Digital Penguin for introducing Computer Science to
Every day Information Science
teachers have to cope with a difficult issue: the goal
is to communicate the
concepts and the ideas
underlying computer technology, but the audience is
mainly interested in its practical aspects. The solution
is to choose a presentation
language that is a compromise
between the necessary precision
and scientific rigour
and a seductive way of presenting multi-faceted concepts.
The main problem is that applying such a solution is
not easy, also because communication skills vary considerably
from teacher to teacher.
project was developed from a preliminary educational
study carried out by a group of computer science professors
and researchers at the Department of Computer Science of the University
of Turin. All had matured
educational experience with students from different
backgrounds and with different goals, and they agreed
to experiment with a new and attractive learning environment.
One of the aims of the project
was to produce a movie featuring Dip,
a digital penguin,
suited for distribution via streaming
As planned, the educational content is intended to encourage
students to study information science ideas in depth,
instead of boring them with a number of definitions
to be mechanically memorized...
Starting in 2003, the University
of Turin is using this
movie to introduce the lecture on binary codes and multimedia
formats. It can be projected in the class room in front
of the students and commented at the end. Students can
freely visit the dipdigital.com site in order to see
it again. The site will soon be completed with a number
of links and references to aid the student to thoroughly
explore the different concepts.
Further projects featuring Dip
are currently in progress:
DVD, containing the movie
in an higher definition format than the one available
via Internet streaming. It will contain some extras,
i.e. a few sketches from the original story-board, extra
information about the authors, a "making of"
section, and much more. The DVD is a further step into
the educational project and its main target is to present
and analyze a multimedia project case study.
Video Game, where Dip
is asked to play an adventure in the Information Technology
The player is invited to explore Dip's world to find
references allowing him/her to solve different problems.
(Multimedia Home Platform)
application, incorporating Dip's movie, is being developed.
The project focuses on an experimental and interactive
direct access lecture
e-learning to all!