Immersive Situated Learning

14 08 2006

Here’s a post I created with a diagram to try to explain the concept of educational QR Codes to some of my esteemed colleagues:

The closest thing I’ve seen to the idea of taking a picture of something, and obtaining Just-In-Time learning on it, is Semapedia. Its Wikipedia article describes it thus:

Semapedia is a project which uses semacode nodes to connect Wikipedia articles with their relevant place in physical space.

Placing physical semapedia tags on real-world objects allows people with smartphones to use their built-in cameras to decode the Wikipedia-URL from the semacode. The phone can then use its internal browser to display the Wikipedia article of the physical object to the user.

Semacodes are barcodes that can be read using a normal camera phone (equipped with the right decoding software-many available for free). I’ve been an enthusiastic proponent of the use of 2D-barcodes in education for quite a while (see my blog: here, here, here, here, and here). 2D-barcodes can be used to form a ubiquitous interface between the “real world” and data repositories on a user’s mobile device or the Internet.

In the case of Semapedia, you place barcodes on realia – say, on the swing tag attached to every plant in a nursery. If a learner takes a photo of the barcode, the phone can “reinterpret” the barcode as a URL – in Semapedia, the URL of the Wikipedia article corresponding with the plant. In a learning context, however, richer target URLs could be assigned, such as a page with links to a number of learning resources on the relevant topic. Here’s a diagram of the process (click for full size version):

The software to both encode 2D barcodes and decode them is widely available for free – try it out! I have even been lobbying various Australian mobile phone vendors and service providers to pre-install the appropriate software in Australian handsets, as they do in Japan. That would *really* open up some options for educators. smile

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2 responses

30 08 2006
Mobile Learning » The Future of M-Learning

[…] My ultimate vision for m-learning is a personal, connected mobile device that provides a full range of connected information and communications services, providing a learner with contextualised, situated learning opportunities through a real-world interface (whether this is achieved through a symbology such as 2D Barcodes, or through image recognition as hypothesised by Stephen Downes). […]

4 09 2006
Mobile Learning » Report on 2D Barcode usage - with user stories!

[…] From the Mobile Life Blog, news of a report on the PrintAccess project – looking at “hybrid solutions of the print and electronic media using printed codes“. “The results showed that the code based integration between the camera phone and printed media are technologically mature and there are opportunities for commercial applications.” […]

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