My brother is a bit of a computer whiz. He’s very modest but I think he’s a genius-he even wrote a Majong game for the Nintendo Wii.

What has this got to do with education?

It’s to do with collaboration, Social Learning and I think that it is the future of education.

There is a ‘Home Brew’ Nintendo Wii Wiki-where new games are tested and shared. When designing a game the developer just creates a new wiki page and then logs all new changes to the game (a bit like a ‘Learning-Log’) here’s a section from my brother’s wiki-


  • 07/04/09
    • I’ve decided on using one of the game characters as the player character but adding colours from a selectable Mii for favourite colour as robe colour / pointer colour, skin colour and hair colour as well as the name of the Mii.
  • 04/04/09
    • I’ve been playing around with adding more mii attributes into the game. I’ve added face shape and colour as a test and may create a whole mii render class if I get time – there is a whole load of graphics associated with this as well as code so would take some time to do it right
  • 24/03/09
    • Added miilib and used the name of the Mii for display along with the favourite colour as colour of character robes on fastest time screens
  • 21/03/09
    • I’ve been working on the hi-score processing and am currently in the middle of making a Wii Mario Kart style display of times going from slowest to fastest for each of the tile layouts.

My brother’s great at coding but not so brilliant at Graphics, sounds or SFX. This is where the collaborative aspect of the Wiki comes into its’ own-on the Majong wiki page my brother posts requests for other users to help. This develops into a fascinating learning discussion wiki-here’s an example-

    • Logo / title screen-any ideas?

      DayDreamOz: I just made a quick mock: 00:47, 30 July 2008 (CEST)


      Slick! CarstenK 07:47, 30 July 2008 (CEST)

      Thats quality DayDreamOz, cheers I will def. be adding that in. Now in you in the groove any chance of creating a homebrew channel logo using the same font? –JustWoody 20:00, 30 July 2008 (CEST)

      Of course was going to do the whole menu/ gui thing if you want me to.

      That would be spot on DayDreamOz –JustWoody 22:30, 30 July 2008 (CEST)

      any chance you could send me the existing art and some screengrabs ?

      Sure whats your e-mail? –JustWoody 23:44, 30 July 2008 (CEST) (also when adding comments you can use the second icon from the right just above to input box to add your signature and a timestamp to make it easier to see when and be who a comment has been added :))

So ‘DayDreamOz’ creates a title page and many others contribute their skills to the project.

Take a look at the credits for the Majong game-


  • Graphics by DayDreamOz
  • Spooky, Egyptian and Space tilesets and backgrounds by Mr_Nick666


  • Oriental by Allister Brimble
  • Sushi by Dr Awesome
  • Nebulos by audiomonster
  • Childhood by Sandra Chan
  • Egypt crap(?) by the freak
  • Graveyard by fleshbrain


  • Versus mode characterisations by Banjo Fett
  • Tile click SFX by Partners in Rhyme,
  • Tile pair selected SFX by Chris,
  • Tile pair mismatch SFX by Public Domain


  • French by Yod4z, Crayon and CashMan
  • Italian by Charlespig
  • German by Digdug
  • Dutch by Digdug and Bitflusher
  • Spanish by Xtract and CashMan
  • Catalan by Xtract
  • Japanese by HisshouBuraiKen
  • Portuguese by Yod4z, Banjo Fett and CashMan
  • Hungarian by Ezmegaz
  • Finnish by Tubelinus
  • Swedish by Tubelinus and noONE
  • Danish by Buffstricker and Jedicommando
  • Norwegian by Raschi

This looks like a list you would see at the end of any console game, except there is a big difference, these people don’t work in the same studio or for the same company.

My brother has never met any of his collaborators, most live abroad and the only thing they have in common is a passion for home-made (Home Brew) Wii games. Yet together they willingly gave up their spare time to work on a project that had meaning.

My brother’s Majong Wii game is an example of ‘Social Learning’, those involved went beyond the ‘study group’ to use Social media to create, converse and collaborate.

I hope, like me, you can see the implications and opportunities for ‘Social Learning’ in Education.

David Mitchell’s (@deputymitchell) fantastic #quadblogging started the social communication between schools, where pupils commented on each others blogs and websites. I’m proposing social learning where schools collaborate on projects to create something.

My school has already started this with a shared (private) Posterous blog and a joint presentation at a Creativity Conference with another school in Sheffield but I want to go further.

If you are reading this and thinking that you would like to collaborate-please leave a comment or get in touch through email or twitter (@ideas_factory).

I’d like to leave you with a quote from the back of The New Social Learning:A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner.

‘Social media tools are powerful building blocks for enabling learning and development, while also documenting the learning journey and leaving a path for others to follow. Put emerging social technologies to work for your organisation, and you’ll open the door to greater knowledge, a richer learning experience, and an enhanced culture where ‘Brain Share’ is a way of life.’


Further Reading- Social Learning/Collaboration in Education

A 1st introduction to Social Learning by John Seely Brown and Richard P. Adler. Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0

The New Social Learning:A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner (Free Ebook Download)

Google Book-Digital Literacies: Social Learning and Classroom Practices By Victoria Carrington, Muriel Robinson

Social Learning Theory-An interested list of links

Nancy Rubin (@nancyrubin) Tips for Successful Peer Collaboration in an Online Course and Social Learning: It’s About Collaboration

Chris Yeh- Collaborate or Die

Edna Sackson (@whatedsaid) Past, Present, Future of Education…

Oliver Quinlan (@oliverquinlan) Children self organising online communities

Written by Julian S Wood -"rel="author"
  • Iain Crosbie

    Can’t believe noone has commented on this yet!
    Love the idea. I’m definitely up for this. You know where to find me to talk more!

    • Julian S Wood

      Really appreciate comment-Thanks Ian.

      Can’t believe no-one else has commented either-Maybe a little too ‘future-thinking’ for some!

      Great I’ve a like-minded colleague so near to my doorstep-Will be in touch-really busy at mo with SATs (ugh!) but will see you at Teachmeet Leeds.

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UK Primary School Future Learning Technologist.I am into Experience and Fun Based Learning.I use web tools to stimulate writing. I've been Playing and Learning since 1970. Have some fabulous ideas now & again.. Check out my profile!
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