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In the area of technology-enhanced learning we aim at taking learning out into the wild, making use of modern ICT. Our leading concept for this endeavor is the idea of the smart City as an urban learning scape, combining it with traditional educational surroundings like the school, the museum, the zoo. One aim is to exploit the strong relation to culture aware technology in so far as culture could either be a learning goal (in terms of tangible or intangible cultural heritage) or might influence individual learning practices.

Projects

Association for Smart Learning Ecosystems and Regional Development (ASLERD)

ASLERD is an interdisciplinary, democratic, scientific-professional association that recognizes the relevance of 'smart' learning ecosystems, and more in general of learning, for the regional development and the social innovation, including the education of present and future participatory “smart” citizens.

It brings together researchers across Europe (and overseas) in an endeavor to address designing for the learning in future Smart Cities as a holistic Grand Challenge (GC) that requires a multidisciplinary approach. Problems to be tackled include the identification of a suitable model to describe learning experiences in smart cities on an individual, social and contextual level, as well as the redefinition of the learning space that foresees not only a redesign of the spaces of the formal learning but their integration with the urban space by use of embedded technologies.

Smart Cities for Smart Children

Recent years have seen location aware and mobile games becoming increasingly mature and commercially available. It has also been shown how the feature of location awareness can be exploited for educational purposes. On the other hand, the notion of smart cities has also been around for quite some time, but talking about smart cities often is restricted to infrastructure and does not focus on the actual users of a smart city, the people living in such a technological enhanced public space. It is our conviction that the city itself can become the key element in creating smart learning environments that transcend traditional institutionalized learning by bringing learning back to where it originally belonged: everywhere. The work presented in this article is related to our project on Smart Cities for Smart Children. The vision is to create a public space for learning experiences that transcend into all areas of the children's life by the use of modern mobile technology while at the same time establishing traditional institutions (like schools, libraries, museums, etc.) as hubs for information gathering and collaborative interactions. Learning is thus not confined to a traditional institutional setting but the children's living environment, i.e. the city itself, becomes an enchanted place allowing for discovering hidden knowledge in a playful manner, thus making lust to learn. Smart cities, in our vision, become creative environments for realizing new ways of interacting with information (and with others), integrating real and virtual as well as social and emotional aspects.

Several initiatives like GeometryCity, Monsters of Art (Engaging children in artworks; digital treasure hunt with relational agent; from museum to the city), StreetArt Aalborg, Sounds of the city

Supporting Cultural Immersion of For Immigrants (SCIFI)

Between 2007 and 2009 around 60.000 immigrants were coming to Denmark each year (Grunnet 2010). The main integration activities for these new citizens are language courses run by the communities, which are offered free of charge or with a minimal fee. The goal of these courses is to put the new comers into a position, where they can participate in everyday Danish life. But although the courses establish a thorough theoretical understanding of the language, they often lack the possibilities to motivate the students in their everyday activities to apply this knowledge in real cultural settings and thus to pro-actively participate in their host society.
To cope with this applicability problem, we suggest an approach based on our previous work on intercultural communication (e.g. Rehm et al. 2009) that puts the cultural and language learning task in the context of its actual use by embracing new and innovative training methods – like situated and experience-based learning – that have been shown to be more effective in terms of cultural integration (Landis et al 2004). Imagine e.g. a situation where the student stands in line at the train station in order to purchase a ticket. This can be seen as an ideal situation to trigger a Danish learning session on buying a train ticket. The student has some time for this session as he is waiting for his turn, he is in the right context for the knowledge that is conveyed and he is able to apply the knowledge shortly afterwards in a real situation.
On a theoretical level, SCIFI aims at an integrated model of cultural interactions by taking the system and user perspective into account. This is based on our previous experience with culture aware interactive technology and mobile embodied interactions and will pave the way for learning activities that are integrated into the student’s everyday activities.
On a practical level, we develop a mobile solution for smart phones that proposes Danish multimedia exercises to the student based on an interpretation of the student’s context at that time and taking the student’s background in terms of language expertise, cultural integration and learning preferences into account.

