I proposed to build a social learning and gaming tool called VocabularyWars.
The tool will allow both young and older Latin and Greek learners to engage in vocabulary combat across a meshing of both real world physical space using IP geolocation and mobile check-ins and virtual landscapes in the form of specific grammar books, vocabulary data sets and age groups.
The idea is simple enough – reign supreme in your vocabulary skills and talents and defend and conquer your space through vocabulary combat at both the individual and group level. VocabularyWars can be played independently, within a classroom, classroom against classroom, school against school.
A simple example is a high school Latin student ruling their school. Through mobile check-in, the student can physically visit a neighboring school. With their new check-in that confirms their physical space, the student can now challenge the opposing school.
The tool’s real aim is to provide engagement to the learner and through predictive analytics develop learning recommendations based upon slow or incorrect responses. If the goal of VocabularyWars can be realized where thousands of upon thousands of combats take place daily across a multitude of vocabulary datasets, there is the opportunity too for educators to gain insights into learners areas of strength and weakness and also to better measure the efficiency of various quizzes and testing scenarios. VocabularyWars is every bit as much about the educator as it is the learner.
VobaculyWars Won’t Be Easy
It’s not going to be simple multiple choice. While it’s called ‘VocabularyWars’ quizzing will be vocabulary in context of sentences or logical groupings. I envisions vocabulary data sets customized to a specific textbook. Each question matches back to a specific subject. This way, strengths and weaknesses can be learned and future learning recommendations can be made.
The challenge – How To Make This Work?
This is a big data project where I can easily see a single learner consuming hundreds of thousands of records. I’m exploring emerging data storage and processing technique including MongoDB, Cassandra and Hadoop, which all offer excellent solutions.
I know that I can provide server and development skills but my weaknesses will be with art/design and course/vocabulary set building.
These are for now simply first thoughts. VocabularyWars is still only and idea and I don’t know yet if it will ever come to life. I have been slowly digesting this for over a year and it’s time to push the ball forward. I welcome your comments and insights into how to make this project successful. The project will develop both and open source platform that anyone can use or build upon and open source data sets. Like everything at Textkit it will be entirely free to use.