UXO cause much more destruction than landmines. The lethal range of the explosion of a common mortar, for example, is 300 metres, while the explosion of a large bomb may be lethal within a range of 1,000 metres or more.
countries in red are the most affected b landmines (source wikipedia)

Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) are serious problem affecting about 35 country. in 2010, 70%  recorded of casualties were civilians and 25% of them are children. (according to Landmine Monitor 2011 report. page.37)

To reduce the number of casualties among civilians, humanitarian NGO do two important tasks: demining and Mine Risk Education (MRE) which is : "activities which seek to reduce the risk of injury from mines/ERW by raising awareness and promoting behavioural change including public information dissemination, education and training" IMAS 07.11:'Guide for management of mine risk education' 23 December 2003, page3.

Educational theory:

Tell me, I’ll forget..

The project is based on the assumption that a child learn best by doing and interacting with his environment, rather than being lectured in a classroom.
in other words, how many time you said to your child: "don't touch this!", and he still did it? in normal life it could be "tolerated" since by punishment and learning from mistakes the child result in change in behaviour. but in case of weapons one mistake could be fatal, and this would be ineffective.
Mine risk education used hand drawn images in Laos

Show me, I’ll remember..

The most widely used education medium is leaflet paper, it is cheap and can be easily printed to reach a large population.
the use of cartoons to explain can rise complicated questions as it can be culturally offensive or worse instead of getting the message as clearly as possible, they are distracted by cartoon characters...:
"when the wise point to the moon, the fool looks at his finger". 

Involve me, I’ll understand..
some students can get the message through hearing and listening, and some may (through repetition) remember it without having an understanding it's meaning and thus not apply it in real world and make the entire risk education effort useless! a better solution for both childs is through involving them in the learning process where they don't jump into the conclusion that mines are dangerous but through playing and experimenting they came to the conclusion themselves and thus have a deeper understanding of it.  

A better educational solution would be as close as possible to how a child naturally learn during it's early years, mainly through play in a familiar envirment. like building a physical "studio" with different situation where he may encounter dangerous explosives (and can see physical plastic replica of them) are presented, Through walking inside the studio envirnment child will learn to:
  • Know where they might encounter mines .
  • Avoid entering hazardous terrain.
  • Recognize danger sign and clues that indicate the possible presence of mines.
  • Never touch or get close to a mine or unexploded ordnance or unknown metal debris.
Obviously, making this kind of studio is very expensive and not practical solution and make it hard to transport to remote village and also time consuming to build and adapt from country to another.

My proposed solution to overcome those limitations, are the making of a 3D video game called EvilToys with purpose of modeling a realist Virtual World contaminated with various kind of explosives, where the child through a first person view can walk and survive inside. The safety education are not displayed inside the game but instead embedded in the game rules so learning became transparent for the child and the game give both through play motivation to progress and the only way to progress in the game is to learn to survive by recognizing and avoiding dangerous objects and areas.
The goal is convey knowledge in interactions and feedback from the world rather than static information that need to be remembered, indirectly the player learn to remember area in the virtual world where there is a risk/landmines and learn to avoid it, which could translated into a real life behaviour when faced with similar situation in the real world.

EvilToys Game design:

The player start in closed area with a door and a button on a wall, after pressing veious keyboard buttons and getting familiar with how to navigate through the world the player discover that by getting near the button on the wall is only way to open the museum door.
the aim of doors and button refashion is to give the child a basic sense of Causality and understanding relationship between causes and effect, which is first step in learning that a landmine explode because he stepped on it/touched it and if he does not touch it it won't explode/ if he don't push the door button it won't open. this is a crucial basic skill needed to make the player understand that danger can be avoided by following good behaviour. In other words, what Psychologist call Edward Thorndike's law of effect:

"behaviours that lead to satisfying outcomes are likely to be repeated, whereas behaviours that lead to undesired outcomes are less likely to recur."

The learning stage, start inside a virtual landmine museum where the child has the opportunity to see and recognize shape
of most commonly used mines on a table and get close to them without exploding, and recognize several kind of danger signs. museum is used
as an alternative to plastic replicas to of real mines, when they are not available or expensive to get which give the child a "feel" of the
3D real world size of the objects and thus will be easier to recognize in real life than with photos alone.

Not all UXO/Landmines are shown in the museum, to avoid making the player absorb too much information and give more progressive learning approachy. and instead let the player ask himself: is this unknown object dangerous? that lead to avoid not only known hazards but also to recognize suspected and newly discovered dangerous objects and areas.

The maze is the main game level: the idea behind the puzzle is to make it difficult to remember safe places, and thus when playing again the player will simply skip blindly dangerous area without thinking. but with a maze it is hard to remember the path taken instead encourage the player to look for
clues that indicate dangerous area.

Conclusion

"You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way." - Marvin Minsky

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quel est le lien entre logiciel libre et éducation ?

Lien vers l'article original : https://www.gnu.org/education/

La liberté du logiciel a un rôle particulièrement important dans
l'éducation. Les établissements d'enseignement à tous les niveaux devraient
utiliser et enseigner le logiciel libre car seul celui-ci leur permet de
remplir leurs missions essentielles : diffuser le savoir et préparer les
élèves à être de bons membres de leur communauté. Le code source, ainsi que
les méthodes du logiciel libre, font partie des savoirs humains, alors qu'au
contraire les logiciels privateurs1
font intervenir un savoir secret, fermé qui est à l'antipode de la mission
des institutions éducatives. Le logiciel libre soutient l'éducation, quand
le logiciel propriétaire l'interdit.