Events

1st International Conference for Smart Learning Ecosystems and Regional Development, 27-28 May 2016,
Timisoara, Romania

Preliminary CfP: The conference recognizes the relevance of smart learning ecosystems involving formal and informal learning places for regional development and social innovation, including the education of present and future smart citizens.

The conference is going to host

  • Interactive paper presentations
  • Hackaton for students and professionals
  • Round table with EU representatives
  • Interactive talks with regional authorities on smart cities and smart citizens

The City's Intangible Cultural Heritage, Special Session on Culture and Computing, 17-19 October 2015, Kyoto, Japan

The session departs from the new research direction of smart city learning that adds a new human-centered perspective to the so far functionalist vision of smart cities. The smart city learning approach does not address learning only as a way to train an adequate human capital but instead envisions learning as one of the driving forces of the smartness and well-being of a community. Unavoidably the underlying and ubiquitous techno-ecosystems - whose embedded intelligence, sensitivity and responsiveness surround the individuals - challenge the future of learning and call for a redefinition of spaces, contents, processes, skills and assessment approaches. In relation to this general idea, the organized session is going to focus on a specific aspect of this challenge: how to capture, represent, and disseminate the intangible cultural heritage of a city. In contrast to tangible cultural heritage (buildings, sites etc.), intangible cultural heritage focuses on cultural practices. The intangible cultural heritage of the city can thus be seen as something constituted by the inhabitants of the city in their daily living routines, giving meaning to places found in the city. This “meaning making” is subject to constant changes, some subtle, some more drastic (e.g. structural changes when a city loses its industrial traditions). For this special session we invite contributions that focus on how this intangible heritage of the city (and thus its inhabitants) can be captured, represented, and disseminated in order to learn about (historical or modern) practices in relation to the actual urban scape.

Mobiscool: 1st Workshop on Mobile, Social and Culturally Oriented Learning, Mobile HCI, 24-27 August 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark

There are two simultaneous transformative changes occuring in Education: the use of mobile and tablet devices for accessing educational content, and the rise of the MOOCs. Happening independently and in parallel are significant advances in interaction technologies through smartphones and tablets, and the rise in the use of social-media and social-network analytics in several domains. Given the extent of personal context that is available on the mobile device, how can the education experience be personalised, made social, and tailored to the cultural context of the learner? The goal of this proposal is twofold: (a) To understand the usage, and student behaviour in this new environment (MOOCS and mobile devices) and (b) To design experiments and implement them to make these new tools more effective by tailoring them to the individual student’s personal, social and cultural settings and preferences.

Critical and Participatory Development of People Centered Smart Learning Ecosystems and Territories , Workshop on Critical Alternatives Conference, 17-21 August 2015, Aarhus, Denmark

The main objective of the workshop is to involve a sample of relevant stakeholders - policy makers, entrepreneurs, researchers, teachers, students, etc. - in a collective effort aimed at developing
an agenda - time and modes - for the use of ICT in a critical and participatory manner to develop person-centered "smart" learning ecosystems, as open systems in osmosis with the community of
reference and, finally, as a driver of social innovation and territorial development. All this assuming that: a) by mean of a critical and participatory approach to the use of ICT one can come to the identification of the driving factors that in the past have produced time and space singularities (eg. Renaissance, Belle Epoque, Big Deal, etc.) that attracted people to experience a collective state of "flow”; b) the smartness of a learning ecosystems has a strong correlation with that of its region of reference; c) smartness is an emergent property of any entity that that interact with ICT infrastructures but is not fully determined by this latter. During the workshop, unavoidably, the participants will reflect also on the interplay between globality and locality and, as well, on that between virtuality and physicality.

Collaborations (Selection)

  • Carlo Giovannella, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Italy
  • Amit A. Nanavati, IBM India
  • Nitendra Rajput, IBM India
  • Markku Turunen, University of Tampere, Finland
  • Kunsten Museum of Contemporary Art, Aalborg, Denmark
  • VisitAalborg, Denmark
  • Historical Museum Aalborg, Denmark
  • Skipper Clement International School, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Sprogcenter Aalborg,Denmark

Related Publications

Rehm, M., & Rodil, K. (in press). Introducing the Tripartite Digitization Model for Engaging with the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the City. In Proceedings of the 5th EAI International Conference ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation. Springer.

