Glossy – MoLeNET

Blog of the Glossy MoLeNET Project

ITS Meeting

Had our second ITS Glossy meeting to discuss how things are going from the technical perspective.

Wireless network is basically up and running and apart from the authentication issues it should work for the short-term.

Podcast server should be fine, but considering storage and back-up issues is more complex especially when we consider sustainability – which to me is an important part of the project.

Still having issues with securing the EeePC so have got some Stone UMPCs however these are lot more expensive than the EeePC.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, meeting | Comments Off on ITS Meeting

Gloucestershire Federation

Today we had an ILT Gloucestershire Federation meeting in Gloucester.

It was not only a chance for me to show off our new campus, but talk about the Glossy MoLeNET project.

Colleagues from Circencester College also chipped in as they are part of another MoLeNET project looking at podcasting.

Overall a useful meeting with colleagues from the local area and a chance to chat, talk and network.

March 27, 2008 Posted by | meeting | Comments Off on Gloucestershire Federation

Second Mentor Meeting

Yesterday, Geoff Foot (from the LSN) visited Gloucestershire College in his role as our MoLeNET Mentor.

This was the second (official) visit which was part of the LSN support/reporting requirements.

It was a long meeting and Geoff met many different people from a learner all the way through the college to the principal.

Staff from across the college came and discussed how, where and why they were using mobile learning.

Colleagues from National Star College also were there to inform Geoff on the work they are doing for the Glossy project and progress they were making.

Overall I felt the meeting went well and I think we did demonstrate to Geoff the progress we are making on the Glossy project.

March 26, 2008 Posted by | geoff foot, lsn, meeting, mentor | Comments Off on Second Mentor Meeting

Glossy in the Blogosphere

The Glossy MoLeNET Blog is very much a project blog, in providing news and views
form the Glossy project. I think it will also be useful when it comes to writing the final report as a diary or journal of the project.

As it is a public blog (purposely so) of course now and again it will be read by others outside the Glossy project institutions and the MoLeNET programme.

Recently a couple of mentions in the Blogosphere have raised the profile of the Glossy blog.

Ryan Collins mentioned Glossy following seeing a link in Twitter.

This is a very interesting project, to utilize mobile devices that students already have. I plan on following their blog and am very interested in their findings.

Read the full blog entry.

Whilst my entry on the Nokia N810 caught the attention of a blog on the Nokia N series of devices.

James Clay over at the Glossy – MoLeNET blog has been testing the N810 as part of the Glossy project that aims to support development of mobile learning at Gloucestershire FE College in the UK (you can read more about it on the blog).

Read that blog entry. What was useful for me about this was the comment on the blog about improving flash video performance on the Nokia N810. For me this is why blogging about the project is useful as there are lots of other people out there that are using these devices and we can learn a lot from them.

March 25, 2008 Posted by | blog, blogosphere, n810, nokia | 1 Comment

Meeting with Geoff

Today Geoff Foot from the LSN will be visiting the college to see how our project is progressing. Colleagues from National Star will be coming along in the afternoon, whilst Gloucestershire College staff will be popping in and out over the day.

March 25, 2008 Posted by | lsn | Comments Off on Meeting with Geoff

Podcasting

At our College Development Day I ran two over-booked sessions on Podcasting. They were only an hour an half each, but in each session, I gave an overview of podcasting, the staff then discussed how they could use podcasts to support teaching and learning and then created a podcast, before uploading it online and seeing how learners could download it and view on a mobile device such as an iPod.

Sessions seemed to go well and quite a few other people during the day asked if I could run podcasting sessions for them at some other time, as they couldn’t make the sessions I was running.

March 21, 2008 Posted by | podcasting, training | Comments Off on Podcasting

Nokia N810 – it’s not a phone!

A week or so back I managed to get my hands on a Nokia N810 as part of our MoLeNET project, one of many mobile devices we have got to support the project. These devices are for two main reasons, firstly from a learner support perspective, if they have them, how do they work and how does our mobile content play on them? Secondly to evaluate them from a college perspective so that if and when we get more mobile devices for our learners we can go with a device we have used, checked and know works. We can also use that information to advise and recommend devices to learners.

