MeLOD – Mobile Environment for Learning with Linked Open Data
The MeLOD environment has been designed to support, through the use of mobile devices and Open Data, the informal learning experiences that take place during the visit of a city. In the last few years, many applications for mobile devices have been developed with the aim of supporting students during a visit experience. One of the main difficulties in designing and managing these applications is related to the content, since usually it must be prepared in advance by the teachers, and maintained during the lifespan of the application, thus requiring an extra effort to organize the information for mobile devices and also to maintain the content updated. MeLOD exploits the huge amount of dataset in the Linked Open Data (LOD) cloud to overcome the previous issues, by providing contextualized updated information based on students’ location. The MeLOD environment interlinks the DBpedia, Europeana and Geonames datasets with the contextual information of the students’ learning experience. Finally, students social activities, like voting and commenting, are also used to feed new knowledge into the MeLOD environment.
Nowadays the main mobile vendors (such as Apple and Android stores) already include, in their catalog, several applications that provide information specific to hundreds of cities in the world. The information provided by these applications is usually extracted from closed databases. In our approach we integrate open datasets exploiting huge amount of resources of the LOD cloud. In this way, learning resources are continuously updated. The MELOD is at a prototypal phase, with the main functionalities fully implemented.
A prototype of the mobile application has been developed for iOS devices. The application is Available for free on the Apple Store. In order to use the MeLOD environment you need a valid account. Please, register here to obtain your credential.
Interlinking Linked Open Data datasets for learning
The environment is composed by two main modules: a mobile application, with a simple user interface that shows the information to the students during their visit, and a set of web services that elaborate the requests coming from the mobile application to provide interlinked information from DBpedia, Geonames, Europeana and, if available, datasets from the local municipality.
MeLOD provides localized information by exploiting the DBpedia internationalization features. Nowadays, DBpedia has been translated in several languages, in that way it is not more necessary to produce in advance localized contents.
Social Activities producing new knowledge
The activities performed by students using the MeLOD platform, are tracked in order to support further analysis of the mobile learning experience undertaken by students.