Digital Debris

Embodiment, digital games and technology in ELT

IATEFL 2015 (Manchester) Slides

I've received a few requests to share my slides from this year's fabulous IATEFL conference in Manchester so I've converted them to video and embedded them below. I usually keep text to an absolute minimum so those who missed my presentation may feel a bit lost in places (the dog's appearance isn't as random as it might seem). I still intend to do a write-up to expand on some of the ideas that I didn't have time to explore in the depth I think they deserved, especially the theoretical underpinnings behind my work with augmented reality and location-based experiential learning in general. This will probably be in June as I plan to take a month off to do some freelance writing and play around with some new techy ideas!

For now I've pasted in the abstract and a short(ish) summary of some of the things I covered. 

While the idea of augmented reality has received considerable hype, its practical, pedagogical application in the context of ELT has remained largely unexplored. During this talk, I will discuss and demonstrate how AR can be meaningfully integrated into the learning process through content delivery, task design and student-centred project-based learning approaches.

Augmented reality (AR) is the real-time superimposition of digital media over real-world physical environments. While AR has received considerable attention in recent years and a surge of interest from the ELT community, this enthusiasm has not often been matched with practical examples of its purposeful application for the ELT classroom. Tentative commercial efforts, which largely depend on high-end interactive 3D graphics and animations beyond the capability of the average teacher, have predominantly focused on content delivery for the STEM subjects.

If AR is to find a place in ELT we need to better explore the unique affordances of the technology from a perspective that acknowledges the dynamic interaction between the learner, action and the physical environment. In this talk, I will discuss the foundational role of embodiment in understanding how experience and context are constructed through the interplay of the digital and physical worlds and how this can empower teachers and learners to create engaging and personally meaningful augmented spaces and materials.

To illustrate my ideas, I will provide practical examples from AR projects that I have developed with language learners from different levels and backgrounds and share what was learned from these hands-on experiences. I will conclude by discussing the future potential of AR and provide ideas for how it can be used to create responsive mixed-reality surroundings to promote active learning and increase engagement.