Le logiciel libre n'est pas limité à son aspect technique ; il a aussi une
dimension éthique, sociale et politique. Il s'agit des droits de l'Homme que
les utilisateurs de logiciel devraient posséder. La liberté et la
coopération sont deux valeurs essentielles du logiciel libre. Le système GNU
implémente ces deux valeurs, ainsi que le partage, car il est bon et
bénéficie au progrès de l'humanité.

Pour en savoir plus, voir la définition
du logiciel libre
et notre article pourquoi le logiciel devrait être
libre
.

Les principes


Dans cette vidéo de six minutes, Richard Stallman [EN]
explique brièvement et précisément les grands principes du logiciel libre et
leurs rapports à l'éducation.


Des transcriptions de cette vidéo sont disponibles en
français,
anglais,
espagnol et
d'autres langues.

Des fichiers de sous-titres SubRip sont aussi disponibles en anglais, espagnol, et quelques autres langues.


Téléchargez cette vidéo au format Ogg
Theora
.

Le projet GNU a été initié en
1983 par Richard Stallman dans le but de développer un système libre, le
système d'exploitation GNU. Chacun peut ainsi aujourd'hui utiliser un
ordinateur en restant libre.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Solve for X: Nicholas Negroponte on learning by themselves

prof.Nicholas Negroponte founded the MIT Media Lab (1980), WiReD Magazine (1990), and One Laptop per Child. Nicholas has recently launched a reading experiment to learn whether poor and remote kids (5-10 years old) can learn to read on their own with a solar powered, tablet suitably loaded with immersive and constructionist material.
 
and if you think it's impossible then you simply didn't try hard enough...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Evil Toys:3D serious game about landmines awareness

"The one who throws the stone forgets; 

the one who is hit remembers forever." Angolan proverb


Game LOGO

Anti-tank landmines

The idea of the name came from the fact that children in countries like: Suda, Libya, Kurdistan, Western Sahara, Lebanon... 
mistake landmines, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) as toys, and the game seek to create a 3D virtual envirement where they can safely 
recognise landmine and learn how to avoid them.Beign based on Quake 1 engine the game is designed to work on OLPC laptop and for 
older computers usually available in developping countries.

Goals of the game:
- Know where they might encounter mines .
- Avoid entering hazardous terrain.
- Recognize clues that indicate the possible presence of mines.
- Know how to behave if they suspect they have entered a minefield.
- I Can distinguish between different types of mines likely to be found.
- I Never touch a mine or unexploded ordnance.

The game start in a small village and a virtual landmine museum where he can walk and explore several models of mines and unexlploded munitions and recognize several kind of danger signs.
the game is devided into a learning stage that happend inside the museum and practice stage that happend inside the egyptian maze.
the virtual museum is used as an alternative to plastic replicas to of real mines, when they are not available or expensive to get which give the child a "feel" of the 3D object size in space and thus will be easier to recognize in real life than 2D real photos alone.
The Egyptian maze is the main game level: it was hard to choose what kind of game world is more effective a more realist real world looking level, or a fantazy maze with .
- the maze give the player several choice of roads to take to arrive at a specefic destination.
- it has the advantages of offering several puzzle with buttons on walls that need to be pressed to open doors, which aim to give the child a basic sense of Causality and understanding relationship between causes and effect, which is first step in learning that a landmine explode be cause of steping into it and if he does not touch it it won't explode/ if he don't push the door button it won't open.
- the goal of recognizing mines and UXO is to avoid them and telling other child playing with them about their danger before it would be too late specially when the child has just discovered them in an unknown area.
but the game teach also the child to recognize the danger sign to prevent them from entering into an already known minefield area, but it is hard to make children understand the concept of danger at a young age.
- Evil toys use several danger sign used aroud the world so the child can remember not a specific sign that can be different
form country to another but a general color shape and drawing of signs used in an abstract manner.
- to discourage children to go further in the direction of danger sign, they have been placed in corridors with closed end, hear anoying sound, or find landmines that will explode if the player approaches..the goal is to make the child understand through experimentation that is the wrong direction and that there is nothing interesting to explore there. while the child is rewarded when he choose to walk in the safe path.
unlike the rest of the game, the mines are exposed on table and the player can get close to them without exploding, this give the child opportunity to recognize the shape of the weapon, and also to remember them when he play the game for the second time.
peer 2 peer learning and collaboration: for more effective learning children would play the game in group were the children who played the game first/more experienced would help new oneavoid traps and exploding objects

Playing a video game is not alone the solution but it will be more effective if used in context of traditional mine risk education so when the child hear the teacher saying "when you see this sign, it mean this is a minefield area don't go there" some children will accept it, other with more critical mind or curiosity will ask why and won't have satisfing answer until they experiment, with the video game they can make mistake and learn from it but in reality one mistake will be literally fatal.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The new XO-3 tablet at CES expo 2012

The One Laptop Per Child foundation presents the final design for the OLPC sub-$100 Tablet with a 8" 1024x768 capacitive LCD touch screen, a touch screen optimized version of Sugar Linux. The thin screen protector doubles as a solar charger. Once countries order millions of these, the price can definitely be below $100.



Fork me on GitHub