Research Theory in Digital Culture/Group 2 - Concept Plan

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Name of the Project[muokkaa]

Group Members[muokkaa]

Jenni - Project Manager

Jourdain - Script Manager

Petra - Benchmarking Manager

Katriina - Resource Manager

First Ideas! Write whatever pops in to your mind![muokkaa]

NOTE: For now we can use this section as a platform for discussion in addition to actual meetings. We can edit all this off the site when we really start to do the concept plan.


"What Asterix can teach us about France today and 2000 years ago - a light-hearted online learning facility" <-- That sounds very interesting because it provides a practical starting point and would give opportunities to introduce also some theoretical issues such as anachronisms. Would you use for example Moodle or Wikiversity platform in this online learning facility? (JS)

We were originally intending to construct a website, password-protected probably due to the nature of the facility (this will be explained later), but we'll give the platform some more consideration as we proceed. <-- Also, you could think about such Wiki environments that can be password protected. Check for example PBwiki. (JS)

Timetable of project planning[muokkaa]

For now we can list here meetings and deadlines on the planning and constructing of the concept plan (not the fictional timetable that I suppose has to be included in the concept plan).

So wednesday 5.11.2008 at 2 pm at Proffa --> Petra, Katsku, Jenni. Jourdain will be kept informed online. Remeber to think of concept ideas before the meeting!

Tuesday 11.11. 2.30pm at Proffa - to prepare: first drafts of reports on everyone's field of responsibility (Project: preliminary timetable planning, Wikiversity updates; Script: research on Asterix comics and their possible use in academic contexts; Benchmarking: user groups and similar uses of comics in education; Resource: financial and intellectual resources)

Tuesday 18.11. 2.30pm at Proffa (?) - to prepare: Katsku + Jenni: SWOT analysis; Petra + Jourdain: preliminary planning of the graphic and functional side of the learning facility

The Concept Plan[muokkaa]

Introduction[muokkaa]

Enhancing and maintaining French cultural presence abroad is an important foreign policy goal of the French Republic. With this goal in mind, we have been ”commissioned by the French embassy in Finland” to come up with an innovative way of arousing interest in and familiarising Finnish middle-school children with French society and history! The ideal way of realising this task is to draw upon the adventures of an iconic French character like Asterix, as the comics are both humourous and educational, and furthermore, the medium is easy for the age group to approach.

The project would be realised in an online environment, as it is a very cost-effective way of providing this ”service” and is probably the medium that most appeals to the age group. The platform also needs to be interactive and visually stimulating, therefore a website specifically designed for the purpose is the best option. It also allows for opening the service to other audiences and enlarging the scope of the facility, should there be interest in this.

The website would be divided into two sections: how Asterix comics reflect French society today, and what Asterix can teach us about French history 2000 years ago. As an example of the first, we have for instance the occasion of Asterix visiting a carriage wheel ”factory” in the region of Auvergne – a reference to Auvergne's most important industrial product today, the Michelin tyres; we can also introduce French culinary culture or the infamous French bureaucracy. As for historical material, we have the Roman era, historical characters like Caesar and Cleopatra, places and peoples both within today's France and outside it, particularly noting the existence of numerous Gallic tribes instead of a united French people, and so on. We would use strips from the comics in "digitalised comic" fashion (copyright issues to be worked out); when moving the cursor on the image or clicking somewhere, a pop-up window would appear and give an info flash about the particular object (or other element of importance) in the image, and direct the user to supplementary information should the user wish to know more.

<-- Probably you should add somewhere (not necessary to this concept plan but onto the website) a short history of Asterix comics and the artists: who made them, when were they published originally, how do they spread over the world? (See also Wikipedia article on Asterix) (JS)

Jaakko, in a few weeks we will have a detailed description of the designed website. Even though the Asterix info page wasn't mentioned in the introduction, doesn't mean we hadn't thought about it already. Please be patient. -Petra

Ok, just ignore my comments whenever they seem to be irrelevant to you :) (JS)

Background research and benchmarking[muokkaa]

(Has somebody done similar things before?)

  • After you have chosen the idea, start to link or list similar projects here. And after listing, start the analyze those cases and compare them your own case

- http://www.mage.fst.uha.fr/asterix/asterix.html - looks like someone beat us to the punch! Well, sort of: this French Asterix-enthusiast has collected similar references that we are intending to work on, but his site simply includes explanations of word games derived from French proverbs, and of cultural or historical allusions etc. which can be found in the comics.


