Mobile technologies offer the opportunity to embed learning in a natural environment. This paper describes the design of the UbiCrossWords prototype, a project built to explore the opportunities to support learning through an orientation game in a mixed reality environment. The paper first introduces the scenario and then describes the general architecture of the prototype. Then the paper explores how using mobile technologies in direct physical interaction with space and with other players can be combined with principles of engagement and self-motivation to create a powerful learning experience. Finally it presents the underlying architecture, Mobile WebTalk, a mixed CVE framework mainly used for collaborative educational aims, to support in a flexible way both stationary and mobile players. We explore the use of heterogeneous collaboration thought a software architecture, running on mobile devices, able to configure itself on the basis of a XML declaration representing workspace and interaction rules shared with the 3D stationary users.
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