Exploring Practice-based Learning through the Living Archives and the AffeXity Projects
This is a proposal for the mobiLearnFest to explore our current work in Augmented Reality with mobile devices at Malmö Universit
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19 January 2014
The objective for the mobiLearnFest is to showcase the mobile learning work we have been exploring as a stepping-stone for larger projects that can leverage practice-based learning with mobile devices into more sustainable and scalable educational experiences. For our work the notion of sustainability is for creating for innovative learning experiences for everyday use. Our mobile learning interest is to position technology-enhanced learning (TEL) research into these on-going projects that serve multiple aims of the host projects while providing and test-bed for design-based research for education.
Over the last year as part of two on-going research projects; Living Archives and AffeXity an ancillary investigation of how this research could be used for supporting practice-based learning that leverages 21st century digital skills with diverse groups of learners is being conducted. Living Archives is a research project that investigates the intersection between performance practices and archiving, connecting open and diverse data through participatory design. While the AffeXity project explores augmented choreographies in cities, and a-fixity as an urban condition. The core of these two project has grown from artistic research, which includes a set of overlapping practices: artistic practices of dance improvisation, screendance, video shooting, digital image editing and sound composition, combined with the daily practices of moving through a city and using mobile devices (Kozel, 2012).
As part of a practice-based learning, the exploration of mobile augmented technologies and performance practices, has taken the format of a series of workshops. The outcomes of these workshops, concepts, design and hi-fi sketches and prototypes, were co-created between professionals with an artistic practice, researchers and students.
Each of these workshops followed a participatory design process where we worked in a professional environment and a mixed team of researchers, professional dancers, choreographers, and the learners. The first workshop DansAR01, we invited six adult dancers in wheelchairs, who are part of a modern dance company. The second workshop DansAR02, mobilized 26 high school students from the local performing arts, focused on musical and dance. (see video / images 1, and 2). The third workshop was part of a European University mobility programme (DAMA-network) and was held in Tallinn, where graduate students of diverse design fields, explored concepts for non-linear storytelling with mobile augmented technology (see images and video). The performance was part of Re-New2013 , an artistic conference with the general public participated where the ideas and experiences of the design workshops were utilized. For the mobiLearnFest our intention is to showcased documentation from the work in progress performances, to discuss the following:
How can researchers and educators use mobile augmented to create meaningful learning experience in the domain of performing arts?
Over the last decades multitudes of mobile learning projects have developed and investigated new technologies for research in mobile learning. The majority of these projects are not sustainable or scalable once the research funding has ended (Frohberg, Göth, & Schwabe, 2009). Instead educators who work in classrooms have adapted the everyday technology of using existing applications and services (Pachler, Cook, & Bachmair, 2010). In our design experiments we have focused on using the commercial mobile application and tool AURASMA . By using commercial technologies when co-creating for mobile augmented reality, it sets the conditions for learning how to conceptualize, design and create content for mobile augmented reality. The advantage of high-fidelity prototypes is the immediate interactive experience, which can be instantly created, iterated and evaluated (de Sá & Carriço, 2008).
In DANSAR02, were the majority of the students are familiar with mobile media production as an informal practice but have no former experience with media production for mobile augmented reality. The students were introduced to the basic principles of augmented choreography and screendance. This workshop was held at Skånes Dansteater and involved a professional choreographer and a videographer. This created a content driven approach to mobile augmented reality. By combining movement material, video and site-specific conditions, the students became skilful in developing concepts for augmented reality and performing arts. However, to co-create a coherent experience, the system is relatively limited, and interaction designers and researchers insured that the material was assembled in the different tools and uploaded into AURASMA studio.
The DAMA-network workshop happened one day at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and was organized by graduate students in various design and media disciplines. Building on the reflections on DansAR02, this day was planned in advance with user names, channels and workflow to facilitate concept development and content creation for non-linear storytelling, utilizing AURASMA, combined with the mobile apps Vine and Snapchat. The students was introduced to examples from AffeXity and invited to scan and view the augmented video overlays. The students presented their work as conceptually, with mixed-fidelity techniques. Based on what we have done, it has mostly been content and concept driven, despite the use of high-fidelity apps. The potential for practice-based learning, is the combination of performing arts (practice) and mobile augmented reality, providing students new tools for artistic practice.
Every learning environment needs both constraints and affordances. In a balanced environment there should be place for both consensus and disensus. It is often the friction between conflicting standpoints where knowledge gets a chance to emerge. Similarly, it is often the subversive use of technology that opens up formerly unanticipated paths for discovery and progress. If critically and reflectively approached, new, locative media tools and networked databases with an inclusion of local, diverse ontologies can open up possibilities for new qualities for mobile learning (Srinivasan, 2013).
We envision for the mobiLearnFest creating an installation with functional design examples, allowing participants to experience the interactive and performative qualities of the work done. We will provide 10 to 12 points of interest that will allow people to explore the somatic and affective layers to our urban space in the context of practice-based learning. The aesthetic draws heavily on affective qualities we have been developing in the artistic research: affect is construed as a sort of shimmering of forces across bodies, devices and architecture. Providing us digital experiences to discuss the potential of using the notion of these technology sketches for learning.
de Sá, M., & Carriço, L. (2008). Lessons from early stages design of mobile applications, 127–136.
Frohberg, D., Göth, C., & Schwabe, G. (2009). Mobile Learning projects - a critical analysis of the state of the art. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(4), 307–331.
Kozel, S. (2012). The Fibreculture Journal, 1–26.
Pachler, N., Cook, J., & Bachmair, B. (2010). Mobile learning: structures, agency, practices.
Srinivasan, R. (2013). Re-thinking the cultural codes of new media: The question concerning ontology. New Media & Society, 15(2), 203–223.