Glossy – MoLeNET

Blog of the Glossy MoLeNET Project

iPod touching..

I honestly wondered first of all if this was going to be much use to me at all because of all the hassle of itunes. Well, I had a fiddle about and realised that if I set the resources I wanted to use in my Website and then used Safari to access I had everything there ready to use and no piddling around with itunes! Hook in anywhere wireless and bingo. Once I had got over that hurdle I realised that as long as the resources were internet accessible I have the potential to press the ‘go’ button with the students on the research programme as soon as the Gloscol G-spot (or whatever its called) goes live.The map function is just excellent, pop your route in and off you go, no problemo! Waccha wanna PDA for! (yes, yes I know)Its official I’m in love with the ipod touch!

Cheers

Alan

February 29, 2008 Posted by | ipod touch | Comments Off on iPod touching..

PDA with GPS

As part of our Glossy Project we are looking at the differences between learners using their own devices and the college providing devices.

One particular lecturer was interested in using PDAs with GPS capability. After difficulties in finding a suitable product, in the end I went for a “cheap and cheerful” product, the Acer C530, this is a Windows Mobile device with GPS capabilty built in (through a large external aerial).

PDA with GPS

Summary of features

  • 300MHz processor
  • 64MB SDRAM / 128MB ROM
  • 2.8 inch, TFT-LCD Touchscreen display with 320 x 240 QVGA resolution
  • 108 x 58 x 16.8 mm / 122g
  • Bluetooth® 1.2 / Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • Integrated SiRF Star III LP GPS receiver
  • CoPilot 6 Navigation Software with Full Maps of UK, Ireland & Western Europe
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system
  • Full MS Office Mobile Suite
  • Includes Window mount, AC & car charger, case
  • EU map coverage: including UK and Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Benelux, Italy, Scandinavia (up to 100% coverage), Spain and Portugal, Russia (detailed coverage in Moscow and St. Petersburg).

The key thing with this device is that it has a rather small screen for what is quite a bulky device.

I was impressed it came with Pocket TV which is a much better application for playing back video than the included Mobile Windows Media Player which comes as standard with Windows Mobile.

So far all I have really done with the device is charge it up (well once I remembered to put the battery in it).

I have not yet managed to get the GPS working, but I know that is because I am indoors and GPS can be so flaky when you are indoors. In a previous life I had a TomTom GPS unit I used with my Sony Ericsson P910i phone and that never worked until I took it outdoors.

It’s raining, so I am not going outside.

The problem with GPS is that it kills the battery fast, so it’s nice to see that the box comes with an included car charger (not that our learners will be using that) but also that it can be charged via USB.

As for expandability it comes with a SD card slot which means at least I am not going to need to find another different memory card format as I seem to be having to do with phones.

Alas it doesn’t have sound recording capability which would have been nice, but then at the price it was much cheaper than more powerful PDA GPS options, currently £176 at Amazon which includes VAT.

February 29, 2008 Posted by | acer c530, gps, pda | 1 Comment

Talking about the project

Have spent some time talking about the project with both internal stakeholders and external people.

Spoke to Rob about using a selection of Asus EeePCs with a group of IT learners, he was certainly interested but only if the device runs Windows, as he needs to use Access – there is a question does the EeePC have sufficient power to run Access?

Spoke to Alan about the research project, he certainly is very keen and enthusiastic which is excellent and certainly will contribute to the success of the project.

Today I am at the RSC VLE Forum and (as per usual) with my bag of stuff I have been demonstrating some of the technology we are using to embed mobile learning into the college.

February 27, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, talk | Comments Off on Talking about the project

Really Useful Research and Evaluation Event

I attended a really useful Research and Evaluation event on Friday. Loads of sharing good practice took place and I managed to get my hands on an Asus Eee Pc (If only for a brief time). I can now appreciate why it seems to be out of stock everywhere. It really is a snazzy little tool.

I’m planning that this will be the device that our IT students may be able to use. So far the IT tutors have rejected the iTouch, PSP and mobile phones as the screens are too small to display the video tutorials we are in the process of creating.

We have ordered 2 of the 4Gb Asus devices, one to remain on Linux the other to have Windows and Microsoft Office 2007 installed on it.

February 24, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, ipod touch, talk | Comments Off on Really Useful Research and Evaluation Event

LSN Research Meeting

LSN Research Meeting

Myself, Alan and Gale will be in Bristol tomorrow, along with colleages from Cornwall College for a meeting about the research we need to do for our MoLeNET projects.

The meeting will be hosted by the LSN and I am expecting (and hoping) that the meeting focuses on our research and our needs and is not too generalised and to low a level.

It will be nice to meet with Julia (from Cornwall) again and it will be interesting to hear what they are doing for their MoLeNET project.

Hope to be blogging from the meeting either here or on Jaiku.

