Inspiration

One of our interests, outside of studies, is linguistics & learning languages. When learning a new language, one typically has to deal with the repetitive & often tedious nature of memorizing vocabulary. While grammar comes easy, as it can be broken down into a coherent hierarchy of rules in the form of morphemes (the piecing together of particular words) and syntax (the structure of sentences & word placement), vocabulary typically doesn't: these are just words you need to know that usually have some kind of 1-to-1 correspondence to words in your native language. Memorization doesn't always stick well with different people, because everyone learns differently. Utilizing the fact that immersion results in a deeper learning, we wanted to create a virtual environment that encompasses visual & audio cues to help deepen the understanding of the word. In theory, this would reduce the dependence on memorization as a technique, and thus decrease the amount of time spent trying to learn any particular new word.

What it does

A flashcard appears on the screen, accompanied by a visual representation of the word as well as an associated audio clip.

How we built it

We used A-frame react to create the experience.

Challenges we ran into

We had no experience with A-frame, as well as using it on top of react.js; learning two frameworks was pretty intense. One of our team members (jldohmann) had no experience with javascript, HTML or any frontend developlment before this project. Rerouting REST requests thru a GET request also proved to be difficult.

Lastly, although we could see the environment, we could not interact with it. This is because there is no way to interact besides with a user's visual gaze. Unfortunately, we could not look into this problem in greater depth because we could not figure out where exactly it was coming from.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Learning react.js! And working with VR successfully/de-mystifying the technology as a whole.

What we learned

We learned a lot of things that would be best summarized as list:

{react.js, A-frame, serverless webtasks, HTML, advanced git}

What's next for LearningSpace

The next immediate step for LearningSpace is polishing it into a publishable application. For future directions, we would like to incorporate machine learning elements into the app that would generate visual & audio cues automatically when trained on a particular flashcard set.

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