INESC TEC’s Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG) is involved in the European project BEACONING (Breaking educational barriers with contextualised pervasive and gameful learning), where the goal is to create new teaching and learning models and practices.

In this €5.9M project, researchers intend to create pervasive games that transmit educational content and are not just used for entertainment. The pervasive games extend the gaming world to the surrounding environment, which may be the classroom, the homes of the students, or the cities where they live. A platform will be developed that will automatically generate mobile applications with pervasive games in accordance with the description of the teachers themselves, who pose challenges and questions to students. Furthermore, the platform will feature existing tools and educational services from the organisations participating in the project.

To test the BEACONING, large-scale systems will be implemented in 2017 in Greece, Turkey, France, Israel and Romania, each involving hundreds of students and professionals in Europe, ensuring an operating and business plan for the adoption of the platform. In Portugal, as in other European countries, several small-scale pilots are planned, which will be implemented in schools yet to be designated.

The idea is that content from teachers is available in an integrated way and anywhere, at any time and at an affordable cost for any student, regardless of their profile or special need.

“With the BEACONING, our goal is to create new teaching and learning models and practices, while changing mentalities and democratising this area. The project plans to provide a more inclusive and contextualised learning”, stated António Coelho, researcher at INESC TEC, the only Portuguese partner in the project featuring different researchers from the University of Porto, the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro and the Aberta University.

The platform will leverage innovative approaches, including technology related to the Internet of the Future, mobile technologies, game development and content creation for those technologies, human-computer interfaces, usability and accessibility, learning analysis and learning models based on problems.

The BEACONING project started in January 2016 and will last three years. A total of 15 organisations from nine European countries are participating in this project funded by the European research programme Horizon 2020. Coordinated by Coventry University (UK), this project features as partners INESC TEC (Portugal), Herriot-Watt University and Hands Free Computing (UK), Playsoft, Succubus and ORT (France), BIBA Institute (Germany), Imaginary (Italy), Ifinity (Poland), Siveco and ATS (Romania), Complutense University of Madrid and Geomotion (Spain) and SEBIT ( Turkey).

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The INESC TEC researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with UP-FEUP.