Friday, 21 October 2016

#ic_moveme Agnes Kukulska-Hulme mobile learning applications for newcomers in a city @agneskh

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme shared thoughts about informal mobile learning in cities, embedding her talk in the contemporary fabric of society with all it’s changes. A really refreshing talk with lots of knowledge and useful tech aspects.

We live in an increasingly mobile workld. The experience of traveling or moving between cities is increasingly common. Some people do this by choice, others are displaced by circumstances, but all need to find their feet. It is a newcomer is a universal experience: new job, new region, new social group… we all have these experienes to draw on when we meet a newcomer.

Agnes herself is moving to another town, to a new region, which makes this also a personal experience. What does it mean to be a newcomer: obtaining information, finding places and people, learning abut a place and its  people, learning how to be, feeling welcome, socialising, belonging, being understood, how to behave, discovering… feelings  about what it is like to be a newcomer. A lot of aspects come into play, depending on your personality some of these aspects are more important than others. Increasingly a newcomer can become a contributor. So at the end you can welcome others as well in this process.

Sociological, economical, literary, psychological perspectives enter the equation. We move from this broad perspective to the more narrow options of technology. Mobile phones are mostly personal tools. But you also look up similar groups, so it is in some respect also a social experience.
Resources: traditional media and social networks, internet media and onine social networks. Relevance of smartphones apps: easily available, easy to find, inexpensive or free, targeted to specific requirements and places, tailorable to individuals, integral to ‘smart cities’ and Internet of Things.
For newcomers there is a challenge to find the right app for your own needs.

Sensors and apps for languages in smart areas. Salsa app use beacons positioned in locations anround the Milton Keynes to trigger language lessons on the phone. Used by English language learners form the adult continuing education centre. This app takes us to a future where learning is taking place outside of conventional classrooms, but in the world. The idea is that you might be hanging around at the council office of MK or something similar, and you can optimise this time to learn.

Maseltov project
The project consortium designed, developed and evaluated a complex suite of tools and services accessible from a single context-aware mobile app. The Maseltov project was a combination of useful services: finding volunteers nearby, social forum, information resources, translation of signes, cultural game, navigation guides, language lessons… the services were developed in participation with migrants. A lot of thought went into the dynamics between these services, and underpinning that was a contextaware element in the app that will use context at contextual triggers. Elements of context can than be used the design of the app and its resources. The app also uses the personal profile of the user, and had options to opt out of specific tracking that could be used or changed by the user. 

Mobile pedagogy for English language learning
This project was aimed at teachers. How they can use mobile apps, selecting and mobile activity design to be used for learning beyond the classroom. The whole design of the mobile activity =
Mobile pedagogy for English language teaching a guide for teachers. Online free manual.

State of the art:types of apps for newcomers
Tailored apps for new arrivals: targeted information eg. FAQs, rights, citizenship tests, language learning, translation for specific situations.
Smart city apps: making use of big data, Internet of Things.
Apps for civic engagement: transforming local citizenship, particularly for immigrants, improving access to local services, better understanding the needs of the populations they serve.

Challenges apps: quality, availability, the effectiveness is not always clear, but changes are happening to let citizens be aware of the availbable resources and how to use these resources efficiently. 

Publication of interest: Smart inclusive cities meghan Benton migration policy institute (2014). 

What is missing: 
  • information about diverse comunities and languages spoken in the town/city
  • Audio content and hearing different accents and announcements
  • How newcomers can be a help or a resource for others
  • preparation for emergencies and unusual occurrences
  • Support for passing through a place on the way to another country
  • personal choice of content and interaction. 
  • psychological and emotional support for newcomers
Great book for researchers: Traxler and Kukulska-Hulme, Routledge, 2016
For decision makers on personalisation: kukulska-hulme, cambridge university press, 2016