Quick video of #BeaconingEU Kick Off 19th January


1.1The Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL), Coventry University hosted the BEACONING project kick off meeting from 19-20th January as described in my previous post, where 26 attendees representing 15 partners from 9 different countries came together for the first time to define a shared vision for the project over the next three years. The day and a half meeting covered many topics all delivered in a unique and interactive way to pave the way this ground breaking project set to change mind-sets and create new models and practices of teaching and learning.

The video is a quick overview of the kick off day. It was a shame that we didnt get to video all partners. The official project video is to come!

BEACONING stands for ‘Breaking Educational Barriers with Contextualised, Pervasive and Gameful Learning’ and will be focusing on ‘anytime anywhere’ learning by gamified techniques and technologies, framed under the Problem-Based Learning approach. The project is co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 687676.

The official website will be up and running soon – http://beaconing.eu

Follow us on Twitter – @BeaconingEU 

Hashtag – #BeaconingEU

Mini track call for papers on Pervasive and Ubiquitous gaming for learning


There will be a mini track dedicated to Ubiquitous and Pervasive Gaming at the ECGBL 2015 in Norway (8-9 Oct). The description is as follows:

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Mini track call for papers on Pervasive and Ubiquitous gaming for learning  

Mini track chair: Dr. Sylvester Arnab, Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL), Coventry University, UK

Ubiquitous computing including mobile and location-based technologies have fuelled a proliferation of opportunities for digitally-enabled play in everyday spaces that increases flexibility for learners and the boundaries of anytime, anywhere learning. Sensors built into mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets for instance determine a player’s location, opening up opportunities for a more pervasive approach to learning, where context-aware educational resources in the surrounding environment can be triggered.

 A pervasive game blends physical and digital spaces, concurrently with the normal activities of players’ everyday lives. A pervasive approach to gaming is both an exciting and commercially promising form of computer game that builds on a combination of hybrid interfaces, wireless networking, and context-sensing technologies, which is a strong component of future scenarios for education, opening up opportunities for a more seamless approach to be implemented towards engaging learners with educational activities.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Location-based and mobile gaming
  • Augmented learning using game technology
  • Gamification and ubiquitous/pervasive learning
  • Alternate Reality Games (ARGs)
  • Procedural content generation for context-aware games
  • State-of-the art in pervasive gaming for learning, including case studies related to Primary, Secondary and/or Higher education
  • Context-aware platforms for learning

 More detail here with submission information: http://academic-conferences.org/ecgbl/ecgbl2015/ecgbl15-call-papers.htm#Arnab  

Submissions can be made on-line directly on the Abstract submission page

Important dates:

Abstract (300-500 words) submission deadline: 18 March 2015

Notification of abstract acceptance: 26 March 2015

Full paper due for review : 7 May 2015

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Please feel free to circulate to your network.

Context-aware educational resources and dynamics


Within the context of pervasive learning as a response to the diminishing barriers between formal and informal, digital and physical spaces and real and virtual contexts, there is a need to address  the mammoth challenge in advocating seamless learning conceptually, practically and technically. How can the transitions be fostered and optimised? There are various technologies that can be pedagogically repurposed to ensure feasibility in terms of the desired learning outcomes.

The objective behind pervasive and context aware systems is to deliver the most relevant and personalised set of services to the end-user in a timely and on-demand way. Most mobile/portable devices have embedded motion and environmental sensors. Potential for personalised and location/status/time based services is growing exponentially and makes the process of context data distribution very complex and demanding on technology resources such as wireless bandwidth, processing power, storage capacity and artificial intelligence functionality. The combination of sensor variables that might affect the context data needed by one individual creates complexity in its own right but when context sensitive applications may also need to factor in similar variables from other users in the same physical or temporal space it creates an even more demanding environment.[1]  There are some issues with such a pervasive systems in terms of connection reliability. It is important that the GPS signal and Wifi work well in order to understand the exact position of the learners. Current technologies for location tracking can have significant accuracy limitations, especially indoors.

Motivated to explore this further, I had an interesting discussion with the CEO of daVinci Studio, based locally in the West Midlands. He showcased their Beacon technology that could be part of an infrastructure that supports context-aware educational resources within the pervasive learning scenario. Bluetooth connection indoor provides the reliability that is much needed to ensure a seamless experience in and outdoor. Watch the interesting promotional video here.

I aim to look into this further. Contact me if you are interested in similar challenges.

[1] Paolo Bellavista, Antonio Corradi, Mario Fanelli, And Luca Foschini. A Survey of Context Data Distribution for Mobile Ubiquitous Systems. ACM Computing Surveys

[2] Schmitz, B., Klemke, R., & Specht, M. (2013). A Learning Outcome-Oriented Approach towards Classifying Pervasive Games for Learning using Game Design Patterns and Contextual Information. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL), 5(4), 59-71.

[3] Korhonen H., Saarenpää H., Paavilainen J. – Pervasive Mobile Games – a New Mindset for Players and Developers, Fun and Games 2008, LNCS 5294, pp. 21-32