Summer Kids Tour
As principal partner of the Sydney Opera House, Samsung Electronics Australia has been launching a few digital initiatives surrounding the iconic landmark. Their Sydney Opera House app launched earlier this month, and today they’ve announced a new digital learning experience aimed at Year 3 & 4 students touring the entertainment hub.

The experience takes the form of an interactive story app, installed on Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets which the students will carry around a tour of the Opera House. The app called ‘The Quest to Stop the Mischief-Making Opera Ghost’, virtually follows the children through a tour of the Opera House using Bluetooth Beacons to trigger contextual triggers at various points along the tour. These prompts are paired with information delivered from real world tour guides who teach them about the facility as they walk.

The story in the app, combined with the questions has a game element to it which should hold their attention:

The Quest sees students thwart the Mischief-Making Ghost by collecting on their tablets characters who might be found within the Opera House, such as ballet dancers, opera singers and musicians. This is done by answering multiple-choice questions themed around information received during the tour. The students complete the Quest by collecting five characters and once they have done so the show can go on!

Samsung Sydney Opera House Ghost

Samsung will be looking to eventually roll this experience out to other venues down the track, but the Sydney Opera House partnership does present a unique opportunity. The location, history and the simple grandeur of the Opera House makes for a great experience that allow them to showcase the technology of Bluetooth Beacons and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets. Arno Lenior, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung Electronics Australia,

As the principal partner of the Sydney Opera House, it’s Samsung’s goal to use technology in innovative, engaging and meaningful ways that help to enhance people’s experience at the iconic building, a symbol of modern Australia. The technology that underlies this application is Bluetooth beacons. These beacons allow the app to seamlessly detect physical locations on the tour and trigger information and content to be shown on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S device. This means that the app can adapt and build experiences tailored to the route chosen or the desire of the tour guide.

The app itself is not available on Google Play, existing only on the tablets designated for the project. Exiting the story mode allows children to jump into a menu which allows them to access a camera but not full access to the underlying operating system.

Display Tablets

Dr. Rachel Perry, the project’s Education Consultant, spoke at the launch about the experience and how the the app aligns with aspects of the Australian curriculum Learning Areas of English, History, Creative Arts and Science as well as the General
Capability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Technology is undeniably a part of day-to-day life for most children from a very early age. We need to embrace this and use technology in education as a way to engage children and to maximise learning outcomes. The new Quest to Stop the Mischief-Making Opera Ghost app is a wonderful example of blended learning experience and we need to be thinking of technology and education as having a dynamic relationship.

The digital learning experience is offered to school groups who wish to tour the Sydney Opera House, with an average cost of around $10-$20 per student. Samsung has supplied around 100 Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 tablets to use for the tour, which will be mounted on a strap around each students neck to hopefully lessen the possibility of dropping them.

This a great step forward for digital learning, it integrates both information delivered by a guide, but also letting students use a tablet which is becoming second nature to this generation. The beacon technology is relatively new in its implementation on Android and it’s great to see it being used in education. If you’re involved in the education sector and are looking to take a tour of the Sydney Opera House it’s definitely something you should look into.