So what do I think of the Nokia n810?

Nokia N810 - it's not a phone!

So far I have been quite impressed with the Nokia N810, it is a neat smart device, which works as you expect it to work.

Browsing is good, as are other internet applications. It either uses wi-fi or you use a Bluetooth connection to your phone and use your phone’s 3G data connection. Thing to remember is that it is not a phone!

I found the keyboard though small, much easier and better than any mobile phone keypad for typing in text and the predictive text entry means you can go quite fast.

Haven’t yet tried video on the device as in an actual video file, tried it with an online video, BBC’s iPlayer, and the Flash video playback was very poor, jerky and unwatchable. I am guessing that is a similar reason why Apple have not implemented Flash on the iPhone and the iPod touch – though I have also heard it was more down to PDF reading and implementation!

Battery life is good and much better than a lot of UMPCs out there, so it has that going for it.

The Register has a really detailed and good review of the Nokia n810 on their website.

Nokia’s approach for the N810 is pretty simple: phone screens are too small for decent web browsing, so surely a separate portable device that has a bigger screen and Wi-Fi connectivity is needed for serious portable web access.

Their verdict?

Taken at face value, Nokia’s N810 not a bad box of tricks. For surfing the web, email and as an internet communication device it is a handy little gadget, while the operating system is easy to use, feature rich and robust. The relative abundance of software is another plus. But that lack of a SIM slot does niggle just a bit.

I believe that the Nokia n810 is a great portable internet device for learning and I really like it.

I don’t believe it is suitable as a device to give to learners, for two main reasons, number one it is expensive for what it does, two, it is too “delicate” and “stylish” and I don’t think it is robust enough to be given out to students in the way that a PSP or even an iPod touch could be given out.

Post originally appeared on e-Learning Stuff.

March 17, 2008 Posted by | 3g, flash, gps, n810, nokia, review, wi-fi | 2 Comments

ESOL MP3

Though I have been doing lots of other stuff recently (MoLeNET mentoring stuff, RSC SW Web 2.0 event, meeting with University of Bath) I have managed to squeeze in a fair bit of Glossy project work.

I have been checking how a range of content works on a variety of devices, so we can provide online advice to learners on what works on what.

Others in the college have also been working hard.

Andy (one of our Advanced Practitioners) has been working hard on creating some audio recordings (mp3 format) for ESOL which sound really nice and look like will be useful. Learners can download the mp3 from the college VLE and upload onto a mobile devices of their own, or even burn to CD to listen to in the car or at home.

Alan has been working hard on podcast tools and creation, as well as attending a fair amount of training that MoLeNET has put on – he’s off for another MoLeNET event on Monday to look at MyLearning, which could prove useful for our GPS PDAs we have.

March 13, 2008 Posted by | esol, mp3 | Comments Off on ESOL MP3

Plumbing

Had an excellent conversation and meeting with two plumbers today.

Two of our plumbing staff (who has to be said already extensively use our college VLE) came for a chat about shiny stuff.

I demonstrated the kit and gadgets in my office (which is slowly but surely turning into an Aladdin’s Cave) and we had a long discussion on the merits and how they could use mobile devices.

In the end they went away with lots of great ideas on using audio and video recordings to support their learners.

A lot of plumbing students are very vocational and practical and therefore written handouts and assignments can be challenging, but the idea of using audio and video seems ideal with these students.

March 6, 2008 Posted by | curriculum | Comments Off on Plumbing

Today I have been mostly writing Project Mission Statement

I found a random mission statement generator whilst researching I thought this one would do us nicely, if ever needed!

‘Our function is to execute a strategic plan involving dramatically empowering wireless net-niches and engaging our e-functionalities in order that we may better serve our customers’

and be kind to animals, obviously, whilst remembering to thank all the ‘little people’.

Cheers
Alan

March 6, 2008 Posted by | talk | Comments Off on Today I have been mostly writing Project Mission Statement