It's finally out in Apple's online App Store - John Davitt's 'fruit machine of learning', The RAG (Random Activity Generator). It's a cross between learning tasks and performance art.
The concept is simple but remarkably effective. The top line (fruit machine 'reel') of this iPhone/iPod Touch program gives you the subject of your learning task while the bottom line determines how you carry it out. For example "Do the history of tea as a connect-the-dots illustration." Then you just shake your Apple device and the reels whizz around again to deliver the next task.
While awaiting its release by Apple, John Davitt has been conducting his own guerrilla and stealth marketing campaign, building up interest through presentations to educators across across the UK and further afield. It has built up anticipation and now you can download the final product from the iTunes Store for a measly £1.79.
While fun and unpredictable, RAG throws up some interesting possibilities. And customers will be able to introduce their own ranges of tasks to make it specific to the curriculum or professional development themes they work to. It can be as fun or as serious as you want it to be - preferably both. There could even be besppoke version branded for particular organisations.
The marketing from production company Shiny Development describes it this way: "The aim is to provoke thought, activity and a deeper understanding all in the innocent guise of having some learning fun, facing a challenge and making something." It adds that The RAG is aimed at: "people of all ages wanting to set themselves a quick bit of learning; teachers looking for a few thousand ideas; parents wanting to make learning more fun; home educators who need a bit of inspiration". There is certainly something there for all of them, and the promise of more to come.