MiLK: Mobile Learning Kit

MiLK is a Mobile Learning Kit that allows students and teachers to create and play scavenger hunt style games that lead people through places with the use of a mobile phone. Milk has multiple components that both support the collaborative composition of learning events and facilitate individual and group reflection. To compose rich learning experiences teachers and students simply log-on to the Milk program situated online and follow four simple steps to ‘build’ and publish a SMS game event. These main steps are firstly to upload a map, then describe an event (title, location, scene setter, images), design an event (by filling in a series of SMS ‘checkpoints’ placed on the map) and finally review and publish the event (creates a web ‘poster’ and SMS ‘pathway’).

Finalist (top 3), Handheld Learning and Innovation Awards 2008 , London. Awarded for excellence in the use of emerging technologies for improved learning and teaching.

Finalist (top 10), ATOM MiLK was judged one of the top 10 Best Educational Multimodal Productions at the 2008 Enhance TV Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Awards.

To play a game, students simply SMS a ‘start command’ (indicated on the ‘poster’) to the MiLK number.  They then receive the first of a series of SMS questions that lead them through a location. They simply reply to the SMS with the answer once they have located it. If the SMS is correct, they will automatically receive another question leading them to the next checkpoint. If the SMS is incorrect they will receive up to five SMS hints.

Each student has access to their own online Milk profile that records the events they have created and played. Other MiLK reflection interfaces are designed to support individual student, group and class interactions such as event journals, discussion forums, photo albums, and commenting tools for peer, self and teacher review.

The Mobile Learning Kit is a game authoring tool designed specifically for an education context. Milk has multiple components that both support the collaborative composition of learning events and facilitate individual and group reflection. To compose rich learning experiences teachers and students simply log-on to the Milk program situated online and follow four simple steps to ‘build’ and publish a SMS game event. “MiLK connects students to learning by harnessing their own contemporary culture and interests.  It connects students and teachers through simple and effective technology and pushes the boundaries of teaching and learning beyond the classroom into everyday environments.” (Polson and Morgan)