- unfortunetely the site mentioned above isn't the only one that "beat us to the punch", there are more...

http://asterix.openscroll.org/ lists references to books, movies etc.

http://www.gthomas.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/main.html "Alea jacta est", it's supposed to be asterix for grown-ups, with similar references as the site mentioned above.

But these sites are not exactly where we're going here, since the idea of our site is to be educational and for a younger audience.


Our main competitor, it would seem, is in fact the Official Asterix Website http://gb.asterix.com/index.html --> It's available in 5 languages, this is the link for the English version. When you go to "the village" (link on top of the page) you can access different huts in the village which represent different information packages. There is also Obelix's "educational material", which is done similarly to what we were thinking about. There isn't very much material though, and it says that the contents will be updated in the future. But there is for example a section on Gaulish cuisine done in quite the same manner as I had thought about. Another section in the village is the Getafix's hut, which includes academic research (french articles) on asterix.


Here's a brief listing of some web sources related to our topic. This list will become more detailed, but for now it's just to give us an insight on what has been done.

Interactive educational websites:

- http://europa.eu/europago/welcome.jsp --> European Union related site with quizzes and games such as puzzles, apparently for school children

- www.edu.fi --> Great Finnish website, which works as a portal for teachers etc., features a lot of interactive educational sites to be used by pupils

- http://www.europeoftales.net/ --> This is quite close to what we're thinking of doing, only that it's entirely composed of flash animations. The point is to introduce European mythologies and heritage through famous characters in each countries literature, featuring Lemminkäinen from Finnish Mauri Kunnas' "Kalevala of Dogs", which is basically a graphic novel...

- http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/learn.jsp

- http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/

- http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/ --> United Nations edu site for kids

- http://www.tuglas.fi/viro/ --> A website built by the Tuglas association together with Eesti Instituut. It's an information package about Estonia designed to be used in Finnish schools to give info on Estonia. So the basic idea and the associates behind are similar to our project.

- http://fotokela.fmp.fi/ --> A great Finnish interactive digital archive on photographs designed for 7-9 grade students

- http://www.edu.fi/oppimateriaalit/franceaventures/ --> France Aventures, flash game that teaches frenc language skills through an interactive game which features characters (and the player) adventuring through France


Digital comics:

- http://www.marvel.com/digitalcomics/ --> Marvel comics in digital form. This site requires payment but you can preview it free of charge

- http://www.english.ufl.edu/comics/digital.shtml --> Comics studies department at the University of florida. We might be able to find some info on research here.


Asterix used in educational purposes:

- EuroTalk Ltd. has done numerous audiotapes and books with the theme "learn a language with Asterix" eurotalk.com


Asterix in games:

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Asterix_games --> Lists both analogue and digital games based on the Asteric comics

- http://www.flash-mania.com/en/php/action/plateforme/092.php --> A lovely little Asterix flash game :D It's so qute... LOL


Parc Asterix in France:

- http://www.parcasterix.fr/


About digitization:

- http://www.chin.gc.ca/English/Digital_Content/index.html

Description of expected user group[muokkaa]

The intended primary user group for this project are Finnish middle school students in grades 7-9, aged 13-15/16.

The number of students in Finnish middle schools is published yearly by Statistics Finland (http://www.stat.fi/index_en.html). The latest published table can be found in the following link: http://www.stat.fi/til/pop/2007/pop_2007_2007-11-15_tau_001.xls

In this table we find that in the year 2007 the total number of 7-9 graders was 199 067 in the entire country. The statistics for year 2008 will be published 14.11.2008, so we will be able to get the latest info for our concept plan shortly.

In the next table, http://www.stat.fi/til/kjarj/2007/kjarj_2007_2008-02-22_tau_001.xls, we find that the amount of middle schools (grades 7-9) in Finland in the year 2007 was 427.

Statistics Finland also shows that both the number of students and the number of schools in Finland are decreasing yearly.

Description of idea[muokkaa]

(story, parts)


Needed resources for completing the projects[muokkaa]

(funding, skills, technical resources etc.)

- information on copyright clearance: http://www.wikieducator.org/OER_Handbook/educator_version_one/License/Copyright_clearance

SWOT-analysis of the project[muokkaa]

(Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)


Timetable[muokkaa]