Yesterday I gave a few online presentations (conferences) for the MoLeNET programme.
One was on microblogging, entitled I am having a coffee…
Alan Graham from Gloucestershire College talks about he is using the PSP to enhance and enrich the learning experience.
Download the iPod version.
So how do you assess your learners? It’s a key question really. One that we don’t always answer.
All too often we fall back on traditional methods as it makes life easier for us as practitioners. You know, write an essay, complete an assignment, give a presentation,etc…
Of course this means when it comes to using mobile devices for assessment, you have a quandary over how to use them to assess learners. Despite improvements in text input, generally most learners will prefer not to enter large amounts of text into a mobile device.
I have talked on the blog before about text entry on mobile devices and how they are not ideal.
Back then I wrote:
Overall entering text on any mobile device is fraught with difficulty and complexity and the more you use a device the more familar you get with it, the easier it gets and quicker you become.
However if you are using mobile devices with a group who only use the device rarely, then you should consider alternatives to text entry directly onto the mobile device otherwise you may find that your learners start to hate the device rather than use the device for learning.
Use the device where it has strengths such as audio and video, and use other tools such as pen and paper or a computer with a full size keyboard when you want the learner to create a lot of text.
This means that learning scenarios need to be designed to avoid excessive text entry onto a mobile device, and often that means that traditional learning scenarios will not translate easily and simply to a PSP for example.
Think about replacing text entry with an audio or a video recording – the UX1XN and Q1 Ultra both have cameras and microphones which can be used for that, you can also get a camera and microphone for the PSP as well.
It is not essential or necessary for the learner to complete a learning scenario solely on a mobile device, let them use other tools to complete the learning activity, the mobile device should be just the one component that helps build the activity.
When it comes to designing assessment models using mobile devices, the same advice applies. Think about how learners will need to be assessed. If it is multiple choice, or single word answers, than the mobile device alone should be sufficient. If it is short answer, essay or similar then text entry on a mobile device is probably not only not the best option it is probably not an option at all.
As I said before, think about replacing text entry with an audio or a video recordings, these can be done much more easily on a mobile device or a cameraphone.
James, Ron and Lilian just chat about a range of different stuff, basically they meander…
This is the fourteenth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Half-Term Meanderings.
BBC reports on the battle for 4G.
A number of companies at the Mobile World Congress are demonstrating hardware they think will make up so-called fourth generation or 4G solutions to succeed the current 3G technology.
The explosion of interest in mobile broadband – and consumers’ insatiable craving for faster connections – means that this more forward-looking part of the industry is filled with contenders.
In the UK, the highest mobile broadband speed available is 7.2 megabits per second (Mbps), and Vodafone has successfully trialled a 3G network in Spain providing 20Mbps.
It makes for interesting reading, and also makes you realise how far we have come in the last five years and how far we will probably go in the next five years.
When I first used 3G back in 2004, it was a £100 a month and I got 0.3Mbps (as in 384Kbps). Today I pay £10 per month and get (rarely) 7.2Mbps, though on average it is about 3Mbps. Ten times the speed for one tenth of the price.
If we go back to 2001, I was then using GPRS and getting about 40Kbps.
Personally for me, having a 3G connection makes my life and my job so much easier. I can do things and stuff at events and conferences, on visits to other institutions, in coffee shops and on the train. It allows me to get information, entertainment and to communicate whilst I am mobile. If our learners have 3G this makes it even easier to allow their learning not just to take place anywhere, but with 3G they can communicate and collaborate with other learners without the constraints of geography and time.
So though LTE quotes 100Mbps, I do expect in five years to see 30Mbps mobile internet connections. The question you do have to ask though is will it cost only a £1 per month?
Those of you who read the blog of a regular basis will know that as well as the blog I also (with a group of e-learning friends) record a podcast.
You can listen to the podcast on the blog, there is a simple Flash based player, so you don’t need to download it to listen to it.
You can download the mp3 file from the blog which then allows you to transfer it to a mp3 player, an iPod, burn it to CD, listen to it on your computer, or on your phone.
You can also subscribe to the podcast, either through the blog RSS feed (which incorporates all the blog postings and media files uploaded) or through the podcast RSS feed. You can subscribe via applications such as iTunes, Juice or your browser.
Finally you can subscribe to the podcast through the Apple iTunes Store. I submitted the podcast to the iTunes Store last October to the Educational Technology Podcasts section of the store.
It is proving reasonably popular and the podcast is generally always in the top twenty, quite pleased though today to see it is in at number two!
Now if you go and look I suspect we may have dropped a fair few places, the top podcasts list does change on a daily basis dependent on how many subscribers you have and how many new people subscribe.
I am working on a workflow document which describes the process I use for recording the podcast, it is currently a work in progress but you can view it here.
Apart from an (extra long) break over Christmas I am tying to post the podcast on a weekly basis, every Sunday. Always interested to hear about topics people would like us to talk about.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a great fan of educational software, not sure why, probably because when I was teaching it was so difficult to book a computer room that when we were in there, the focus was on using office applications to write assignments and prepare presentations or use the web for research. So use scarce computer time for educational games for all my learners was not really an option (for me). The use of learning technologies was more often a way of enhancing and enriching my practice than allowing learners to use the technology.
Today things are different. In my own college we have many more computers, laptop trolleys and we are also purchasing more micro-laptops (UMPCs) for use across the college.
This makes it much easier for practitioners to use educational software and games to enhance and enrich a session.
One game I recently was advised to look at (by Shirley Crawford of Cornwall College) was Bling it on…
Bling it on is a literacy, language and numeracy game.
The game was designed to hook reluctant offender learners and their families into a ‘first step to learning’ and should appeal to adult learners and their children alike. The subject matter of driving cars was chosen to appeal to male learners/carers in particular. It’s been piloted in prisons initially using the ROWA Learning bus with offender learners and their families.
Vodafone and Google at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona have announced the G2 HTC Magic, the second Google phone.
The BBC reports
A new phone based on Google’s operating system Android has been unveiled by Vodafone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The touchscreen HTC Magic will feature a 3.2 Megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS, but no slide-out keyboard.
The G2 phone does not have a keyboard like the G1, but does feature improvements to the Android operating system which have come from user comments who use the G1.
Actually it’s not called the G2, but the HTC Magic!
The BBC reports on the Mobile World Congress.
Almost 50,000 people are expected to visit the world’s biggest mobile phone exhibition, which is getting under way in Barcelona.
The annual Mobile World Congress is the mobile telecoms industry’s grand showcase.
Interesting mobile wireless hotspot mentioned, though this is already possible with some wifi mobile phones (eg Nokia N95) and JoikuSpot.