Tagtool Workshop for Girls

 The Tagtool workshop for girls was conceived by Heather Kelley and I after several discussions based upon the need to give girls the chance to explore technology without being left on the side.
    During an introductory workshop all the artistic workshops that we were planning under the rubric of the Step/See/Sculpture project could be tested and trialled and the children could sign up to what they wanted to try.
    During this introductory afternoon, Tagtool was introduced by Josef with two ipads.  We projected their drawings onto a wall in front of them, so that they could see what could be possible with this technology.
   Heather observed that whilst the 10-12 year old boys crowded around eagerly experimenting with a variety of different ways to draw and graffiti with the help of Josef, the girls couldn`t get near the technology.  Instead they politely waited until their was a gap in the crowd so that they could see a little into this new tool.  After this introductory afternoon, Heather mentioned this to me and I noted it thinking about ways in which we could include the girls more within the workshop.
     Heather and I collaborated with the Fraüen Buro by creating a workshop that was aimed at 11-13 year old girls to have the confidence to take learning into their own hands through games and exercises that were both empowering and lifting oppression that so often comes into girl’s games at that age.  We created an encouraging atmosphere where girls were able to look upon each other as sisters not competitors whilst challenging themselves with playing games and learning women`s history through a variety of role play situations.  In devising this workshop with the Frauen Büro we saw how important it was to give the girls a comfortable learning space so they could feel safe to take risks through game playing that is empowering and interactive, lifting oppression and not endorsing it.
    During the first Tagtool workshop two girls came from the Lehen middle school who were eager to try Tagtool.  Josef worked with them intensely. I invited these two girls back to a second workshop. Furthermore, I invited girls from the Fraüen Buro workshops to come to the Tagtool workshop for girls in July.
   Together we played around with magnificent Tagtool for a whole day in mid-July, on one of the hottest days in the year.  The girls, after a short demo from Heather were eager to get their hands on Tagtool.  After quickly figuring out the functions, they were creating characters and making up stories between them based upon their interests.  In between playing with Tagtool they experimented with a retro Spicecam Polaroid camera that I had brought in the previous day for their photography workshop.  The girls brought what they learnt in the photography workshop into this Tagtool session, playing around with illusion and perception, that fueled their imagination in the Tagtool workshop. 
    Heather had devised some games (see below) that the girls took to straight away with Tagtool.  Their motivation was such, that as facilitators we took more and more of a back-seat role until we were finally able to just watch them create and play with Tagtool on their own.  The girls played games with English words in inventive ways and Heather and I stepped back as they explore their own avenues, that were building upon what they had learnt.
    Co-education is a fruitful, but sometimes girls need mentors and the space to experiment on their own.  There is still so much stigma surrounding girls working directly with technology and often they just don`t get the chance because of the expectations that are imposed upon them by media, peers or parents.  Heather and I, after working together, giving girls workshops based on Augusto Boal games, implemented this game-play-learning into the Tagtool workshop for girls.  What we saw was an increase in motivation to learn, having the space and time to do so.  As the girl`s confidence grew so did my hope that we can break the restricting stereotypes surrounding girls and their lack of engagement with technology and education.  There is more to girls than meets the eye.

Heather´s  TagTool Learning Games

Variations on popular games, to help teach the Tagtool interface (and English) by playing Tagtool versions of familiar games on the screen.

“Tic Tac Toe” variations

- Tic-tac-toe with 2 players on one iPad but require the X and O to be different colors. this trains them to use the “Color picker” feature, line weights, etc
Tic-tac-toe (or other) with the 2 players on 2 different iPads this-trains how to use the Session navigation (moving objects into the scene, etc)

Collaborative drawing timed
(Needs a better name!) A variation on the pen and paper “corps exquise” drawing game
● One iPad per participant is ideal, though the game can also easily be played with fewer iPads, by simply taking turns (not every participant is playing every turn)
● A stopwatch (on a phone or other is fine)
● A table large enough to hold all iPads around the edge
● A chair for each participant

There are two versions seated and standing. Seated requires chairs and table, standing requires only a table. For kids with a lot of energy to burn (and with a higher risk of dropping the iPads), the standing version is recommended. However if there are fewer iPads than participants, the seated method will help maintain constant flow and minimise conflicts. Place all iPads around a table and start a new Tagtool session on each.

The organizer has a stopwatch or other timer. Each person must draw something (line, shape, etc) into the session in front of them in under X seconds (which get faster as they go on) and then create a layer before they move on.

Sequence of turn length could be something like this (adaptable based on observed motor skills): :30 :30 :20 :20 :20 :20 :10 :10 :10 :10

In the sitting version of the game, “moving on” means passing the iPad to the next person. in the standing version, the players all move around the table to go to the next “station” in the same direction (clockwise, for instance.)

During a turn, the leader can count down the last few seconds (10, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) to give the players a chance to finish up their current layer.

The leader can also announce when the game is approaching the final rounds.

When play is complete, everyone is given a chance to pass around the iPads and see the drawings that were made together! (And these can be saved via snapshot before the next game starts.)

Collaborative storytelling
In a multiplayer session, each iPad is used by a team of one or two learners.
Each team must draw something (character, etc) in turn on their own device in under X minutes, and then put these characters/objects into a shared session to interact/collaborate with a scoring system that benefits certain kinds of collaboration or teamwork forming a dancing team, for instance, or staying within a stated theme such as “at the beach” or “underwater