Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Playing and Learning with Digital Media and Technology at digiPlaySpace

Recently, my daughter and I were hosted at TIFF's digiPlaySpace, an annual digital media playground in Toronto that runs this year until April 19th. We were last there two years ago and I blogged about our fun explorations there. This time, my daughter is guest writing the blog post - with some help from me.

Here's her review of digiPlaySpace:

On Tuesday, I went to TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace with my Dad.

digiPlaySpace is an interactive place where you can do hands-on activities and learn things too. Their activities include stop-motion film, robot making, virtual reality, greenscreening, objects that
light up, arts and games. It is in downtown Toronto.

I went two years ago when I was in grade three. It is a lot different from the last time I went there  - almost everything is new. It's fun to have new things.

digiPlaySpace is different from museums as there is more hands-on stuff instead of things in a glass box or on a wall. Doing things yourself is more creative, makes you think more about the objects and
what you are doing and what it is. It would be great if other museums did stuff like this too.

I like the staff members - they were very nice and helpful. One of them helped me build a robot for the first time!

I liked all the exhibits! Below are my reviews of some of my favourite exhibits. If you click on the names of the exhibit, you will go to TIFF's review of the exhibit.

Me changing the lights and patterns of "Forest"
As soon you enter into TIFF if you look to the left you'll see a thing called Forest. It is a wall of lights that change colours. There are circles with a stick in the middle that you can turn to change where the light goes. It was pretty cool. I liked how TIFF put something on the outside so that you get something even before you enter. I like how you can change the light and how the light changes colour - you can make some pretty patterns. It was cool - it was artwork that you can make it look how you want it to look!

Six-Forty by Four-Eighty
As soon as you come in, this is the first thing you will see. It is a bunch of squares that light up and change colour if you touch them. If you touch two at the same time, you can change that square's colour. The squares are magnetic and you can arrange them however you want on the wall. For instance, you can make your initials, make patterns with the colours, or come up with your own design. I like how if you touch the squares they did cool things and you can make awesome designs and it looks beautiful.
Playing with the squares of "Six-Forty by Four-Eighty"
Visitor is a big weird blobby thing that has sensors on it that depending how you move your hands it will light up and change colour across the blob. If you have two people, they can be on two different sides and you can be shooting the light one way and then they send it back. It was really cool and pretty.  I think it is a type of art that each person creates at the moment by moving their hands. I like art that is more of a doing type of art rather than a looking type of art! I also learned that motion sensors can be put on objects and you might not be able to see them but when you find them something cool can happen.

Headrush is a virtual reality game where you put on 3D goggles and you have to stay away from objects, such as rocks, walls, trees, and blocks. So when you jump in real life the screen moves up and same if you move side to side. If you hit an object or go through an object, it slows you down. I think this is the best 3D I have ever seen. It really feels like you are in the game, which is cool. It was good exercise too for my dad.

Playing the VR game "Headrush"
Pop and Lock Dance Machine
Last time I was at digiPlaySpace, they had stop motion animation where you can actually be in the video. This time, their stop motion exhibit was called Pop and Lock Dance Machine because you make a dance video. You get to choose the dance style and number of moves that you need to do. You can have people join, but my dad didn't want to do it with me as he was too exhausted from Headrush, so you can do it with cartoon characters that you pick. Then there is a shadow on a wall behind that shows the position to go into. Then the staff member takes a photo of that and you repeat that over and over again. My dance had 18 different poses to do. Then they put it together with a song to make a video.It was really fun to do and watch. Here it is

Part of digiPlaySpace is called Makers' Space, where kids (and their parents) learn how to make things using technology or media. I really like their Build-a-Bot Lab where you put special pieces together to make your own actual, moving robot! I learned that to make a robot you have to have three things: 1) a battery [power source] 2) a sensor so the robot knows about its space such a motion or light sensor 3) an action - the robot needs to be able to do something.
Building my first robot
They had parts to light up, wheels, and speakers. They had two different robot sets that you can use to put these parts together any way you want to make a robot. I made my first robot this way by myself! The first robot I made moved all around and because they are magnetic it attached to other blocks and absorbed my dad's robot (his first robot too).

They also had lots of games. For instance, a pillow game where you have to push on a pillow to play the game. They have a wiener dog (my mom loves wiener dogs) game, it's called Push Me Pull Me, where you try use the dog's body to keep a ball on your side. They had an old-fashioned video game that my dad played when he was a kid called Pong - it had pretty lights and my dad really loved it.

digiPlaySpace has a lot to explore like how they have a tiny door see a short silly little scene. They also had Bubl show where they have special glasses you put on and you can see a picture or a video of outdoors and see everything all around you as if you were there.

My experience at digiPlaySpace was amazing! There is so much to see and do there. I love the exhibits and spending the day with my dad.

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