The age of mobile is now

July 21, 2010

I have been talking about using mobile devices for a long time now, well before I started working at Gloucestershire College (and all that MoLeNET stuff), well before my time at the Western Colleges Consortium (and that Mobile on a VLE presentation).

Despite protestations about screen sizes, lack of power, inferior operating systems, we are now seeing the rise of the mobile device as the next big step in computing.

The first computers were BIG and clunky and you didn’t just use them, you booked time slots to use them.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers!”
Attributed to Thomas Watson of IBM, but in fact no evidence to say he ever said it.

Computers then became the mainstay of business, something to do business on.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, president/founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

With the rise of the personal computer and importantly the explosion of the internet in the late 1990s, not only did we see computers in the home, we also saw a lot more personal computers in education.

Laptops at this time were expensive, but small portable ones were available, I really liked the Toshiba Libretto that I bought at that time.

In 2000 I was working at @Bristol in the centre of the Bristol Harbourside, one project we worked on was using the HP Jornada  and using JetSend technology to “squirt” URLs to the device that would then access the webpage over (what was then) a spiffy wireless network.

It was at this point that I could really see some real benefits of using mobile devices for learning, and using devices that weren’t laptops.

Over that decade we did see the emergence of the laptop over the desktop, more and more people would buy a laptop rather than a desktop for their main computer.

During that time I did a lot more work on using mobile devices for learning, focusing on multimedia content on devices such as PDAs, Media Players and mobile phones.

I remember in about 2001 driving up the M5 and getting stuck in one of those traffic jams in the early evening. My wife was watching the Matrix on my iPAQ PDA. I had converted a ripped DVD (uh oh I know) that I had converted into a MPEG1 video file, placed on an IBM Compact Flash Microdrive and played it back on the iPAQ using PocketTV. As she watched the film people in the cars looked into ours in awe and curiosity about what was that glowing light in our car. Of course today everyone can do this, but at the time it was both clever and geeky!

“I’m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen.”
Steve Jobs of Apple in 2003.

The seminal presentation of mine, Mobile Learning on a VLE, at the JISC 2006 Online Conference really got a lot of people thinking about using mobile devices and put my name out there as a leader in mobile learning.

There were many others at that time who were also following the same journey as myself, people like Mick Mullane, Lilian Soon, David Sugden and others. We were all very passionate about using mobile devices for learning.

Despite our passion, we still heard the resistance from practitioners (and sometimes from learners, but usually practitioners) that the screens were too small, they weren’t powerful enough, battery life was too short.

We, with others, were very much involved in the MoLeNET programme and that has had a huge impact in FE in kick starting the use of mobile devices for learning.

Mobile devices in the last few years have also dramatically changed too. Mobile phones have moved on from phones that just made calls and SMS, to mobile computers. Apple have also changed the landscape, first with the iPhone, then the iPod touch and now the iPad.

“There are no plans to make a tablet, it turns out people want keyboards…. We look at the tablet, and we think it is going to fail.”
Steve Jobs of Apple in 2003.

Innovation now is in the mobile sector of the market, these are the devices that our learners are buying and using.

The age of mobile is now.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #054: I haz iPad too

July 18, 2010

David and James talk about the iPad, iPad Apps and the uses of it for learning.

This is the fifty fourth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, I haz iPad too

Download the podcast in mp3 format: I haz iPad too

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  • iPhone App of the Week : This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone and iPad Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will work on the iPod touch or the iPad, some will be iPad only apps.
  • AudioNote
  • DocumentsToGo
  • David Sugden’s blog post on his iPad
  • Pages for iPad
  • Keynote for iPad
  • Numbers for iPad
  • Star Trek Tricorder
  • Google Earth for iPad
  • Leather Case for iPad

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #051: Engaging with the VLE

June 20, 2010

How can you more effectively use the VLE to enhance and enrich learning? How do you engage staff to ensure that they use the full functionality of the VLE? What models can you use to demonstrate to staff how they can progress their use of the VLE? James, David, Mick and Ron discuss how the VLE can be used, how to use it more effectively and provide tips and guidance on engaging staff to use it.

With James Clay, Mick Mullane, David Sugden and Ron Mitchell.

This is the fifty first e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Engaging with the VLE

Download the podcast in mp3 format: Engaging with the VLE

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e-Learning Stuff Podcast #047: Is the netbook finished and now the iPad is the future?

May 16, 2010

What do you use your computer for?

Photo source.

Is the  netbook as a concept finished? Is the iPad the future? James, David and John discuss the rise and fall of the netbook and the potential of Apple’s iPad.

With James Clay, David Sugden and John Whalley.

This is the forty-seventh e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Is the netbook finished and now the iPad is the future?

Download the podcast in mp3 format: Is the netbook finished and now the iPad is the future?

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e-Learning Stuff Podcast #045: Brighton Rock

May 2, 2010

Personal responsibility, self-censorship, safeguarding, digital identity and Brighton!

James Clay, David Sugden and Col Hawksworth discuss many issues relating to digital identity and literacy in relation to the use of Web 2.0 tools and services.

With James Clay, David Sugden and Col Hawksworth.

This is the forty-fifth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Brighton Rock

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e-Learning Stuff Podcast #044: It’s not James Clay

April 25, 2010

This podcast does not discuss James Clay, nor does it look at his Twitter feed, nor is he mentioned at all…possibly…

With Lilian Soon, David Sugden, Ron Mitchell and without James Clay.

This is the forty-fourth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, It’s not James Clay

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#036 e-Learning Stuff Podcast: Cultural Change

February 28, 2010

With James Clay, Mick Mullane and David Sugden.

It’s not just about the technology, it’s also about the culture of the organisation when it comes to embedding learning technologies and e-learning. Cultural change often needs to happen if there is to be transformation within an educational institutiuon.

This is the thirty sixth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Cultural Change

Download the podcast in mp3 format: Cultural Change

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