The Situ8 web portal was demonstrated as part of the OU’s OpenScience Lab launch, held at the Royal Society in London today. The launch was attended by over 150 delegates from academia, industry, funding bodies, the media, and scientific organisations such as the Royal Geographical Society, Earthwatch, British Antarctic Survey, Royal Society of Chemistry and the British Science Association.
More information about the launch – and the Situ8 demo – can be found on the ScienceOmega website. The OpenScience Lab website is at http://www.opensciencelab.ac.uk. The OpenScience Lab is an online platform for practical science and is jointed funded by The Open University and the Wolfson Foundation.
The first new public demo of the Situ8 web portal was unveiled today, at a workshop at the Open University, on Technology Enhanced Learning in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, co-hosted by eSTEeM and the HEA. The presentation also referenced the prototype Situ8 Android app and the affordances of both, in terms of their functionality and the user experience, together with some example scenarios of use.
Situ8 is a tool designed to enable the delivery and creation of geolocated user-generated content, referred to as Media Objects or MOs. It can be used for both formal and informal learning, citizen science and collection of fieldwork data. It can also be used for audio guides, capturing content around community or digital heritage, where users can upload and share multimedia content (images, video, audio, text and numerical data) that is specific to particular places on a map. Users can also browse/download existing MOs and filter then according to date, author, subject and/or tag.
The Slideshare presentation from this talk can be found here.
As part of my department’s internal seminar series, I was invited, with Anne Adams, to give a talk about our forthcoming paper in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ToCHI). The paper is entitled ‘Of catwalk technologies and boundary creatures’ and examines the role of both researchers in working with communities ‘in the wild’, how they act as facilitators/providers of innovative, ‘hi tech’ solutions, which we have termed ‘catwalk technologies’, and how they juggle the expectations of different stakeholders in ‘in the wild’ research, including end users, funders and academic colleagues.
In the paper, we refer to a ‘researcher design roles’ model, where we look at both interaction practices and the design of innovative/bespoke/hi tech solutions vs scalable/sustainable solutions.
Slides from the talk can be found here and the pre-print of the paper is here (or view it on the ACM Digital Library.)
I attended the CHI2013 conference in Paris, France a couple of weeks ago, where I had a paper accepted to the GeoHCI workshop, co-authored with my colleague Anne Adams. The workshop was fantastic – great people, great projects – although I did find the main conference a bit overwhelming (with around 3400 attendees, that’s maybe not surprising). It was an intense, colourful and engaging spectacle of a conference, with many diverse research areas and fantastic presentations. I did have a few concerns over the way statistics seemed to be somewhat used and abused by people who should have known better, but overall the papers were of a very high standard. Two of my favourite papers came from the alt.chi stream: ‘Devotional gardening tools’ (paper / video preview) and the incredibly entertaining “CHI and the Future Robot Enslavement of Humankind; A Retrospective” (paper / SlideShare).
Earlier this week I was invited to visit members of the BBC Knowledge and Learning team in Salford Quays, Manchester, to demonstrate my Situ8 app. I was part of a wider OU visit that included representation from the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi), Open Media Unit (OMU) and other colleagues, including our Head of Broadcasting Caroline Ogilvie. The visit was a great exchange of ideas and new innovations and we look forward to working with the BBC on these more in the future – watch this space!
I had a great time visiting the University of Birmingham earlier this week, where I gave a talk to members of the HCI Centre. My talk was on ‘Learning in the wild: designing for location-based experiences’ and the slides for it can be found here.