Research networks foster creativity and break down institutional barriers, but introduce geographic barriers to communication and collaboration. In designing mobile educational games, our distributed team took advantage of diverse talent pools and differing perspectives to drive forward a core vision of our design targets. Our strategies included intense design workshops, use of online meeting rooms, group paper and software prototyping, and dissemination of prototypes to other teams for refinement and repurposing. Our group showed strong activity at the university-centered nodes with periods of highly effective dissemination between these nodes and to outside groups; we used workshop invitations to gather new ideas and perspectives, to refine the core vision, to forge inter-project links, and to stay current on what was happening in other networks. Important aspects of our final deliverables came from looselyassociated network members who engaged via collaborative design exercises in workshops, emphasizing the need to bring the network together and the importance of outside influences as ideas evolve. Our final deliverable, a mobile educational game and a series of parallel technology demonstrations, reflect the mix of influences and the focus on iterated development that our network maintained.
Rob Harrap, Sylvie Daniel, Michael Power, Joshua Pearce, Nicholas Hedley, “Design and Implementation of Mobile Educational Games: Networks and Innovation”, in Nicholas Chrisman and Monica Wachowicz (Eds). The Added Value of Scientific Networking: Perspectives from the GEOIDE Network Members 1998-2012, GEOIDE Network. Quebec, Canada. Chapter 8, pp. 157-187 (2012). http://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/materials_fp/55