Our second transnational project meeting in Helsinki (virtually)

Many thanks to our Helsinki team for hosting our second transnational project meeting virtually!

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we were unable to visit the beautiful city of Helsinki and meet, eat, and connect in person. Yet, despite all the challenges of remote working and increased workload, all our project consortium members joined our meetings on 4 and 5 June, and we made a lot of progress for our assessment and recognition tools and frameworks, research and impact as well as dissemination work.

Our meetings are not finished; we will meet again on 16 June to look at the initial prototype of our web app! Exciting!

We will also start planning for our training event in Barcelona and the co-production workshops in all partner countries. We will plan for various scenarios given the current and ever-changing social distancing measures.

If you are interested in participating in our activities, continue to watch this space. Stay healthy, stay safe, and we hope to meet and interact with you in the coming months.

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5 June 2020, as part of the ENACT Transnational Project Meeting 2

Technologies ahead! (part 2)

Following the recent concerning and uncertain events happening in the world we may expect at least one sure thing: the needs and demands for the interactive technologies for education, work, communication and entertainment will only rise. Today we continue our story about the technologies we used during our workshops with the ones that our participants were particularly curious to try – as itself 360/VR video is.

360 VR at Barcelona workshop

360 degree video (also known as immersive video) are videos which provide a panorama spherical view of the surroundings. Such video recording is shot using an omnidirectional (360 degree) camera or a collection of cameras, which captures a view in every direction at the same time – basically everything on its way. 360 degree video offers immersive realistic experience and allows you to look and explore any direction you choose.

You can watch 360/VR videos via the Youtube app on your phone using Google Cardboard.
Please find the example of 360/VR video on our website: https://enacteuropa.com/summer-solstice/

OUR PILOT WORKSHOP IN BARCELONA WAS HELD IN FEBRUARY!

After having 7 participants talk and share their own cultural activities and thoughts about creating content for the app, Barcelona is ready to analyse their data.

Gathering around a typical Catalan winter activity called the “Calçotada”, participants had the opportunity to try new devices such as the Google Cardboard. They were also able to talk about their digital needs in order to create interactive videos and 360º recordings. Even though the experience with the 360/VR headset was the most engaging activity, speaking about their favourite cultural activity was also an important part of the discussion during the meeting.

This multicultural encounter was a great success, with participants from different parts of the world; Hungary, Colombia, Poland, United States, Granada -Spain and Catalonia, who all came together to come up with different ideas on how to create activities with the app in order to explain their own countries’ ways of living.

We could not be more glad and thankful to these wonderful participants, as all this information will be useful for analysis, together with our partners in the UK, Finland and Turkey. We are eager to see the results.

360 video of CALL class visit to iLab:learn

Our students at Newcastle University studying MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL visited the iLab: learn last Tuesday as part of their Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) module. They explored our technology-enhanced learning projects: VEO Europa, Linguacuisine, and of course ENACT 🙂

The visit coincided with Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day). Our students used the Linguacuisine French recipe to cook crepes / pancakes, learned French, and enjoyed cooking and eating with the Digital Kitchen. They also explored our ENACT activities, and learned to record a 360 video.

We also had the opportunity to use our 360 cameras and capture their lived experience using 360 video technology. For a glimpse into the immersive Linguacuisine experience, see our 360 Youtube video below. Try it out using a 360/VR headset, such as Google Cardboard.

You can also check out the information on the Linguacuisine website for this event.

Technologies ahead! (part 1)

During the needs analysis workshops in January-February, our participants introduced to a variety of different media tools: interactive image, interactive slide, interactive video, normal video, 360/VR video, and 360 picture. One of the workshops’ result will be assessment of those technologies to understand the requirements of our prospective ENACT app users.

As many of the workshop participants experienced some of the technologies for the first time, we thought it may be interesting for everyone to learn more about the media tools we suggested to use. We will start from the interactive image, slide and video and H5P technology that allows to create all that interactive content.

participants using Output 1 content

Interactive image is a way to make an online image interactive by adding hotspots to images. Hotspots may reveal texts, images and videos when clicked. For example, it can be used in teaching and learning new languages and cultural activities.

Interactive slide allows users to add multiple choice questions, fill in the blanks, text, and other types of interactions to their presentations using only a web browser.

Interactive video provides interaction and engagement with users. They may play like regular files, but include clickable areas (or hotspots) that perform an action when you click on them.

Please find the examples of interactive images, slides and videos on our website: https://enacteuropa.com/chinese-lantern/

Want to learn about our workshops in Turkey and the UK? Do read along..