Nadarajah, S. G., Overgaard, B. N., Pedersen, P. W., Schnatterbeck, C. G. H., & Rehm, M.  (in press). Enriching location-based games with navigational game activities. In Proceedings of the 5th EAI International Conference ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation. Springer.

Rehm, M., & Jensen, M. L. (2016). Accessing Cultural Artifacts Through Digital Companions: The Effects on Children’s Engagement. In Culture and Computing. IEEE Computer Society Press, 72-79.

Damgård, M., Nielsen, E., van Heijster, S., Rodil, K., & Rehm, M. (2016). Preserving Heritage Through Technology in a City Undergoing Change. In Culture and Computing. IEEE Computer Society Press, 183-186.

Giovannella, C., Andone, D., Dascalu, M., Popescu, E., Rehm, M., & Roccasalva, G. (2016). Smartness of Learning Ecosystems and its bottom-up emergence in six European Campuses. Interaction Design and Architecture(s),27(5), 79-92.

Rehm, M., Stan, C., Wøldike, N. P., & Vasilarou, D. (2015). Towards Smart City Learning: A Van Hiele Inspired Location-Aware Game. In International Conference on Entertainment Computing, Springer, 399-406.

Giovannella, C., & Rehm, M. (2015). Critical and participatory development of people-centered smart learning ecosystems and territories. In Critical Alternatives. Aarhus University.

Giovannella, C., Andone, D., Dascalu, M., Popescu, E., Rehm, M., & Roccasalva, G. (2015). Smartness of Learning Ecosystems and its bottom-up emergence in six European Campuses. Workshop on Smart Learning Ecosystems in Smart Regions and Cities at EC-TEL.

Nanavati, A. A., Rajput, N., Turunen, M., Knoche, H., & Rehm, M. (2015). Mobiscool: 1st Workshop on Mobile, Social and Culturally Oriented Learning. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct. (pp. 1187-1190). New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.

Rehm, M., Jensen, M., Wøldike, N. P., Vasiralou, D., & Stan, C. (2014). Smart Cities for Smart Children. EC-TEL Workshop on Smart City Learning, Graz, Austria.

Eskildsen, S., & Rehm, M. (2013). Challenges for Contextualizing Language Learning. In M. Kurosu (Ed.), Human-Computer Interaction. Applications and Services: 15th International Conference, HCI International 2013, Las Vegas, NV, USA, July 21-26, 2013, Proceedings, Part II. (Part III ed., Vol. 8005, pp. 361-369). Springer Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Publishing Company. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)).

Eskildsen, S., Rodil, K., & Rehm, M. (2013). Identification and Analysis of Primary School Children’s Knowledge Acquisition: Using Knowledge Visualization Scenarios and Information Visualization Methodology. In S. Hai-Jew (Ed.), Packaging Digital Information for Enhanced Learning and Analysis: Data Visualization, Spatialization, Predictiveness, and Multidimensionality. IGI global. (Advances in Educational Technologies and Instructional Design). 10.4018/978-1-4666-4462-5.ch015

Rehm, M., & Konnerup, U. (2013). Immersive Virtual Worlds for (E-) Learning: Towards an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda. In Immersive Environments, Augmented Realities and Virtual Worlds: Assessing Future Trends in Education. (pp. 238-256). Chapter 14.IGI global. 10.4018/978-1-4666-2670-6.ch014

Eskildsen, S., Rodil, K., & Rehm, M. (2012). Virtual Savannah - Logging User Interaction in a Learning Visualization for Children. In J. Wimmer, K. Mitgutsch, & H. Rosenstingl (Eds.), Applied Playfulness: Proceedings of the Vienna Games Conference 2011: Future and Reality of Gaming. (First Edition ed., pp. 308). Wien: New Academic Press.

