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DigiCULT
.
Info
16
demic, and software development partners
Europe-wide.
10
The ASTRAL
Pilot
A
s a learning content management
technology developer and vendor,
and the digital arm of a large edu-
cational and cultural heritage publishing
group, GIUNTI Interactive Labs joined
the WebKit project to take up and exploit
the innovative approach to teaching initial-
ly conceived by Warwick and Cambridge
Universities.This work was focused on the
development of a formal method based on
a simple process in which pupils face pro-
blems and co-operatively formulate and
justify answers.Within the scope of the
ASTRAL
Pilot, JADE methodology
(Justification, based on Argument, ari-
sing out of Discussion, based on
INTRODUCTION
A
lthough technological innovation
has developed at an unprecedent-
ed pace in recent decades, it has
seldom managed to change dramatically
the way we teach and learn. In the 1980s,
Technology Based Learning (TBL) began
to benefit from the advent of standard and
affordable multimedia technologies empo-
wering highly effective educational appli-
cations (edutainment and infotainment)
where people could learn while being
entertained. In the 1990s, the rapid uptake
of the Web within educational and acade-
mic settings also created a disruptive and
fundamental leap forward in the levels of
pervasiveness and dissemination that desi-
gners and teachers could achieve while
conceiving technology-supported educa-
tional set-ups. Educational technologies
are currently beginning a new quantum
leap based upon the recent Copernican
revolution which has hit the ICT market-
place, namely broadband, wireless, and
ambient technologies. New opportunities
have now been made possible that drama-
tically increase interactivity, collaboration
and personalisation, and can be used to
create a technology-enabled educational
experience.
T
his article presents the ASTRAL
Pilot (Ambient Smart Tags
Repositories for Art Learning)
designed and implemented by GIUNTI
Interactive Labs within the framework of
the WebKit - IST-2001-34171 project
(http://www.projectwebkit.com/).The
ASTRAL Pilot aims to achieve major
results in the development of intuitive
physical interfaces to the Web by means of
tangible user interfaces (TUIs) and smart
tags,
9
and groups leading educational, aca-
Evidence
) was migrated from the original
TUIs (used by academic partners) to a
TUI- and Radio Frequency Identification
(RFID)-based location learning applica-
tion.This application exploits the Learn
eXact Learning Content Management
System platform
(http://www.learnexact.com/) and its
powerful Mobile eXact layer (developed by
GIUNTI within the MOBIlearn project:
http://www.mobilearn.org/)
11
to help
U
S I N G
RFID S
M A RT
T
AG S F O R
A
M B I E N T
L
E A R N I N G
& T
R A I N I N G
D
AVID
L
UIGI
F
USCHI
, S
ENIOR
R&D P
ROJECT
M
ANAGER
GIUNTI I
NTERACTIVE
L
ABS
S
RL
& F
ABRIZIO
C
ARDINALI
, C
HIEF
E
XECUTIVE
O
FFICER
GIUNTI I
NTERACTIVE
L
ABS
S
RL
, IMS T
ECHNICAL
B
OARD
C
O
-C
HAIR
8
Fig. 1 - The JADE Educational Model for Experience Based Learning
8http://www.giuntilabs.com, http://www.imsglobal.org
9DigiCULT Technology Watch Report 1
(http://www.digicult.info/pages/techwatch.php) includes
more information on these topics in Chapter 3: Smart
Labels and Smart Tags and Chapter 5: Human Interfaces.
10 The partners include: the University of Strathclyde
(http://www.strath.ac.uk/); the University of Cambridge
(http://www.cam.ac.uk/); the University of Warwick
(http://www.warwick.ac.uk/); Central Research
Laboratories (http://www.crl.co.uk/); Geneva University
(http://www.unige.ch/); iTel (http://www.itel.gr); EAE
(http://www.projectwebkit.com/projectpartners/eae.php)
and Neurosoft (http://www.neurosoft.pl/).
11For more on the MOBIlearn project, see `The Service-
based Architecture of the MOBIlearn project' also in this
issue.
ASTRAL T
r
ial
- WEBKIT
Pr
oject,
2004