I'm Ben Meline, a student at Northwestern University. I'm studying computer engineering and minoring in German. During fall quarter 2014 I will be researching the role of games and other apps in education for a German 399 independent study. I’m planning on using this blog to publish my findings, post updates and write some longer articles. Dr. Katrin Völkner is my adviser for this independent study, and she’ll help me guide this project.
I’m primarily interested in how web and mobile applications can assist learning in different areas, including secondary language, vocabulary, math and more. I will use a variety of resources for my research. I’m planning on finding relevant academic literature and books, as well as testing out different education apps. My goal is to figure out what features and practices in apps make them effective for education.
A second goal of this independent study is to apply what I learn from my research to a mobile app I built last quarter with Sergei Kalugin at the Northwestern Multimedia Learning Center (MMLC). We created a gaming app for iOS and Android that helps users learn German verb and preposition combinations, a difficult topic for many German learners. Hopefully features that work well in other apps can make this game more engaging and useful.
I’m excited to get started on this project and explore the world of educational technology!