By John Pettit, MAODE Programme Director
Research at the Institute of Educational Technology feeds into our Master’s programme in numerous ways. For example, the EU-funded MASELTOV project explored the use of mobile technology to help migrants learn a language and develop their understanding of their new cultural context. The Open University – one of 14 partners in the project – trialled the MASELTOV Android app in Milton Keynes in the UK. The Spanish-speaking participants, who had recently come to Milton Keynes from Latin America, were each given a phone loaded with the app. As they moved around Milton Keynes, the app gave them various location-based prompts and opportunities for learning English.
Our Master’s students examine this project within the broad topic of location-based learning – and they also explore some of the issues around data privacy. This is highlighted in, for example, the map showing the path of one of the phones (and presumably one of the participants) that moved around Milton Keynes. Students also get to appreciate the elegance of MK’s gridroads – and those famous roundabouts.