Designing Participant-Generated Context into Guided Tours

Designing Participant-Generated Context into Guided Tours

Juliet Sprake (University of London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-481-3.ch006
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This article presents an interdisciplinary framework for designing participant-generated context into guided tours. The framework has been developed in parallel to practice-led research in the design of mobile learning tours with young people based in London. The article draws on art, architecture and urbanism to outline productive concepts, ‘seeding’ and ‘threading’, which support mobilised learning in tours of the built environment. In this, context is explored as an active and dynamic idea in developing attributes of the mobilised learner in the design of tours around buildings and the built environment. 150 words or less.
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Learning-Enabled Buildings

In 2007, Mike Sharples suggested that the last ten years has witnessed a growth in mobile learning ‘from a minor research interest to a set of significant projects in schools, workplaces, museums, cities and rural areas around the world. (Sharples, 2007a) A mobile learning community has evolved through these projects and it has been argued that this somewhat organic development, whilst important in allowing multiple perspectives on mobile learning to thrive, has also resulted in a form of pedagogy and practice that is difficult to define. (Winters, 2007, p.5) The term ‘mobile learning’ can be described as one still in the process of defining itself and is interpreted differently by the various individuals and organisations that have an interest in considering relations between mobile technologies and learning. Sharples describes three phases of development in mobile learning over the last ten years. He suggests that the first phase was characterised by a focus on handheld technology for formal education and training in which there was a concern with technology implementation and fixed locations such as classrooms. The second phase saw the development of ‘learning across contexts’ in which the emphasis was on ‘how people learn across locations and transitions’. Sharples suggests that there was a focus on learning outside the classroom during this phase and projects based on field trips and museum visits evidenced this shift in focus from technology to learner. He describes a third phase of mobile learning as ‘learning in a mobile world’. The elements for this vision he suggests are:

Learning spaces – new types of technology-enabled indoor and outdoor space for learning, communication and knowledge working

Pervasive technology – display screen on tram seat; interactive map of the city; activity trails; place notes

Participatory design – technology to enable people to be actively involved in the design of their physical and electronic, environment. (Sharples, 2007b)

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