Transdisciplinary Projects using Augmented Reality: From Gallery Walk to Multilingual Multimedia Posters

Melda N. Yildiz, Ed.D.Kean University,

October 13, 2014
ICSFI 2014 Conference

This paper outlines the role of augmented realities in education using mobile technologies such as phones, Global Positioning System (GPS), and tablet PC technologies in developing transdisciplinary projects for education; offers creative strategies and possibilities for integrating mobile technologies into the curriculum; and demonstrates interactive gallery walk projects such as StarTalk grant using Ipad touches to teach Hindi language, and Global Kitchen Project to develop healthy eating habits among elementary students using augmented reality. We explored a wide range of meanings participants associated with multilingual multicultural project based activities; the impact of mobile technologies in developing multicultural and multilingual curriculum that promotes differentiated instruction; the ways in which participants responded to interactive gallery walk projects; and how they gained alternative points of view on global issues and renewed interest and commitment to world languages and global education.

Powerpoint slides-

Key Words:
Augmented Reality
Gallery Walk
Mobile Technologies


The “m” in m-Learning usually refers to mobile learning. In our transdisciplinary multimedia projects, our pre-service teachers and I use “m” in multidisciplinary learning context, from media literacy to multilingual education. We developed a 9M curriculum model (Yildiz, et. al 2014) based on state core curriculum and common core standards[1] (e.g. Music, Maps, Math, Media) in designing our transdisciplinary, inclusive and interactive K12 curriculum projects using mobile technologies. As the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) states in their website “media literacy education—the process of teaching how to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and communicate using media in all of its forms—supports many of the most challenging goals of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).”

In this paper, we share our transdisciplinary projects integrating all the subject fields using the 9M curriculum model and exploring the inclusive, innovative and cost effective strategies and tools for our curriculum projects. For our projects, we aim to accomplish three main goals: (1) promoting cultural and linguistically responsive curriculum while developing global competencies and 21st century skills[2] through mobile technologies (e.g. ipads, ipods, flip cameras); (2) describing the participants reactions, discoveries, and experiences using mobile technologies; and (3) showcasing their multilingual multicultural multimedia.

In order to create differentiated and inclusive modules, we used the gallery walk approach to our multimedia activities and projects. Gallery walk is based on Museum approach to teaching. It can be a collection of artifacts (e.g. manipulative, maps, pictures, posters, timeline of events, audio and video clips) designed to present the particular topic to the audience.

In each module or learning station, participants are encouraged to: (1) argue the challenges and advantages of transformative critical pedagogy and media education integrating innovative technologies (e.g. augmented reality); (2) discuss the use and the role of innovative technologies in developing global competencies, critical thinking and 21st century skills among undergraduate students; (3) explore various transdisciplinary learning modules across content areas (e.g. math, geography, cultural studies, world languages) and project-based globally connected games, music and activities; (4) investigate the use and the power of innovative technologies and online resources such as MOOCs, wikibook projects and interactive games as a means to promote heutagogy; (5) exchange their ideas, practices, and projects.

We provide hand on training on the use of mobile technologies, educational apps and games, augmented reality software to participants such as students, faculty, in-service and pre-service teachers. In our transdisciplinary projects and activities, faculty, in-service and pre-service teacher participants are also invited to co-design and provide feedback on the curriculum, and they are encouraged to:
  • argue the challenges and advantages of mobile technologies (Ipads) in the multicultural multilingual curriculum,
  • develop skills in designing transdisciplinary project based learning activities,
  • examine the process of integrating 21st century skills for teaching and life long learning,
  • integrate the use of new media in an instructional context,
  • develop lesson plans, assessment tools, and curriculum guides that incorporate 21st Century Skills and mobile technologies across grades and subjects.
The Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC, 2014) at Center at Washington University in St. Louis states “Transdisciplinary research is, essentially, team science. In a transdisciplinary research endeavor, scientists contribute their unique expertise but work entirely outside their own discipline.” Transdisciplinary approach to research brings collaboration among investigators in various disciplines to work together for a common goal as opposed multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research where the investigators have separate goals and focus.
Theoretical framework, standards and research used in developing our research activities and projects are:

• Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 74, 5-12.

