Mobile AR Trails and Games for Authentic Language Learning
Today’s proliferation of mobile, and especially smart, devices opens up new educational opportunities. This chapter explores the benefits of pedagogically rich mobile learning (m-learning) designs where the devices, the learners, and the learning experience are all mobile; where the constructs of personalization, collaboration, and authenticity are all foregrounded; and where weak interaction is complemented by strong interaction. Many of the best examples of such designs can be found in mobile augmented reality (AR) learning trails and games.
The chapter showcases language and literacy learning on gamified AR learning trails, some of which have a mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) focus, and some of which have a more general learning focus, but all of which incorporate elements of language and literacy education. Following a brief overview of significant examples from around the world, the chapter focuses on recent trails in Asia, including the Singaporean Heritage Trails, the Hong Kong TIEs (Trails of Integrity and Ethics), the Indonesian Mega Trails, and the Japanese Fukuchiyama Castle Rally. On such trails, students typically learn collaboratively in real-world settings while practicing language, developing digital literacies and twenty-first-century skills, and often exploring culture at the same time. The chapter outlines how these gamified trails are structured to enable students to draw the greatest learning benefits from digitally supported, authentic, situated interactions. It is suggested that successful mobile AR learning designs depend fundamentally on a willingness to view mobile devices not as screens which separate people from the world, but as lenses which connect people with the world and which focus attention on new ways of implementing teaching and learning experiences outside the regular spaces and times of education.
KeywordsMobile Augmented reality (AR) Learning trails Games Authenticity
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