University of Lübeck (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 3945-3955
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0939
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
With the Ambient Learning Spaces (ALS) environment we developed a didactic infrastructure as an integrated environment for self-directed and distributed learning inside and outside school. The environment combines and interlinks mobile and stationary learning applications on a variety of interaction devices. The artificial division between the classroom and the world outside vanishes through the pervasive cloud-based backend repository NEMO (Network Environment for Multimedia Objects) connecting a growing number of interactive learning applications with a central semantic media storage. This contribution emphasizes on the different form factors and settings of interaction devices to support different teaching and learning contexts inside and outside school.

Today, we can find teaching and learning applications for any type and size of interactive devices. Some of them can more or less easily been attached to network systems and data clouds. However, through these attachments the applications usually only interoperate on the level of basic data, mostly file exchange or streaming. They do not provide an integrated knowledge-based learning and teaching environment on the level of a didactic infrastructure. A solution can be a learning environment for pervasive interaction based on semantic media that fits to different contexts of space, time and social structures in school like classrooms, foyers, team spaces, school gardens, school theatres or digital domes and as well to out of school contexts like urban spaces, museums, biotopes, and industrial environments.

The ALS environment provides a didactic infrastructure for a variety of modular learning applications provided for different devices. These include smartphones, tablets, head-mounted displays, PCs, smartboards, multitouch tables and immersive theatres and domes. In ALS these devices are coupled through the backend repository NEMO delivering requested media automatically converted into the appropriate media resolutions and media types. Students can collect media such as text, sketches, images, sound or video footage out of school with the task-oriented MoLES mobile app and other media capturing applications. The collected media can then be discussed, tagged, edited, combined and presented at school on interactive smartboards or even media domes. Media can later be reused e.g. the for discovery-oriented ALS InfoGrid augmented reality app. Teachers can decide to publish selected media productions on interactive walls in social spaces inside school or on the schools’ website for public presentation. ALS applications search, create, connect and utilize semantic media using tagging and ontologies. The students discuss, transform and combine media from basic media into complex interactive knowledge media by enriching them with semantic information. The resulting semantic media can be reused in other teaching contexts.

The results show that teachers and learners are enabled to use the different modular teaching applications of the ALS system as a modeling environment as well as learning applications. ALS installations are currently in experimental use in secondary schools and museums.
Ambient Learning Spaces, Teaching and Learning Contexts, Digital Technologies for Learning, Interactive Learning Devices, Collaborative Learning.