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Augmented Reality Language Learning – virtual worlds meet m-learning

Augmented Reality Language Learning – virtual worlds meet m-learning



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Published by avatarlanguages
How can augmented reality be used in language learning?

Can ARLL draw on Dogme and/or TBL for inspiration?

How is Augmented Reality Language Learning different from / similar to Virtual World Language Learning?
How can augmented reality be used in language learning?

Can ARLL draw on Dogme and/or TBL for inspiration?

How is Augmented Reality Language Learning different from / similar to Virtual World Language Learning?

More info:

Published by: avatarlanguages on Jun 19, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Talking with Graham Stanleylast month and seeingPierre Moussy’sG2 Android smartphone in action got me thinking more seriously about mobile learning for languages. Some of the G2phone’s features make use of augmented reality, which seems to fundamentally change (indeedimprove!) the possibilities of Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL).This blog post is an attempt to sketch out some initial thoughts on how Augmented RealityLanguage Learning (ARLL) could be used in a student centered way. Both Task-Based Learning(TBL) and Dogme approaches seem to offer guidance, as do the experiences with Virtual WorldLanguage Learning (VWLL). The focus here is very much on mobile access to geo-taggedWikipedia (Wikitude) and location-based social networking (Google Latitude and BrightKite).Avatar Languages has yet to develop ARLL lessons, so this blog post merely looks at what maywell be possible.
What is Augmented Reality?
AR is the combination of real-world and computer-generated data so that computer generatedobjects are blended into real time projection of real life activities.
Wikitude – An Immersive Wikipedia
Wikitude is a program that overlays information in Wikipedia about physical places onto thecamera screen of a mobile phone.Wikitude places markers and summaries on the screen exactly where you can see the relevantbuilding or location. These markers also link to the relevant Wikipedia article, which then opensup in the phone’s internet browser (via a 3G connection).
Latitude – Location-Based Social Networks
Google Latitudeis just one of several programs that combine social networks with GPS to enablea system to see where other friends are physically located in real time on an online map on thephone. It shows the location of friends along with photos and other profile information. Privacycan be maintained by each user, who can select what to disclose and when to disclose it.
BrightKite – Geo-tagged Twitter 
BrightKite offers a free service that looks very much like a geo-tagged twitter-style program.Users can microblog from their mobile devices and the service automatically tracks themicroblogger’s location. Depending on each user’s privacy settings, users can see updates(microblog posts) from others who are near them. Although this is not a full service social network(along the lines of Facebook) it does open up location-specific virtual conversations.
Augmented Reality in Mobile Assisted Language Learning
ARLL focuses on contextual learning (see Kukulska-Hulme’s four approaches to MALL) and in so doing, allows the learners to move outside of the conventional classroom and to choose locationsthat are relevant to their lives. Perhaps this aspect of relevance can lead to greater engagementand therefore the desire to communicate, to converse, and above all, to learn.
Augmented Reality Language Learning and Virtual World Language Learning
VWLL may offer language educators some guidance and ideas for approaching ARLL, especiallyfrom a constructivist perspective. In my presentation at SLanguages aboutDogme and VirtualWorlds, I mention 4 experiences that are possible with virtual worlds: immersive, social, creativeand gaming. It seems likely that these experiences would be possible in ARLL.
experiences in AR (ie in real life) are certainly very immersive, however there is littleflexibility because of the time, effort and money needed to change location and because of thelimited opportunities to shape one’s environment in the real world (at least, compared to a virtualworld). Using Wikitude we are able to have truly information-rich, immersive experiences,although these will be limited to real life locations.
experiences in AR will be extremely real, but limited to the people actually present in thereal life location. Geo-tagged twitter would allow microblog-conversations with others will bebased on locally relevant and perhaps time-specific topics. This would open the door to morecasual, fleeting and yet focused communications – and this could well open up new ways toengage learners in active communication.
experiences can be gained through microblogging, blogging, commenting on blogs,instant messaging, photo-sharing, immediate podcasting/vodcasting and wiki participation.
experiences in ARLL are already better documented than the other three experiencesRavi Purushotmahas outlined an ARLL game activity and theLocal Games Lab describes an AR game for non-language learning.Holden and Sykes are currently researching this gaming aspect of ARLL.
Methods for Augmented Reality Language Learning
Approaches to VWLL seem to focus on constructivist-based methodologies such as TBL andDogme. The question is how these approaches can guide us with using ARLL.
TBL seems particularly applicable to ARLL, especially with the 24/7 access to location-specific knowledge. Indeed location-based social networking offers opportunities for collaborative tasks using information gap activities.
Dogme is at first glance less applicable to ARLL than VWLL, especially whenconcentrating the ARLL on Wikitude, which draws attention to the access to knowledgemore than it enables conversations. However, geo-tagged twitter services such asBrightKite could well be woven into a Dogme style lesson. Microblogging is by nature afar more conversant form of blogging and would allow learners to choose to engage withothers according to what is relevant to them. It is therefore potentially a very engagingway to communicate.
Activities for Augmented Reality Language Learning
Drawing on both TBL and Dogme, I offer here some possible activities or types of activities for ARLL. Some make a more passive use of the information available through Wikitude; whileothers involve more the pro-active creation of content.
Role plays as tour guides, where learners access Wikitude information on the fly. This‘speed-dating’ equivalent of role play would likely focus on fluency.
Quests on location, where the students search for ‘treasure’ or even each other based ontasks set by the teacher.
AR Geocaching, where the hidden containers could be virtual (augmented reality).ConventionalGeocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game using GPS to locate hidden containers (geocaches). The experiences are then shared online.
Projects and fieldtrips, where students collect data (text, videos, audios and images)while physically exploring a location.
Blogging, Microblogging and Wiki participation, where students interact with these web2.0 tools to share ideas and content. This could be part of a project or fieldtrip. Geo-tagging the content could then enable it to feedback into the location-specific body of knowledge.

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