Emerging technologies: Location based learning

I thought I’d give Pokémon Go a go, so to speak, to see what all the fuss seemed to be about: Purely in the interests of investigative research to provide some initial reflection on what Veletsianos explores in the concept of emerging technologies and emerging practices ( Veletsianos, G. (Ed), (2016)‘Emergence and Innovation in Digital Learning’, AU Press).

Pokeman Go screen shot 1

Pokeman Go screen shot 1 showing location of character

Pokeman Go screen shot

Pokeman Go screen shot 2 showing captured Pokémon, which is just one element of the game.

Emerging technology and practices may or may not be new, but they are new to the context in which they are applied. They :

  • are continuing to evolve within the application context,
  • have not been fully explored or are understood to optimise their benefits,
  • have untapped realistic potential.

Location based learning is certainly an emerging technology and practice, so how might the principles demonstrated within Pokémon Go (a location based game) be transferred to location based learning within the groundsmanship industry?

A few initial thoughts:

  • ‘Capturing’ of weeds, pests, diseases, other plants, pitch conditions, which would be stored in the cloud, as well within an app. What would be the purpose of this? This could be used to help the collector learn more about these instances, plus it could aid others within the industry through collaborative learning.
  • Trends could be built up of site conditions (and quality standards) over time. This could then be related to maintenance inputs and usage. Being able to compare different data sets would be a helpful learning process.
  • Other learners could be identified within a certain area, if active and if permission is given to be show as active and willing to share. This could aid in developing a network of learners. I could see this as being of particular use within the context of a trade show, sports events, or similar gathering of large crowds.
  • Capturing and sharing of good practices, similar positive achievements are regularly shown on Twitter demonstrating a new mowing pattern or how well presented a sports pitch is. Groundsmen are clearly proud of what they achieve and like to publicise this widely.
  • Sensors could be used to capture environmental data – temperature, sun hours, relative humidity, soil temperature, etc. All of this data could be represented visually and related to potential disease or pest attack. All being used as a learning aid. There are already a number of weather related sites and apps available, but integrating them into a location based learning app, or similar, will significantly increase their effectiveness and learning potential.
  • Interactive questions, location / situation based, could be available to help develop the learning process.
  • Could data collection be transferred to an online learning management system which contributes to an individual’s CPD (Continuous Professional Development)?

Having an app which engages an individual, and team or network of like minded individuals, would potentially increase the understanding of a particular area, or situation, developing and reinforcing learning. Part of the aim would be to ensure that it is fun and not onerous in engaging with the app.

Plenty of room for research and exploration, but for now I think I’ll just go for a stroll and hunt some Pokémon!

Chris Gray, July 17, 2016

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