February 21, 2008 Posted by | lsn, meeting, research | Comments Off on LSN Research Meeting

Not quite PC

Feb. 18thThought I’d better start getting to grips with the Apple software and used our wonderfully equipped Apple Suite to have a fumble. OK it didn’t go that well as it took me about 10 minutes to find the ON button, cunningly (or is that asthetically?) hidden on the back of the screen, once I got going I didn’t break it, as far as I can tell, and it didn’t catch fire – normally a good sign. Enough for day one.I have read through various postings and looked at budget proposals for hardware so I thought I ought to audit and cost my own resources… Ancient HP laptop, check (worthless but a good doorstop and I can cook a Sunday lunch while it logs on) HP PDA, check (ebay £30 quid). Samsung D900, check (ebay £20 quid), SD card reader, 1gb card for phone, 2gb card for PDA, check (12 quid the lot). Hmm looks a bit meagre but it will do the job for now. It does all talk to each other so that’s good enough for me.Number one in an occasional series:

Molenet as she is spoke:

Having now met an eeePc, which nobody seems to know how to pronounce (without impersonating a bat) I would like to confirm RSS is pronounced are-ess-ess there is a second ess, worth a mention.

Just for James

I believe that interpretations of economic theory can be explained through the medium of dance using a Nintendo Wii.

February 19, 2008 Posted by | talk | Comments Off on Not quite PC

Had a chat with Alan

Had a good meeting with Alan about the Glossy project. We discussed the project plan in detail and and mobile learning in general.

He really got a lot out of the podcasting event last week in London and said he would post something to the Moodle site (and/or this blog) about it. In the meantime read what he thought about it on his own blog.

It’s really interesting for me to see how others view mobile learning and different mobile devices, Alan brings a really different and fresh perspective.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | podcast, talk | 1 Comment

The Festival of the Apple (podcasting event)

Feb 13th 2008

It is great to find myself involved in this exciting project and a superb opportunity to be able to join in a training and awareness day straight off.

Me? Well I’ve been teaching in FE for 12 years and currently teach/support/facilitate/irritate everything from wonderfully disruptive 14 year olds to marvellously cynical Senior Managers. I also work as part of the Quality (yes I know) Team with a focus on HE. When I have a few moments free I am Life Tutor to three groups of Hairdressers, its a tough life, not.

The main thing for me was the focus on the learning opportunities for students but somebody has to make it all happen. I am technically useless in reality and have a fairly agricultural und utiltarian approach to ‘kit’. Don’t get me wrong, I like new, pretty, shiny things but its what they can do not what thay are that does it for me. After yesterday its Apple all the way for me, easy, intuitive to use, clear and well supported – and it looks nice! (Did I mention how shallow I am?)

 I first came to mobile learning in 1989 when working as National Sales Manager for Max Factor. We used a systen called ROES (remote order entry system) and it had a tiny facility to add notes. It was perfect and so effective for bite sized training  and motivational stuff. (Does that make me a pioneer? Did I mention I am very vain?) I’ve had a go at most initiatives and my own teaching support site (http://ciderose.mysite.freeserve.com if you are interested) has ticked along since 2002 ish and has been used to host mostly web links and mini-blogs, before there was such a thing. Why? mostly to keep my students going and make my life easier. (Did I mention I am very lazy?)

Yesterday was great, from the enthusiasm and support of the speakers and facilitators through to the hands on and one-to-one very patient support. Even a pat dog for the technically stressed was provided – what attention to detail!

Give it a few days and I’ll get working with my students and I’ll post how things go.

Be lucky

 Alan

February 18, 2008 Posted by | talk | Comments Off on The Festival of the Apple (podcasting event)

The £99 UMPC

Elonex who I remember as a manufacturer of high end laptops according to the Times will be releasing a £99 umpc laptop at the Education Show later this month.

…it includes a free word processor and spreadsheet, a free web browser and free e-mail software. It has a 7in screen, a rubbery little keyboard and no CD drive. And it all runs on an ageing chip that was designed before its target audience of seven-year-olds were even born.

Read more at the Times. Elonex’s website. The news has even reached Engadget.

Will be interesting to see if this is a cheaper/better option than the Asus EeePC for lending out to students in the library.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, news, umpc | Comments Off on The £99 UMPC

Just some thoughts…

As part of the Glossy project we are expecting our learners to use their own devices in order to learn while mobile.

Note how I say devices and learning while mobile rather than mobile devices for learning.

For me, mobile learning is not about mobile devices, but is about learning.

The key for our project is about personalisation and choice, allowing learners to choose when and where they can access learning.

It’s not about individual learning either, any mobile learning activity doesn’t need to be undertaken in isolation, there is more than enough potential for group work and collaboration and co-operation.

My final thoughts are to remember that not everything needs to be done on a mobile device there is nothing to stop you form using pen and paper in addition to an iPod.

February 13, 2008 Posted by | mobile learning, thoughts | Comments Off on Just some thoughts…