Flocking, flocking everywhere….

I’m usually an underachiever, but since I have three screen shots, I guess for at least ‘one moment in time’, I am an over achiever. :)

I did the ‘things to try’ on the flock of birds program, and came up with some interesting results. It first asked to try to get the flocking patterns tight. I came up with this result.

Linearly that’s pretty dang tight.

It then asked for ‘loose’ patterns. I came up with this:

Not only are they loose, but all they did was circle around. I thought that was pretty fun.

Then I decided that maybe I could get an even tighter flocking pattern that the linear thing I had, and with a little bit of work came up with this:

I figured that was about as tight as I was going to get it. 124 birds on top of each other.

A few thoughts about this kind of ‘learning’. I don’t think I played with this enough to really understand it (maybe I’m an underachiever after all!). Through trial and error I could come up with the above images, but if I were going to sit down and try to replicate the images, I would have to engage in the same kind of trial and error activity. To me this is interesting because if these images were used to determine whether or not I understood the workings of this simulation, well then, it would be a bad measurement.

But I like this kind of learning. I like the discovery nature of it. You could talk about birds having a low level of intelligence, but engaging in activity that would make it appear they had a high level of intelligence, and the point would never be made to a large number of ‘students’. But give them a toy like this, and then explain that with a few simple ‘commands’, the birds can look as if they are participating in advanced flight patterns. I think if a student were given a myriad of goals, and then some guided questions, more would be learned than by simply reading, lecturing, etc.

This is a fun little tool that needs some more exploring. The biggest question in my mind is can I use this as a strategic advantage in any of the many board games my family will be playing over the holidays.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Flocking, flocking everywhere….

  1. Matthew Buckley says:

    OK, when I saw the ‘download simulation’, I thought it was the same simulation as above. So although I thought for once in my life I was overachieving, I was in fact, once again, simply clueless…

    I am downloading the correct simulation and will post later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *