Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Knowledge Media Research Centre, Tubingen, Germany

Spending some time learning about the innovative projects that are happening at the Knowledge Media Research Centre. One that I hadn't heard about was the project being undertaken by Lars, who is using video technologies for students to record what they are learning. He is also developing a electronic tracking system which I think is really exciting – it allows people who are tracking/observing visitors in exhibitions to use a PDA and set of icons/symbols that they click on when visitors are doing something (e.g. pointing, reading, talking, etc). These are also time-stamped so you can record what they are doing when and for how long. Lars is using open source software in designing the tracking system and hopes to make it available for others to test and give feedback.

Spoke with Daniel who is looking at mobile technologies and museums. He has co-authored a paper which has promised to send me and I'll post the link. Eva also mentioned a good paper from the ICHIM conference that summarised what museums were doing in the areas of handheld technologies. I think it's this paper, although there are some other good papers on this website! Also met Eva who is working on this project, as well as Christine doing work on discussion kiosks and controversial topics; and Mika who is working on film and inferences. Mika isn't part of the museum component of the KMRC but I still think what she's doing has relevance for us.

It's interesting as they have a whole lab here where they can set up experiments using small exhibitions and testing out technological solutions to measuring what visitors learn from an exhibition. I tried out the i-tracker which was this cool set of glasses with built-in camera that records what the visitor is looking at. Used in conjunction with other tools, such as observation and interviews, is a potential way to do some evaluation. They have only tried it a few times however, and seems to me a neat idea but I'm unsure of the practicalities of it (let alone the cost).

Overall a really useful visit and hope to have more to do with these researchers (plus come back to the lovely city of Tubingen).

1 comment:

LyndaK said...

Daniel sent me the reference to the paper: Wessel, D., & Mayr, E. (2007). Potentials and Challenges of Mobile Media
in Museums. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies,
1(1), 32-39.
The link to the paper is here