• The Longview Foundation. (2008). Teacher preparation for the global age: The imperative for change. Silver Spring, MD: Author.

• Love, K. A. (2011) Enacting a Transformative Education. In C. Mallot & B. Porfilio (Ed.), Critical pedagogy in the Twenty First Century: A new generation of scholars. New York, NY: Information Age.

• Global Competence Matrix-

• Global Teacher Education-

• NJ Core Curriculum Content Standard-

• Partnership for 21st Century Skills

• National Center On Universal Design for Learning, at CAST-

• The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards (formerly the NETS) for Teachers (ISTE Standards•T)

In our projects, our end goal is to develop innovative, inclusive and transdisciplinary multimedia activities integrating mobile technologies. Here are the five projects that we developed focusing on transdisciplinary topics: Health; Higher Education; Literature; Mapping; and Language Teaching.

Global Kitchen Project

Global Kitchen Project (Yildiz, et al, 2014) was designed to promote health education and global literacy using mobile technologies among elementary students. By collaborating with health educators, in-service teachers in this project, two undergraduate pre-service teachers and I developed, implemented, and conducted the study “Global Kitchen Project” to integrate media literacy and 21st century skills. This project has an experiential and exploratory look at making global connections through the lens of media literacy education using mobile technologies.

Situated within the context of teaching and learning, our research team developed a transdisciplinary curriculum project based curriculum revolving around global education, health and media literacy as a means to promote healthy eating behaviors among children in low income schools while developing media literacy skills and global competencies. Through the project based learning activities such as comparing lunch boxes around the world and playing interactive games and apps on tablet PCs, children participated in five media literacy education modules. Each module focused on providing global point of view on healthy eating habits as well as cultivated interest and commitment to global health issues.

Research was conducted in two elementary schools in four classrooms investigated 78 2nd and 3rd grade students. The project-based activities were self and peer assessed in collaboration with in- service teachers. NJ common core standards as well as common core standards and ISTE International Technology Standards and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills[3] frameworks were integrated.
In one of the activities, students compared families and their weekly food intake in a book called Hungry Planet (Mezel, at al, 2005). One group was given a task to compare Chad family and American family. Group questioned, “How come in Chad people spend less money and eat healthier than us?” In our final activity, we asked to students to draw a healthy meal using the Choose My plate USDA model[4] which comes with a fork and plate with separated lines for fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and another circle for dairy. One student draw a picture of a slice of pizza explaining grains, vegetables and dairy all one slice. The others questioned, “how about a bowl?” “why only fork?”, and “where is chop stick?”
Higher Education Exchange Project (HEEP)

This higher education exchange project (HEEP)[5] was presented at professional development day at Kean University to promote 21st century skills as a means to promote heutagogy through the lens of innovative technologies and to cultivate transformative transdisciplinary approach to teaching in higher education while integrating global Competencies, critical thinking and 21st century skills.

It showcased the transdisciplinary, inclusive, multilingual, multicultural, multimedia projects across content areas in developing global competencies, critical thinking and 21st century skills among undergraduates, outlined innovative assessment tools, templates, and strategies to cultivate active thinking curriculum and engaged the audience in self reflection/study while reflecting on innovative transformative curricula, assessment tools, and strategies for 21st Century higher education teaching. Participants used their mobile devices to interact with the materials as well as shared their own teaching strategies, tips and resources.

Participants invited to explore 10 different stations in the gallery walk using QR code and Aurasma augmented reality software. Each projects such as (1) Universal Design of Learning (UDL), (2) Visual Learning/ Media Literacy, (3) Multilingual Multicultural Multimedia included resources that can be integrated in any college course with limited resources and equipment.

