Situ8: browsing and capturing geolocated user-created content

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The Situ8 project at the OU, current status in July 2013.

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  • situated learning, i.e. where learning takes place in authentic contexts, embedded within a specific physical environmentalso with embodiment, where a learner’s bodily movements have a direct impact on the mind and their construction of knowledge. In a previous publication, I have argued that we actually need a new theory of ‘augmented place’ to attempt to understand and explain how we learn through our interactions with the environment (FitzGerald, 2012b), echoing Rogers’ earlier paper about the need for ‘wild theories’ (Rogers, 2011).
  • Situ8: browsing and capturing geolocated user-created content

    1. 1. Situ8: browsing and capturing geolocated user-created content Elizabeth FitzGerald Institute of Educational Technology elizabeth.fitzgerald@open.ac.uk
    2. 2. Background to the project • Inspired by the popular mScape platform: users attach multimedia content to a map and deploy it through a mobile device • Media is ‘triggered’ by a user’s geographical position, as measured by GPS (Global Positioning System) • Unlike mScape, Situ8 allows both the creation and delivery of geolocated media i.e. it is a two-way process
    3. 3. Situ8 • Situ8 is a tool to let you annotate physical places with digital information • Associate different media types (text, image, video, audio, data) with a particular place on a map • Use it on a mobile device, smartphone or on a desktop PC • Browse/view and capture media whilst you are mobile and either upload at the time or afterwards
    4. 4. Scenarios of use • Situ8 can be used to capture any kind of user- generated content • It is “activity agnostic” but could be used to • Provide historical information • Create games or treasure hunts • Provide multimedia/audio guides • Capture or browse stories, reminiscences or experiences • Enable gathering of citizen science or fieldwork data • Capture oral histories of a particular place or event
    5. 5. Science data gathering examples Scenario 1: A group of 20 university students are carrying out field work, working in pairs, measuring air temperature under tree canopies vs. out in the open and also wind speed. They need to use the Situ8 web portal to record temperature readings at 10 different locations (3 readings per location) and also wind speed (3 readings per location). They need to be able to access and download each other’s data to build up a larger data set to analyse as part of their scientific inquiry and to help answer their initial hypotheses. Scenario 2: A group of 20 OU students are also carrying out field work, but they are doing this individually, at sites near to where they live. Each student is carrying out an investigation into soils and earthworms, to find out if soil pH affects the number and variety of earthworms that live there. The students use Situ8 to upload data in a variety of media formats, to share asynchronously with other students in their group and also with their tutor. By downloading each others’ data, they can combine results into a larger spreadsheet to analyse data across the UK. They are also able to access data from other student groups, from previous years, or allow students from future years to look at their data. Scenario 3: Some members of the general public have volunteered to take part in a citizen science event, where they need to collect data to help track the spread of the harlequin ladybird across the UK. They use the Situ8 web portal to log photos of the ladybirds, tagged with location, so ecologists can see where and when these sightings occur. By being able to download the geolocation of each photo, it is possible to track on a map where these sightings occur and also to track them by date/time.
    6. 6. Pedagogy behind Situ8 • Pedagogy underpinning Situ8 is fairly loose, as it depends what purpose Situ8 is used for: • formal or informal learning; • student or teacher-directed activities; • individual or group tasks; • audio guides or game-based learning etc. • Rooted in contextual learning, with a central context of location or physical place • Also situated learning and embodiment • Do we need a new ‘theory of augmented place’ to explain how we learn with our interactions in and through a physical environment?
    7. 7. Current Situ8 implementations • Prototype Android app (released December 2012) • Web-based portal (deployment in July 2013) • The app is an example of ‘catwalk technology’ whilst the web portal is much more ‘ready-to-wear’
    8. 8. Web portal
    9. 9. Challenges so far (1/2) • Technical issues – pros and cons • Which platform to deploy on – and which OS (e.g. Android vs iOS) • Web-based deployment or app? • Media capture, transcoding, storage and streaming • Web framework (Drupal, CodeIgniter) • User accounts and authentication • Data issues • What is a ‘Media Object’ or MO? • Can you have more than one bit of media in a single MO? • How open should the data be? (viewing, downloading etc)
    10. 10. Challenges so far (2/2) • Human issues • Data ownership, sharing and visibility of data • How to visualise MOs on a map • Ensuring mobile application gives high quality end-user experience on limited screen size
    11. 11. Functionality and user experience • Some differences between prototype app and web portal • Big ‘to do’ list for the future • User groups, different levels of users. Social networking? Proximity to MOs created by family or friends? • Being able to ‘favourite’ MOs • Asynchronous usage and download/upload • Redevelopment of mobile app to same level of functionality as web portal • Trails and polygons • Different map sources – swappable • Haptic feedback to indicate nearby MOs • Commenting on MOs, or guestbook functionality • Other filtering mechanisms e.g. language, visibility/viewsheds
    12. 12. Issues with the design process • Highlighted issues in the design process of trying to evolve a catwalk product into a ready-to-wear one • Difference between ‘catwalk technology’ and ‘ready-to- wear’ products • Catwalk is easy – ready-to-wear/scalable is hard! • What this ultimately might mean for the learner/end- user and the wider impact of the project
    13. 13. Want to know more? • Check out www.situ8.org (N.B. new website up soon) • Twitter: situ8_org • Email: situ8@open.ac.uk • Get in touch if you’d like a copy of the Situ8 Android app to install on your phone • Web portal due to go live by end of next week
    14. 14. Thanks for listening Elizabeth FitzGerald, IET elizabeth.fitzgerald@open.ac.uk http://iet.open.ac.uk/e.j.fitzgerald http://elara99.wordpress.com Thanks also to: Will Woods, Kevin McLeod, Juliette Culver, Jan Jones, Anna Page, Robert FitzGerald and those who have funded the development of Situ8:

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