What is Context-Awareness?

Context-aware environments and devices, broadly being explored in experimental settings, are erasing the boundaries between people and the things they use. Already, mobile devices routinely make decisions based on contextual clues such as the user’s location and orientation or the date and time of day. Devices that sense temperature, ambient conditions, acceleration and movement, and much more are increasingly common.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - alan alan Jan 27, 2010

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Working with some of the other technologies listed here, this has a great deal of potential for ease of data collection and a richness of data collection that hasn't been available to learners of all ages. It has the potential to be part of a transformation of STEM education. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 6, 2010
  • This has huge potential to support learning in the real world and to offer authentic learning experiences- stephen.breslin stephen.breslin Feb 10, 2010

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Context can mean a lot more than just data on the immediate physical environment - the pattern of behaviour displayed by an individual user, the shape of their network, the tone of their interactions, the material presented to them based on their past actions will all shape their experience. There's likely to be a challenge for teachers here in understanding that their experience of the technology may be quite different to their students: teachers will need also to help students understand the mediated nature of what they're experiencing- stephen.breslin stephen.breslin Feb 10, 2010
  • another response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • In general, there is often a knowledge gap between the teacher & student, in that the learning preferences, processes, thinking capability of the student are not sufficiently known. If such technologies/devices can help the teacher to not only know the student better, but also to provide 'advice' on how to cater to the learning needs of the student, that would be wonderful. - horncheah horncheah Feb 4, 2010
  • I see this as an important part of the increasing ease of data collection and the potential of these devices to put the capacity to answer and explore questions in the hands of the learner. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 6, 2010
  • I imagine this technology, when fully developed and user-friendly (and when privacy and control issues are addressed), will be important in truly personalising learning. - roger.blamire roger.blamire Feb 9, 2010
  • As well as being able to support rich learning experiences, there's great potential for innovative approaches to assessment and evaluation using this kind of personalised technology, though as Roger points out there are issues with privacy- stephen.breslin stephen.breslin Feb 10, 2010

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon K-12 Project form.