University of L├╝beck (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 6011-6021
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1201
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Since many years we have a worldwide discussion about digital media and computer applications in school education. This discussion is highly technology-centered or focuses on isolated educational software systems, generic software packages, or asset-oriented learning management platforms. None of them will be an answer for the need of pervasive contextualized learning and teaching. There is still a gap between digital technologies and the goal of computer-supported contextualized pedagogy. How can we fill the missing link?

As a solution we propose, describe, and prototyped an integrated teaching and learning platform, a kind of didactic infrastructure, for contextualized learning discourses inside and outside school. The result is a multimedia repository connecting different interactive learning applications using up-to-date interaction devices like wearables, mobiles, tangibles, and other interactive multimedia frontend systems. This digital media platform enables students mapping the world in context to diverse digital media and provides different modalities for modeling, transforming, recombining, annotating, discussing and reflecting these media during the learning processes.

With the Ambient Learning Spaces (ALS) digital environment, we developed such an integrated media infrastructure for teaching and learning inside and outside school. The platform provides interactive learning applications connected to wearables, mobiles, and tangibles as well as immersive and ambient installations like multitouch walls, dome theatres, AR and VR systems. The artificial division between social spaces, classrooms, presentation halls and the world outside school vanishes through the pervasive cloud-based and semantically modeled backend system NEMO (Network Environment for Multimedia Objects) allowing interoperation of modular interactive frontend learning applications connected to the same central semantic multimedia storage.

This paper describes the concept, the architecture, and the connectivity of the ALS learning applications. Teachers and learners can use the different modular teaching applications of the ALS system as creation and modeling tools as well as a substrate for discourse, search, reflection, and inspiration. ALS installations have been used, studied and improved in schools, museums and learning contexts like urban space or biotopes over several years for a variety of teaching and learning settings.
Ambient Learning Spaces, Integrated Media Infrastructures, Didactic Infrastructures, System Architecture.