Augmenting Global Collaboration #icollab

14 Oct

Our latest #icollab project explores the use of interactive Google Maps for augmenting global collaboration with mobile social media. This project aims to create a collaborative Google Map linking student projects hosted on the web with their original context via geolocation and mobile augmented reality via exporting this data as a KML file and creating a Wikitude world from it. With Google Maps, creating a collaborative interactive Map is as easy as coediting a Google Doc. This data can then also be viewed within Google Earth and further edited. As your Google Maps and data is saved to your Google account, any of your maps will automatically be synchronised to Google Earth on any device you login. The second step is then creating a mobile augmented reality world using Wikitude. Wikitude is an augmented reality mobile smartphone browser. With Wikitude anyone can use the Wikitude engine to develop and publish their own content that is searchable via the mobile App. This is a simple process that can be achieved by creating your interactive content as Google Maps Points Of Interest (POIs), and then exporting this data as a KML file (which is editable via any simple text editor if you wish), and then creating a Wikitude world by uploading this KML file to the Wikitude server. See the links below for overviews and links on how to do this.

I recently posted a general outline of this concept to a Facebook discussion initiated by Ilona @mediendidaktik around future learning scenarios (although this is really a present scenario – just under utilised 🙂

“Mobile social media leverages the ubiquity of mobile device ownership and enables the formation of professional networks and serendipitous learning. Mobile learning provides powerful tools for enabling the nurturing of learning communities across varied contexts that previously would have been impossible. Focusing upon student-generated eportfolios created from a mashup of best-in-class mobile social media platforms enables student creativity and collaboration that is in stark contrast to the typical ‘digital myopia’ enforced by the reliance upon institutional learning management systems. Mobile social media is inherently collaborative, but requires a significant rethink of assessment design, utilizing collaborative user-content generation tools such as Vyclone for collaborative video. Lecturers must engage with and model the educational use of mobile social media within the curriculum. This requires reconceptualizing mobile social media from a purely social domain to an academic and professional domain of use. Assessment activities need to leverage the unique affordances of mobile social media. Mobile social media can utilize a variety of collaborative presentation and interaction tools, such as Prezi, and wireless screen-mirroring via an AppleTV connected to a large screen display.
For example: Google Maps or Google Earth can be used as a collaborative platform to collate/curate student projects from around the world, where student teams link their geotagged content within a shared Google Map. This adds the dimension of authentic context to student projects, with the ability for students around the world to share in the experience of learning of others within the original context. Linking geotagged content from a variety of new and emerging mobile Apps makes this a relatively simple yet dynamic and collaborative experience. Example Apps include: Vyclone for collaborative video recording, the online YouTube video editor for collaborative video editing and annotation, Flickr, Instagram, and Picasa for collaborative photo sharing/curation, Junaio for embedding QR tags within augmented reality etc… Academic rigour can be achieved by requiring students to annotate their content using accepted referencing styles, yet turning this into a collaborative curation activity via creating shared Mendeley or Zotero libraries etc… Specific activities will depend upon each students’ context, and should be student negotiable, however the collaborative element of such projects needs to be clearly defined, as student experience of being active members within an authentic professional global community of practice is one of the goals of such projects.”

We hope to explore such a project with #icollab over the next few months.

I have created a Wikitude world layer called “iCollab COP” that contains just POIs of the iCollab lecturers & our research outputs. You can find it in the Wikitude App on Android or iOS or Symbian by searching for the keyword iCollab – but only if you are within around 75 Km of any of the POIs, as Wikitude is a contextual App, using your smartphones GPS. As iCollab participants are located in 7 cities in 6 countries you may be lucky enough to find it 🙂


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