The paper “Towards iTV services for older people: exploring their interactions with online video portals in different cultural backgrounds” by Susan Ferreira, Sergio Sayago and Josep Blat, has been accepted for publication.

Older people and online video portals in three countries: journal paper accepted

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GTI participates in the Saló Nàutic 2014 presenting the new edition of Barcelona World Race THE GAME

GTI in Saló Nàutic 2014

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logo_worthplay Worthplay
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Athletic Stadium 3D visualization of Bilbao Athletic Club Stadium
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metis2 Metis: Meeting teachers co-design needs by means of Integrated Learning Environments
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Older people and online video portals in three countries: journal paper accepted

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The paper “Towards iTV services for older people: exploring their interactions with online video portals in different cultural backgrounds” by Susan Ferreira, Sergio Sayago and Josep Blat, has been accepted for publication in the journal of Technology and Disability (http://www.iospress.nl/journal/technology-and-disability/). This journal paper is part of the ongoing PhD research of Susan Möller Ferreira. Susan’s advisors are Prof. Josep Blat (UPF) and Dr. Sergio Sayago (currently at Universitat de Lleida). The paper shows the results of her ethnographical research on the use of video web portals and interactive television by older people in  countries with different levels of development (Brazil, Spain and Denmark). The paper also discusses cultural differences and similarities in the use of online video portals (and other related ICTs) observed amongst the older people (c. 400) who participated in the study.

View Authors’ Accepted Version PDF File.

Abstract: With a growing ageing population and the advent of interactive TV (iTV), understanding how older people use iTV services is a timely and important task. Working towards this end, this paper reports on in situ conversations of, and observations with, almost 400 older people, with different levels of educational attainment and experience with ICTs, while talking about and using online video portals and similar interactive systems in Spain, Brazil and Denmark. The results show more similarities than differences in their reasons for adopting online video portals and patterns of use. All our participants used these portals for keeping or remaining in touch with people they trusted. The results also show that privacy online was a common concern to all the participants. Differences in the acceptance of e-government services and the type of content that drove most of their interactions were also found. Implications for designing more accessible and meaningful iTV services are discussed.

GTI in Saló Nàutic 2014

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On Saturday 18th of October the GTI participated in the Saló Nàutic 2014, which took place in Port Vell in Barcelona. Miguel Angel Carralero, the Technological Promoter of the GTI, and members of FNOB  presented the new edition of the Barcelona World Race THE GAME together with the educational programme “Siguiendo la Barcelona World Race”. At the exhibition, the Virtual Reality (VR) experience of the Barcelona World Race was also shown.

FNOB members presented how this new edition includes better statistics, tablet and smartphone support, 3D visualisation, as well as others. One of the new features is the possibility for users to create groups to compete against each other. Also this new edition has weekly and stage achievements, as well as prizes for the winners.

Miguel Angel described the new 3D visualisation developed in the GTI, which offers a realistic visualisation of the boat in different weather conditions according to the situation of the boat. The feature is developed in WebGL, a web technology which is currently heavily used in the GTI’s research, as it is one of the best ways for developing 3D applications in the web browser without the need of any plug-ins.

The GTI also had the opportunity to present research realised around the project,  showing exclusively their Barcelona World Race Virtual Reality (VR) experience to the attendees of the presentation, developed by Gerard Llorach, a research member of the GTI that studies the side-effects of Virtual Reality. Afterwards, the VR experience with the Oculus Rift was shown at FNOB’s stand, where members of the public attending the exhibition could enjoy the feeling of being on a competition sailing boat out in the ocean. Even real sailors of the Barcelona World Race could try it and were amazed by the VR experience.

