In a post I did what seems like ages ago, I talked about how small functions on products we use everyday could be used to help us learn. I sought to prove this through teaching four people how to sing in harmony, by splitting up part of a beach boys song into its separate lines, then giving these as ringtones for each person to use. A more detailed explanation of the thinking and method behind this can be found here.
I finally got round to distributing these ringtones, and about a week later (short timescale forced by looming prototypes presentation) got the four “beach boys” back together to sing the melodies they had been hearing daily for the last week. Here’s how it went. Don’t expect miracles is all I’m going to say.
Sorry for doing that to you. Listening to that, it would be difficult to call the experiment a great success. Each of the guys could sing their part reasonably well when alone (reeeeasonably well), but when brought together, its very difficult not to get distracted by the others singing around you. Its a problem I perhaps anticipated, but am yet to work out a way to get over it. I do think, however, that there’s something in this way of teaching group-based skills subtly through networked personal objects.
Massive thank you to Henry, Ben, Hal and Danny for agreeing to make slight fools of themselves on camera for the sake of my project. Much love and respect.