On the evocative power and play value of a wearable movement-to-sound interaction accessory in the free-play of schoolchildren

Wearable Sounds: journal paper accepted

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


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.


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


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.

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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




Tertúlies Actives 3.0 in FIRAGRAN 2014

On the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th of June, the GTI participated in the 16th Edition of FIRAGRAN 2014. FIRAGRAN organised numerous and different types of activities, all of which targeted at older people, ranging from showcases of healthy and leisure activities (e.g. dancing and handcrafting) to conferences and seminars. It was very well attended (c. 100,000 visitors) and covered by over 30 different media.

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The GTI showcased Tertúlies Actives 3.0, an app to stimulate sharing knowledge in leisurely and physically active ways ( www.tertuliesactives.org ). This app is grounded in ethnographical and co-design studies, conducted in the WorthPlay project on digital games for active ageing with the participation of Àgora, a lifelong learning community in the district of La Verneda-St. Martí (Barcelona). We made lots of contacts with different associations related to older people, and many participants in the event showed interest in taking part in an activity using Tertúlies Actives 3.0.

Wearable Sounds: journal paper accepted


The paper “On the evocative power and play value of a wearable movement-to-sound interaction accessory in the free-play of schoolchildren” by Andrea Rosales, Sergio Sayago, Juan Pablo Carrascal, and Josep Blat, has been accepted for publication in the special issue of  Playful Interactions and Serious Games  in the Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments (IF=1.298, Q2). This  journal paper is part of the PhD dissertation, which is near to completion, of the first author, and the result of her investigation into strategies  to encourage free-play amongst school-aged children using digital technologies.

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Abstract: This paper discusses the evocative power and play value of the Wearable Sounds Kit (WSK), a movement-to-sound interaction accessory. Whilst movement-to-sound interaction is attracting growing research attention in HCI, very little of it has been conducted in the context of free-play with children. This paper presents a participatory design study of the WSK with 20 school-aged children (7-12 years old) in a free-play scenario, and an evaluation of the WSK in a playground at Ars Electronica Festival with over 70 school-aged children. The evaluation addressed three research questions: can school-aged children incorporate the WSK into their free-play? What free-play patterns are encouraged by the WSK? Which design features of the WSK influence the free-play experience? By conducting qualitative and quantitative data gathering methods and analyses, which include first-hand observations and video-coding, this paper shows that school-aged children can effectively incorporate the WSK into their free-play, and that the accessory encourages different types of free-play. The results also show differences in the free-play mediated by the accessory depending on the age group and sex of the player, and these differences reinforce the play value of the WSK. Some implications for designing technologically-oriented playful toys are also discussed.