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Graham
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« on: September 30, 2006, 12:53:10 PM »

I picked up on an interesting story from the University of Western Ontario University who are doing some research on location or place-based learning with handhelds using GPS add-on's.

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Western is a leader in using GPS devices for research and teaching in urban development and public history

Ever heard of place-based computing? If you haven't, it won't be long before you do.

The convergence of handheld computing with locative technologies, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) has the potential to radically alter the way we experience places and understand the past. Western is already well underway in this area thanks in part to the interdisciplinary work of professors Jason Gilliland (Geography) and Bill Turkel (History).

The integration of global positioning devices and digital cameras into their studies has given students the ability to gather information and data - economic, social, historical - that is ultimately boundless.

"The possibilities are limitless," says Gilliland. "It's basically up to the imagination of the users."

By developing new methods for teaching history, geography and related disciplines, place-based computing takes students out of the classroom and into the community where they can gather facts, take photographs and assign various geographical data.

More...

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These types of application seem to becoming increasing popular in teaching and learning as we see further convergence in handheld devices. Soon we will have a handheld computer that will feature a built-in GPS and camera which means that pictures and video clips will finally have location data related to them. It will be interesting to see how such integration might then be embraced to lead to further developments in this type of learning application.

If any members have some experience in this area please contribute to this thread.
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Mark van 't Hooft
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2006, 01:33:52 PM »

One of the best examples of location-based learning is the Frequency 1550 project, done by the Waag Society in Amsterdam, and funded by KPN Mobile, one of the largest Dutch mobile phone providers:

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In the Frequency 1550 mobile game, students are transported to the medieval Amsterdam of 1550 via a medium that's familiar to this agegroup: the mobile phone. The pilot took place in 2005 from 7 to 9 February and was supported by KPN Mobile's UMTS network.


The video on the site is great, only downside, it's in Dutch. I've got a version of it with subtitles in English, which is included on RCET's Ubiquitous Computing DVD.

Other good examples I've seen include

MOOP, Mobile Learning Environment for Creative Learning Situations: an interactive m-learning environment for situations in which primary school pupils use a mobile phone to observe and analyze their surroundings and communicate within groups. The learning environment supports inquiry learning, during which a pupil outlines his or her thoughts on the current topic, collects information and observations from the surroundings, and reports the findings in the network learning environment. An example of MOOP can be found in the Korvensuorua schools in Finland.

Chimer project: a European project that, according to its website
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“sets out to capitalize on the natural enthusiasm and interest of children in developing new approaches to the use of evolving technologies for documenting items of cultural interest in their local communities. Twelve-year-olds in different parts of Europe will follow the guidance of museologists and teachers in building digital maps combining geographical coordinates defined by using GPS devices with the creative use of mobile technology and digital cameras. In this way, children from Bohemia to A Coruña and from the Netherlands to Vilnius will combine drawings and photographic images with their own comments on items of interest. In this way, little by little, they will participate solidly in creating a digital archive of their own towns, villages and surrounding communities which should enhance interest in these regions, not only for children but for other age groups.”
(www.chimer.org/chimer_1.html)
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Mark van 't Hooft
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Kent State University
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Jocelyn
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2006, 09:35:02 PM »

Have you seen Create-a-scape http://www.createascape.org.uk/ ? It's being used with children to encourage new interactions with the environment. Teachers can set up new perspective on the space in which the 'mediascapes' are set, especially those that tell hidden histories. Free download.
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Mark van 't Hooft
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2006, 06:36:15 PM »

Looks like there will be another round of Frequentie 1550 in 2007:

http://www.waag.org/project/frequentie

Mark
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Mark van 't Hooft
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Kent State University
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Gill
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2007, 05:28:18 PM »

I got enthusiastic about location-based learning after seeing a presentation by Futurelabs on the Deptford Mudlarking study. I used  Caerus http://portal.cetadl.bham.ac.uk/caerus/default.aspx to create a GPS guided Nature Trail around the Open University campus at Walton Hall. This ran on HP IPAQ 6915 devices which have GPS, wifi, GPRS, camera, video and many other features which I loaned out to 12 participants who obligingly wandered around the trail taking pictures, recording audio etc which they then uploaded onto a collaborative blog and/or wiki. This was an interesting study, and I’m looking to explore this mobile collaboration further by giving participants more control over the content and scope.

One idea I’m thinking about is to use createascape to allow learners define not only the nature of the experiences they want to share but also the geographic area in which they record them. I’d like to work with home educators and their children however this is quite a complex group so we shall have to see how it pans out.

Of course the first step must be to locate some home educators  Cool
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Mark van 't Hooft
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 08:58:34 PM »

Another example of location-based learning areAugmented Reality Handheld Games found at:
http://www.academiccolab.org/argh/index.htm.
Examples of these games are Environmental Detectives (http://education.mit.edu/ED/intro/index.htm),

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Students play the role of environmental engineers who are presented with the following scenario at the beginning of the simulation:

During the construction of the underground garage of the new Stata Center significant amounts of water are pumped up from the ground in order to lower the groundwater table so that the garage can be constructed in a dry environment. As a matter of regulation the water is tested for the 25 most commonly found chemicals in groundwater at hazardous waste sites. As a result of the testing it is discovered that a toxin is present in the extracted water. You call the President of the University to report and he asks, “How dangerous is this toxin? Where did the contamination come from and how widespread is it? Does MIT need to take some action (and what action might this be)? What do you advise?” You promise to call him back within three hours with your advice on the problem.


and MadCity Murder(http://wistechnology.com/article.php?id=1517)

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Mad City, an “augmented reality” program that simulates what would happen in the event of a chemical spill in Madison. Players – including nearly 500 high-school and college students over the past two years – take on the role of city figures such as doctors and public health officials, and receive information through a handheld GPS unit about the city's status.

Each player moves through the actual city and receives document and interview updates on their handheld. The data changes depending on their role and location. The real, physical features around them are also important. And if they want to solve the problem before time runs out, they need to collaborate with other players to put the information together.
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Mark van 't Hooft
Researcher/Tech Specialist
Kent State University
Research Center for Educational Technology
Kent, OH
USA
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