HEEP is designed to: (1) promote transdisciplinary approach to higher education integrating global literacy, and 21st century skills among college students while providing cultural and linguistically responsive curriculum; (2) document the participants’ reactions, discoveries, and experiences participating in Multilingual Multicultural Media projects across content areas (e.g. math, geography, cultural studies); (3) identify innovative activities, exercises, and assessment strategies and tools that align with the local and national standards addressing Transformative Education, Global Competency, Media Literacy and 21st century skills; and (4) investigate the role of multiple literacies and the use of new technologies (mobile tools such as GPS, tablet PCs, robotics) in developing global competencies and 21st century skills among college students; and (5) exchange ideas, assessment tools, and curriculum models that promote transformative and heutagogical teaching models.
Magtymguly Pragy
Multilingual interactive gallery walk featuring the legacy, life, philosophy, and literature by Turkmen poet Magtymgly Pyragy was co-created and presented in an international Magtymgly Pyragy Conference in Turkmenistan (Yildiz, 2014). The gallery walk outlines innovative lesson ideas, resources and strategies in integrating the poems by Magtymguly Pyragy and outlining his legacy across cultures throughout history. QR code was placed on his books explaining the content and how to use the augmented reality software. Using an Aurasma app on a mobile device, one can hover over the poems written in Persian, Turkmen or Russian and translate into English. His birth place, locations where he lived and travelled are placed on an interactive google earth map. With the use of Yakit[6] and Tellegami[7] software, the picture of Magtymguly Pyragy was animated to tell his story. In another station, an opera poster of Magtymguly Pyragy is designed to play the clips of the opera using a mobile device.
As one of the participants called it, this gallery walk is a “Mobile Magtymguly Pyragy Museum” that can be replicated, re-used and repurposed in another setting. We also developed an online platform using and invited conference participants to continue to contribute, communicate and collaborate on this topic to provide future collaboration among the conference participants. My pre-service teachers and I continue to explore how the study of Magtymguly Pyragy in global context combines knowledge, reflection, and action; promotes global literacies; and prepares teacher candidates to second half of the 21st century to be responsible members of a multicultural, global society.
Maps, Math, Media
The main goal for “Maps, Math, and Media (MMM)” project was to meaningfully integrate geography, mathematics and media literacy into the middle and high school students as part of a summer camp program as a means of further developing their media literacy and 21st century skills. We developed innovative transdisciplinary multilingual multimedia projects integrating global literacies. MMM project a) presented the role of new technologies in order to argue the challenges and advantages of Global Positioning System (GPS) in K-16 curriculum across content area s (i.e. math, geography, cultural studies); b) introduced maps and media across content areas in developing multiple literacies; c) developed creative strategies and possibilities for engaging K-16 students in meaningful integration of 21st century literacy activities while incorporating math, maps and media.
Gallery walk activity stations for MMM included: a) de-constructing maps with different projections (e.g. upside down map, Mercator, Peters projection); b) geocaching activities for scavenger hunt for locating hidden items with coordinates using GPS devices; c) learning the geography of the world through exploring apps, games, music such as the lyrics of “Follow the Drinking Gourd” served as a map to freedom via the Underground Railroad; d) researching global issues and solutions and collecting data (GPS device) to solve community based issues; e) finally co-constructing their multilingual multimedia map project (e.g, voicethread, wikis, google earth, community site) on the theme of the summer project integrating multilingual digital storytelling (e.g History of Perth Amboy, Sustainability Projects in my city, Health and Longevity in my neighborhood) projects that integrate to their maps.
Throughout the MMM projects, participants are encouraged to rethink the role of multiliteracies (e.g. numerical, geographical, informational literacy) through the lens of media education as well as the use of mobile technologies that provide opportunities and access to global understanding and promote collaboration among people who share common ideas and interests.
StarTalk- Start Talking
Startalk[8] is the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) that seeks to expand and improve the teaching and learning of languages that are not usually taught in K12 schools in the US (e.g. Arabic, Hindi, Russian, Swahili). Since 2010, Kean University provides introduction to Hindi and Urdu following the Startalk’s mission “is to increase the number of Americans learning, speaking, and teaching critical need foreign languages by offering students (K–16) and teachers of these languages creative and engaging summer experiences that strive to exemplify best practices in language education and in language teacher development, forming an extensive community of practice that seeks continuous improvement in such criteria as outcomes-driven program design, standards-based curriculum planning, learner-centered approaches, excellence in selection and development of materials, and meaningful assessment of outcomes.”
In summer 2010, we co-developed and implemented an innovative language curriculum with native Hindi speaking instructors integrating Bollywood films and music to Hindi language writing and learning apps, starting each day with yoga to practicing Indian dance in the afternoon, tasting Indian breakfast and lunch to smelling spices and incents, playing cricket for learning numbers to field trips to local Indian restaurants to practice ordering food and shopping at local Indian stores. Through authentic, trandisciplinary and project- based activities, our participants learned basic Hindi and Indian culture in two weeks. Each participant received an Ipod touch with the apps, music and video clips. They were encouraged to create digital videos, interact with Hindi speaking people around the world using Orkut social media and podcasted their research based project. At the end of two weeks, the participants’ families and friends are invited to celebrate their presentations and projects as well as Indian dance performed by the participants.
One student said: “I learned more Hindi in two weeks then two years of French classes I attended.” As part of StarTalk requirement, participants are encouraged to stayed in the target language and immersed into learning Hindi. During lunch time, we watched and de-constructed Bollywood movies and compared to the Hollywood. For instance, students asked why there is almost no kissing in Indian movies, why songs are pre-recorded and lip synched, why women always covers their bosoms but keep their belly exposed, why most Bollywood stories are based on dance, love and misunderstanding.

