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									 Re-learning Bradford
(The Amicitias Project)

        David Robison

   d.robison@bradford.ac.uk
    (http://scim.brad.ac.uk)
         AMICITIAS
    Ambient Intelligence as a
Compelling Instructional Tool for
 Interlinguistic and Intercultural
               Skills
                                    Project Background
•   A Mobile-based language learning and cultural exploration game
•   Funded by the EU as part of the Education and Culture programme
•   Castilla La Mancha University and various European partners
•   Based in Barcelona, Toledo, Sardinia, Sicily, Galway and Bradford
•   Bradford team’s focus was technical production, game-design, visual
    and narrative design and on-location aspects
                           Educational goals
• Improve linguistic, and cultural knowledge about several
  European, multicultural places. Majority and Minority
  language addressed for each location – e.g. in the Galway
  game, you learn English and some Irish Gaelic
• Users should acquire skills necessary to accomplish
  specific ‘game’ tasks, both within the mobile application
  and also whilst exploring various culturally, geographically
  and historically interesting places within the cities
• The project integrates language learning into playing and
  discovering, using the mobile game as a part of this
  context-specific process
                       Mobile learning

• The potential of mobile gaming for
  learning is extensively documented (if
  not always critically)
• Another anecdote – learning to play
  chess on the train
• Each learning experience is context
  specific
• Disruptive and distracting from
  ‘traditional learning’ (potentially) hence
  evangelism is not always advised
          Overlapping concerns


          Pedagogy (e.g.
           knowledge of
        language learning
             methods)



Engineering,
software and
                     Enviro/social
  technical
                      geography
    media
 production
                     The benefits
• Ryan (2007) argues that learners benefit from
  mobile learning in two forms: mobile learning as a
  form of performance support and mobile learning
  as communication that creates knowledge.
• The performance support provides learners with
  functions (text editing, visual material, and audio
  aids) in the context of their work.
• Learners also stay connected with the knowledge
  source, expertise, professional communities, and
  learning management anywhere and any time to
  facilitate retrieving and exchanging the knowledge
  of their work.
                                       A Player Scenario




•   Player: Maria – 15, from Spain, is
    already studying English and wishes to
    visit culturally and historically
    interesting places in England
•   Arriving in Bradford on her travels, she
    visits Saltaire, where she is enlisted to
    help Titus Salt find his missing llamas!
                          From the virtual to
                          environmental context
• EU/NSF report emphasises
  relationship between the user, the
  information space and the data being
  analysed [1]
• From a developer’s point of view, as
  HCI emigrates from the desktop, the
  human environment (social and
  spatial context) increasingly needs to
  be considered
• Good design across real and virtual
  space is not easy to achieve because
  multiple channels are being used and
  there is huge complexity in
  behavioural and cognitive aspects of
  “the human”
Bradford Doubled
Location ‘loop’
Version 2...
Version 3...
                           Game – player, device,
                           narrative and location
• The main ‘framing device’ is a narrative that 'takes in' the
  actual location in which the user is standing and also contains
  the elements taking place “within” the mobile device
• The ‘ambient’ linguistic experience is supplemented with
  language mini-games which can be played in an arcade or
  puzzle style on the device, whilst the user is taking a break for
  a cup of tea or a sit-down on a bench in a museum
• Sound-controls need to be implemented in this scenario, and
  the use of headphones encouraged in certain areas (social
  etiquette – rules are re-negotiated)
• The elevated status of the actual location is what makes this
  different from a traditional hand-held game (remember the Far
  Side cartoon of young boy playing a Gameboy next to the rim
  of the Grand Canyon?)
                       Initial focus group
                       methods and findings
• “Too much reading for the screen”
• Disinterest at first, moving to
  ‘addiction’
• More attractive to younger children
  than we had intended
• Be careful of busy roads
• Unintended learning outcomes
  (such as looking up answers in a
  book with the help of a passerby)
• Very effective at cultural aspects –
  language learning aspects still need
  work
• Acknowledge differing levels of
  mobility
                        Connection problems
• 24/7, always on, anywhere anytime, instantaneous (no
  it’s NOT)
• In reality data services when travelling abroad can be
  prohibitively expensive (this is likely to change – recent
  regulation and better roaming agreements)
• In some rural contexts they are either not available at
  all or very slow, in urban contexts certain usages are
  inappropriate
• This can create major problems for location-based
  applications that that rely on functioning networks
• Brings its own problems and challenges
• Advantages of a ‘self-contained’ application, to allow
  autonomous ‘site-specific’ interaction
                  A game “engine”

• Re-usable code
• “Insert text, graphics and audio here...”
• Narrative and learning model can be
  altered and expanded based on location
  ‘types’ and inserted content
• Engine that can auto-generate versions of
  the game for different capacity mobiles
• Happy to discuss future collaborations that
  can make use of this engine
                          Project conclusions

• An overall ‘theory’ of mobile learning cannot be static because
  of the rapid pace of change and the variety of possible
  meanings (doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try)
• New and emerging projects are likely to take greater
  advantage of the networked aspects of mobile device to
  produce interactive play between players in real time
• Combining other learning objectives with language learning
  can be highly effective here (Fotouhi, 2009)
• Limitations of interface remain
• Dangers remain – in a word – “technocentrism”
• Similarly, failure to identify the unique properties of the
  medium
• Player context is the most significant aspect of location-based
  m-learning as compared to ‘desk-bound’ e-learning
Other visions
                  Ways of looking at
                  Bradford?

•   Westfield
•   Odeon
•   NMM
•   City of Film
•   Pond in the bowl
•   Keen to do something more
    subversive or distuptive
                    Geo-cacheing

• Using multi-million pound
  satellite technology to find
  Tupperware in the woods?
• Cache in trash out
• Mapped to transport routes
• Dynamic public service
  data gathering
• As with many other
  art/media forms, mobile
  applications transformative
  potential depends on the
  quality of narrative or
  ‘experience’.
                             References
• Brown J R, van Dam A, Earnshaw R A, Encarnacao J L, Guedj R A,
  Preece J, Shneiderman B, Vince J A, (1999) "Human-Centered
  Computing, Online Communities and Virtual Environments", IEEE
  Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol 19, No 6, Nov/Dec, pp 70-
  74, ISSN 0272-1716.
• Williams, Raymond. 1974. Television: Technology and Cultural
  Form. London: Fontana.
• Singhal S and Zyda M (1999) “Networked Virtual Environments:
  Design and Implementation”, ACM Press
• Blake, William (1794) The School Boy
• Ryan, L. (2007) Advantages and disadvantages of mobile learning
  [online]. Available from: http://e-articles.info/e/a/title/Advantages-
  and-Disadvantages-of-Mobile-Learning [Accessed 12th April 2009].
• Fotouhi-Ghazvini F, Robison D, Earnshaw R A, Excell P S, “The
  MOBO City: A Mobile Game Package for Technical Language
  Learning”, International Journal of Mobile Technologies, Jan 2009
    www.amicitias.com
    4.

www.mobilitystudies.com/ami

              David Robison

         d.robison@bradford.ac.uk
          (http://scim.brad.ac.uk)

           pete@panoetic.com
           (www.panoetic.com)

								
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