GTI has participated in the European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning 2014

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Davinia Hernández-Leo, coordinator of the Learning Technologies research line within the GTI, attended the 9th European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning, Graz, Austria this week. She has participated in the workshop Can MOOCs save Europe’s unemployed youth?, in which she was in charge together with Carlos Delgado Kloos, of a talk devoted to “responding” to the papers presented along the workshop. She also chaired a scientific session on MOOCs and related topics and presented a Demo of the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE):

Hernández-Leo, D., Asensio-Pérez, J.I., Derntl, M., Prieto, L.P., Chacón, J., ILDE: Community Environment for Conceptualizing, Authoring and Deploying Learning Activities. In: Proceedings of 9th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2014, Graz, Austria, September 2014, LNCS 8719, 490-493.

Abstract: This paper presents the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE). ILDE is being developed in the METIS project, which aims at promoting the adoption of learning design by providing integrated support to teachers throughout the whole design and implementation process (or lifecycle). ILDE integrates existing free- and open-source tools that include: co-design support for teacher communities; learning design editors following different authoring and pedagogical approaches; interface for deployment of designs on mainstream Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). The integration is designed so that teachers experience a continuous flow while completing the tasks involved in the learning design lifecycle, even when the tasks are supported by different tools. ILDE uses the LdShake platform to provide social networking features and to manage the integrated access to designs and tooling including conceptualization tools (OULDI templates), editors (WebCollage, OpenGLM), and deployment into VLEs (e.g., Moodle) via GLUE!-PS.

Andrea Rosales is now a Doctor!

The GTI member Andrea Rosales defended successfully her PhD Thesis last Wednesday, September 3rd, with the title “Designing wearable and playful accessories to encourage free-play amongst school aged children”.

Congratulations to Andrea, and her Thesis Directors Dr. Sergio Sayago from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Dr. Josep Blat from Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

And thanks to the three members of the defense tribunal, Dra. M. Paloma Díaz Pérez, from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Dr. Narcís Parés Burgès, from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and Dr. Dai Griffiths, from  University of Bolton who sparked an interesting discussion.

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Thesis Abstract

According to social studies, everyday life has reduced children’s opportunities for free-play, which, in the long term, can compromise their social and physical development. Previous HCI studies have been addressing the question of how to apply sensing and reactive technologies to encourage free-play by, for example, augmenting playgrounds and shared objects with these technologies. This dissertation explores the design process and evaluation of wearable digital accessories to encourage and facilitate free-play amongst school-aged children in alternative free-play settings. This is done in order to take advantage of free-play opportunities that arise on the move and to encourage body challenges and social experiences through individual exploration. In this context, the thesis discusses (a) three design cases of playful accessories, (b) a quantitative and qualitative evaluation to assess the ability of the accessories to encourage free-play, (c) the design process of playful experiences with the participation of children and older people (60+). This thesis also provides a set of design opportunities that can be taken into account in the research of future digitally-augmented objects to encourage free-play.

GTI participates in ICALT, 2014

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Jonathan Chacón-Pérez, a PhD student of GTI took part in 14th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (http://conferences.computer.org/icalt/2014/ ) which was held in Athens, Greece from 7th – 10th of July, 2014. Jonathan presented an architecture for supporting the managing and re-use of learning design patterns, which was the result of a collaborative work with Eloy Villasclaras from the Open University and Valerie Emin from the Insitut français de l’Education, ENS-Lyon.

View PDF file

Abstract : Previous research has shown that pedagogical patterns can inspire and support practitioners in the design of learning activities, including non-trivial Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) activities. This potential has led to a number of LD tooling initiatives supporting patterns: from pattern repositories to authoring tools that present the patterns as editable templates. However, these repositories and authoring tools are isolated and the patterns available in one tool are not easily transferable to another tool. In this paper, we propose a software architecture based on a pattern ontology focused on the specific case of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). Its objective is to support the dynamic management of patterns and enable its interoperable provision between tools. As proofs of concept, the paper demonstrates by means of using scenarios the relevance or the problem and the first implementations of the architecture.

Chacón-Pérez, J., Hernández-Leo, D., Emin, V. & Villasclaras, E.; An Ontology-Based Architecture for the Management and Interoperability of Patterns in Collaborative Learning Design Tools, In: Proceedings of The 14th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, ICALT 2014, Athens, Greece, July 2014, pp. 267-269