As higher education faculty team, we have been seeking to improve our practice by: 1) documenting our discoveries, struggles and reflections on our journey in our classes; 2) challenging our teaching style and philosophy; and 3) trying to bring the theory into practice while pursuing innovative teaching models that would lead to positive pedagogical transformations. We seek transformative and innovative strategies and tools for improving instruction, assessing our students' work and for preparing new generations to be future “transformative leaders” and global citizens.
We believe through transdisciplinary approach to curriculum design, we argue that we transform the way we teach and integrate global competencies and 21st century skills while cultivating media production and promoting action among students. Thus, this transdisciplinary and inclusive curriculum design is important because it provides authentic and differentiated learning activities, integrates 21st century skills and global competencies by collaborating with people around the world using social networking tools (e.g. Skype).
This transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning may serve as a framework to inform educational policy for developing multilingual, individualized, and inclusive learning models that promote global competencies and critical autonomy especially those who have limited access to and resources. It can also provide access to innovative, in-time, and cost effective solutions for professional development that leads to high-quality education that extends beyond the school walls, goes beyond in formal schooling and later in life. In conclusion, in order to prepare the new generation to be healthy and productive members of a multicultural global society, we argue the importance of transdisciplinary approach to media literacy activities and projects.


Menzel, P., & D'Aluisio, F. (2005). Hungry planet: What the world eats. Napa, CA: Material World Press.
National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). (2014). MLE & Common core standards. Retrieved from
Yildiz, M. N. (2012). Global Kitchen Project: Developing 21st Century Skills and Global Competency in Teacher Education: Classroom 2.0- 5th Anniversary Book Project Eds Dawson, C, Hargadon, S.:
Yildiz, M.N., Petela, A., & Mahoney, B. (2014a). Global Kitchen Project: Promoting Healthy Eating Habits And Developing 21st Century Skills Among Children Through Flipped Classroom Model. In S. Keengwe, G. Onchwari, & J. Oigara, (Eds.). Promoting Active Learning through the Flipped Classroom Model, Hershey, PA, IGI Global.
Yildiz, M. & De Abreu, B. S. (2014b). Fostering global literacies and 21st century skills among pre-service teachers and implementing pedagogy of plenty through innovative transdisciplinary projects. In S. Keengwe., G. Onchwari, & D. Hucks (Eds.). Literacy Enrichment & Technology Integration in Pre-Service Teacher Education, Hershey, PA, IGI Global.
Yildiz, M. N. (2014c). Magtymguly Pyragy in the global context: Cultivating global competencies among teacher candidates using Turkmen Literature. Abstract. Magtymguly Pyragy and Universal Human Cultural Values ConferenceBook2014. Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC). (2014). What is transdisciplinary research? Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved from

Selected Apps, games and resources
Aurasma- Augmented reality app
QR code- Quick Response Code- machine-readable optical label
BrainPop- used the Nutrition module and quizzes
ShopWell- Scan bar codes to customize for individual needs and find out nutrition details
Word Lens- App translates text
Solusville- Healthy neighborhood-
Center for Media Literacy- Nutrition Education-
Selling Obesity – Lesson plan


[3] Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “A Framework for 21st Century Learning,” December 17, 2012,