Location-based Learning with Create-A-Scape

25 10 2006

Create-A-Scape is a free resource for creating location-based learning experiences on Microsoft Mobile Pocket PCs called “MediaScapes,” and was workshopped at this month’s Handheld Learning 2006 conference in the UK.

Mediascapes are maps of areas that have sound and pictures associated with particular areas defined on them on a PC. The mediascape files are then copied to a PDA, and the sounds and pictures can be accessed – either manually, or triggered by GPS as the learner moves around the physical Mediascape.

Image of the mediascape tool interface

The program has been designed to be (mostly) simple enough to be used by children, and is accompanied by a wealth of guides and resources to assist students and teachers with learning and using the tool. The tool has teaching and learning applications in a range of educational contexts.  As a tertiary-level learning tool, for example, learners could create their own maps of an ecosystem, accompanied by spoken commentary and images collected from the field. Alternatively, it could be used in an instructional manner, with spoken instruction or sounds being triggered by the learner’s physical situation or context.

The simplicity of the tool makes it a very flexible one. Allowing general “audio” and “images” to be attached to the maps makes the tool suitable for a full spectrum of imaginative learning activities.

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