We have completed two more workshops in order to understand the requirements of our prospective ENACT app users: one in Newcastle and one in Istanbul.

The workshop in the UK took place on 25 January with 11 participants from N.E.S.T and Action Foundation. It was such a multilingual event with speakers of English, Arabic, and Farsi, but also some Turkish and Chinese. We used the N.E.S.T building at Newcastle University, and N.E.S.T were amazing in supporting our organisation from providing language support to child care. We cannot thank them enough! And of course special thanks to our participants, who we hope enjoyed being part of our workshop. Two of our Applied Linguistics students, Trang Nguyen and Rixin An, were very supportive, too!

It was a great experience working together. We talked about the favourite cultural activities of the community and what activities of other cultures they would like to learn. The participants found our digital activities (prototypes) to be engaging, but the 360 video they watched on Google Cardboard, and the 360 camera appeared to attract the most attention! Although they enjoyed engaging with this media, producing 360 videos appeared to be a challenge. Another important feedback for us was to include the video of the final product first to put the artefact in context, and then present the digital activities on how to carry it out.

The workshop in Turkey took place on 4 February 2020. Boğaziçi University is working closely with a primary school in Turkey, who have a significant number of Syrian children. The head of school has strong leadership, and is keen to enhance the integration of the Syrian and Turkish communities both in his school and in the neighbourhood. Working with pupils’ parents, the workshop took place at the school. During the workshop, as participants talked about their own cultural activities, they also discussed commonalities in both cultures. Their existing knowledge of each other’s cultures appeared to enhance social and cultural climate of the workshop activities. Not all participants needed the interactivity added on the interactive videos, and rewinding back and forth seemed to be sufficient for this group. We will appraise the added value of interactive videos further as we develop our app.

We are currently analysing the data from the three workshops. Once the workshop in Barcelona is complete, we will incorporate it into our current analysis, and will be ready to share our report.

“I really enjoyed the session and all the people involved. It was lovely to see people from all cultures and backgrounds in a safe environment. … It was a wonderful experience. Let’s build more wonderful experiences!”

Post-workshop email correspondence, UK

Looking forward to creating more wonderful experiences together!

 

Workshop in Helsinki on 9 January 2020

We are making more progress with our understanding requirements workshops!

On January 9, 2020 the understanding requirements workshop took place in Helsinki, Finland. The workshop was organised by University of Helsinki and Cultura Foundation. The aim of the study was to find out the users’ cultural and digital needs to guide the app design.

Output 1_Helsinki

During the workshop the Russian and Finnish speaking participants discussed cultural activities, tried out different media tools, and created simple online interactive activities themselves. We received detailed data regarding user experience on interactive activities, feedback on media formats including 360 video, and participants’ comments and wishes for the future app.

Output 1_Helsinki_2.jpgOutput 1_Helsinki_3.jpg

We are looking forward to further collaboration with the ENACT team in the coming months.

Cultura Foundation & University of Helsinki

Understanding requirements workshops

We are pleased to share that we are running our understanding requirements workshops in January in all partner countries: UK, Finland, Spain, and Turkey!

We have already run a pilot study in the UK in December, which helped us finalise our procedures and materials.

360 image_took some time to find the interactivity_better in full screen

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We are all excited about the workshops and hope to share more updates with you as we progress.

The UK workshop is going to be on 25 January 2020. To book a place, please send an email to us: enacteuropa@newcastle.ac.uk

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Success and Progress!

It has been about two months since the ENACT project started, and we have already made a lot of progress!

We had an online project meeting on 20 September, and our project kick-off meeting in Newcastle Upon Tyne on 24-25 October 2019. We had two full meeting days and covered lots of detail. We discussed our outputs, planned for dissemination, identified ways to evaluate impact, and made key decisions. Of course, we did not forget to have some fun and socialise!

We have also had two presentations introducing the project. The first one was on 8 October 2019 at Newcastle University as part of the Applied Linguistics and Communication Seminar Series. Prof Paul Seedhouse started off with the Linguacuisine project, and Dr Müge Satar then introduced ENACT. We presentation was very well received.

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Dr. Müge Satar gave another talk about the project on 7 November 2019 as part of the ESRC Festival of Science activities. The discussion was lively and stimulating, and it was nice to see interest in the project from a wider audience.

And of course we have launched our website and social media accounts. You can now follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube!

Finally, we have created some prototype digital cultural activities to use as part of our understanding requirements study. All partners are now getting ready organise a workshop with their migrant and host community members so that we can produce a web app that is suitable to the requirements of our target users.