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Don Wolf — Searching for a thought

Don Varg

Hello children, I’m Don Wolf. I’ve lived on Gadget Island for a very long time. And as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m not that young any more. I think I’m even older than Doctor Hoot. Even though he’s been living here on the island even longer than I have.

Back when I was young, life was very different to how it is now. I lived with my pack in the Other World. Our home was deep in a thick forest. Back then we hadn’t even heard of devices or other fancy things. We ran about in the snow, played hide and seek and tag with other wolves, and explored the strange tracks left in the snow. But I didn’t like the cold. I would have likedto wear warm clothes. Like the kind I saw the forest ranger wearing. If I think about those clothes now, it makes me shudder. The forest ranger didn’t really have any sense of style. But he did have a landline phone in his cabin.

Even as a child I dreamed that one day I too would have different kinds of devices and machines and know everything about them. So, when I became a grown-up I left my pack and headed south. Perhaps you don’t know, but back then there were no map apps. I had to trust my own internal compass and instincts. They led me to exactly where I was supposed to be.

I’ve seen almost all of the Other World. On those trips I’ve picked up an interesting thing or two. At home I have a wonderful collection of devices that are now quite rare. Some of the instruments are older than me, some are really pieces of history.

I’m sure you’re familiar with all kinds of things, but I know a thing or two myself. With my reader I read different kinds of e-books. I’m particularly interested in non-fiction books. I also order a lot of digital hobby and science magazines. Nowadays I make almost all my big finds in online shops.

In the Other World things are different to how they are here on Gadget Island. There wolves still live in packs and walk on four legs, as that’s what they are expected to do. I prefer standing and wearing clothes. On my travels I learnt that you can tell a gentleman by his tie. I also have quite a sophisticated tie collection.

Gadget Island is home to some nice folks. Marymoo the Cow is my closest friend, together we go for walks in the evenings. I live alone, but everyone on the island is welcome to come and see my collection. As long as they understand that in order to be able to visit again, they have to be able to leave in the first place. I enjoy living on Gadget Island, because here I can live as I want to.

Don Wolf has heard that at the Other World’s miniversity, they are developing a device called the Thought, which you can use to tell what people are thinking. When the Thought is on your head, any thoughts of people and animals within a 10-metre radius either hover in the air as text, or are read out loud. The settings let you choose whose thoughts you see or hear. Don Wolf wants to own one of the first Thought devices. The journey to the miniversity is difficult, however, and Don Wolf doesn’t even know its secret address. Phones need to have a lot of different features. Don Wolf’s only aid on the trip will be a smart phone.

Work together to come up with new imaginary apps for a smart phone. On the basis of the group’s suggestions, a number of apps without which Don Wolf couldn’t manage will be selected. The group will design one joint smart phone. The ideas will all be added to a big piece of paper or on the wall. This can also include drawings of icons for the apps.

Think about what kind of phone app would help Don Wolf on his journey. Think of a name for the app.

What kind of app does Don Wolf need to

  1. get from Gadget Island to the Other World?
  2. find the way to the miniversity?
  3. find food, water and treats?
  4. be able to sleep somewhere warm and soft?
  5. meet new friends?
  6. be able to charge his phone without a charger?
  7. get back to Gadget Island?

If this Thought device really existed,

  1. what uses could it have?
  2. what disadvantages could it have?
  3. how would it feel?
  4. would you like to try it out?

The aim is to understand that you can download different kinds of entertainment and apps onto a mobile device to make life easier. In the session pupils will learn to come up with ideas that seem impossible.