Eskildsen, S., Rodil, K., & Rehm, M. (2012). Visualizing learner activities with a virtual learning environment: Experiences from an in situ test with school children. In 12th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies. (pp. 660-661). IEEE Computer Society Press. 10.1109/ICALT.2012.120

Rehm, M., & Leichtenstern, K. (2012). Gesture-based mobile training of intercultural behavior. Multimedia Systems, 18(1), 33-51. 10.1007/s00530-011-0239-8

Rodil, K., Eskildsen, S., & Rehm, M. (2012). Virtual Savannah: In Situ Test of a Virtual Learning 3D Visualization for children. In K. Mitgutsch, H. Rosenstingl, & J. Wimmer (Eds.), Applied Playfulness: Proceedings of the Vienna Games Conference 2011: Future and Reality of Gaming. (pp. 67-74). New Academic Press.

Bidwell, N. J., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Kapuire, G. K., & Rehm, M. (2011). Pushing Personhood into Place: Situating Media in the Transfer of Rural Knowledge in Africa. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 69(10), 618-631. 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2011.02.002

Leichtenstern, K., André, E., & Rehm, M. (2011). Tool-Supported User-Centred Prototyping of Mobile Applications. International Journal of Handheld Computing Research, 2(3). 10.4018/jhcr.2011070101

Leichtenstern, K., André, E., & Rehm, M. (2010). Using Hybrid Simulations for Early User Evaluations of Pervasive Interactions. In NordiCHI 2010: Extending Boundaries - Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. (pp. 315-324). Association for Computing Machinery. 10.1145/1868914.1868952

Rehm, M. (2010). Nonsymbolic Gestural Interaction for Ambient Intelligence. In H. Aghajan, R. L-C. Delgado, & J. C. Augusto (Eds.), Human-Centric Interfaces for Ambient Intelligence. (pp. 327-345). Chapter 13.Academic Press, Incorporated.

Rehm, M., Leichtenstern, K., Plomer, J., & Wiedemann, C. (2010). Gesture Activated Mobile Edutainment (GAME): Intercultural Training of Nonverbal Behavior with Mobile Phones. In 9th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia. Association for Computing Machinery.

Endrass, B., André, E., & Rehm, M. (2010). Towards Culturally-Aware Virtual Agent Systems. In E. Blanchard, & D. Allard (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Culturally-Aware Information Technology. (pp. 412-428). New York: Idea Group Publishing.

Endrass, B., Damian, I., Huber, P., Rehm, M., & André, E. (2010). Generating Culture-Specific Gestures for Virtual Agent Dialogs. In Intelligent Virtual Agents. (pp. 329-335). Springer. 10.1007/978-3-642-15892-6_34

Leichtenstern, K., André, E., & Rehm, M. (2010). Using Hybrid Simulations for Early User Evaluations of Pervasive Interactions. In NordiCHI 2010: Extending Boundaries - Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. (pp. 315-324). Association for Computing Machinery. 10.1145/1868914.1868952

Lipi, A. A., Nakano, Y., & Rehm, M. (2010). Culture and Social Relationship as Factors of Affecting Communicative Non-Verbal Behaviors. Transactions of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence, 25(6), 712-722.

Lipi, A. A., Nakano, Y., & Rehm, M. (2010). A Socio-Cultural Model Based on Empirical Data of Cultural and Social Relationship. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (6259), 71-84. 10.1007/978-3-642-17184-0_6

Rehm, M. (2010). Nonsymbolic Gestural Interaction for Ambient Intelligence. In H. Aghajan, R. L-C. Delgado, & J. C. Augusto (Eds.), Human-Centric Interfaces for Ambient Intelligence. (pp. 327-345). Chapter 13.Academic Press, Incorporated.

Rehm, M. (2010). Developing Enculturated Agents: Pitfalls and Strategies. In E. Blanchard, & D. Allard (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Culturally-Aware Information Technology. (pp. 362-386). New York: Idea Group Publishing.

Rehm, M., Leichtenstern, K., Plomer, J., & Wiedemann, C. (2010). Gesture Activated Mobile Edutainment (GAME): Intercultural Training of Nonverbal Behavior with Mobile Phones. In 9th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia. Association for Computing Machinery.