S-Equal

- Collaborative Story Chain for Mobile Learning

Teemu Leinonen(1, Aki-Ville Poykio(1, Ilpo Halonen(2, Pentti Pirhonen(2

1)UIAH Media Lab, University of Art and Desin Helsinki
2)Eduprojects.net

Version 0.2. - 24.3.2003

S-Equal - collaborative story chain for mobile learning is an application for study groups to write short stories together with their mobile phones. The short story or poem is created of linked parts of text no longer than 160 symbols - the standard length of a SMS message used in mobile phones.

The study group starts the story chain by giving a subject for their story. One of the users writes the first text with her mobile phone. The story in a SMS message is sent to the S-Equal phone number. Another user receives the message in his mobile phone and must answer in 15 minutes (or other specified time frame) by sending a new message to the S-Equal phone number. If he doesn't answer in 15 minutes the message is forwarded to someone else in the user group. Users may reflect their feelings at that particular moment of receiving the message. User's piece of the story is affected by place and situation he is and is stimulated by the story received. The whole chain is visible in the Internet and WAP in real-time.

The main pedagogical objective of the S-Equal is to have playful sessions of collaborative story writing. The group of students can come from different countries and write their stories in foreign languages. For instance the group can be build from students coming from Finland, Sweden and Germany, but they are writing their story chain in English. Interesting experience can also be a situation where part of the group are using their native language, whereas some are using foreign language.

Besides language learning the S-Equal could be used in school trips. In field trips to such places as museums, exhibitions, companies and nature, writing of collaborative story chain on topic related to the place of visit may enrich pupils' experience. For instance in historical museum pupils can write together biographies of fictitious people who lived in different time and culuture.

S-Equal is using Paperikori - a collaborative story chain system developed by students of UIAH Media Lab.