Archive for the ‘*Mobile’ Category

Intuitive human computer interaction

Back in 2005, Jeff Han appeared on TED Talks and demonstrated some touch screen prototypes soon to come ‘out of the lab’. In light of Apple’s release of the iPhone, we will no doubt see more of this touch screen technology in the market and I hope in education over the coming decade!

Han demos image manipulation using hand gestures directly on the screen.

One comment I picked up from his talk here was about the $100 laptop – that perhaps we should be looking beyond the current trend and form in which our computing takes and begin to look at future possibilities in terms of accessibility and usability in human-computer interaction (HCI).

100 dollar laptop design

Image: http://laptop.media.mit.edu/MIT Media Laboratory

The design of the laptop, Han would say, still restricts us to using physical and material components like a stylus or keyboard. Han’s point is that we can remove the interface altogether so no ‘handbook’ is required and intuition reigns. Han speaks from a priviledged position though, although an egalitarian one – we need to start somewhere don’t we? I wonder what Iqbal Quadir would think of this, along with the new iPhone? :o)

I recommend viewing Han’s TED Talk – what do you think about this as a future for human-computer interaction in terms of greater access and usability for HCI, especially in less-priviledged parts of the world?

Also, for me, I certainly see how this parallels designing learning spaces and blending approaches (physically and otherwise) to enhance learning and engage learners and teachers alike. Rather than shutting in the world of computing – and our learning – it places technology squarely within our everyday lives so that we can celebrate our modernity (to poach a phrase from Alain de Botton’s TV series)!

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miniSeries: movies for your mobile

miniSeries motif

miniSeries: Episodic adventures for mobile phones

The ABC have pulled together some wonderful little movies that are mobile-sized! It costs you to download them to your phone, but you can preview them (in full) online as well. These movies would be good little tasters for your students, especially those studying communications, arts, moving imagery and so on, not to mention potential cross-subject activities!

The Perils of Flossy held my attention well – loved the combination of music with the visuals. Each episode is quite short (say, a couple of minutes, making downloading to your phone easier, and hopefully cheaper?). Each episode links well in true series fashion. This illustrates how series are constructed too – as viewed on television for example; that is, they consist of relevant narrative links from one episode to the next, along with overarching themes and strong characters, yet have an immediate impact, narratively speaking, within each episode.

Very nice learning tools in themselves, these little movies, as well as telling a good story!

Well done to the movie makers, the ABC and their miniSeries partners m.Net, South Aust Film Corporation and The Aust Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) for making these available.

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Developing a mobile learning strategy?

Mark van ‘t Hooft at Mobile Learning Redefined – Ubiquitous Thoughts (via Leonard) points to some work by Mike Sharples and others re-examining mobile learning; what it means, what it requires and what strategies might be employed to develop mlearning approaches further.

I was drawn to the three foci quoted below outlined by van ‘t Hooft :

Mike Sharples wrote a nice piece about this in October 2005, entitled “Re-thinking learning for the mobile age.” In it, he discusses three foci of the Kaleidoscope special interest group on the Philosophy of Technology Enhanced Learning:
1. distinguish what is special about learning in the mobile age compared to other types of learning activity.
2. a theory of mobile learning must embrace the considerable learning that occurs outside classrooms and lecture halls.
3. we must take account of the ubiquitous use.

These appear to me to be the overarching points with which to develop mobile learning strategies for organisations, communities, schools, networks and so on. These points allow us to critique our motives, structures and approaches to learning generally and our learners – as lifelong learners – more specifically.

How many organisations have a learning strategy, let alone a mobile learning strategy? What about a flexible learning plan? Or an elearning philosophy? What type of strategic plan does your organisation have?

My view is that we need our decision makers and managers to be reading about projects like this and work by the Mike Sharples of the world, so they can make informed decisions – at a strategic level – about the learning choices provided to our learners and remain relevant to learners whose worlds are full of work, life, family and yes, learning.

….and this is fast becoming a mantra around my workplace: it is the learner who is mobile, not the technology!

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Exploring the possibilities of weblogs

Gabcast! On the Move #2

This was an example phonecast to demonstrate both the capabilities of using weblogs with mobile devices and to illustrate the powerful sense of immediacy of the tools and the actions taken in using the tools.

WOW – art on your skin


WOW program
Originally uploaded by margoc.

I joined Lynsey for WOW, a spectacularly festive feast of fabric, faces, frenetic dancing feats and fancy facards! (Fffffhew!)

If you haven’t yet travelled to New Zealand, Wellington especially, then this is the best excuse for a trip, if you ever needed one! I can’t recommend this cultural event enough! :o)

We were even warmed up to the show by a WOW street parade and 12-foot-tall dancing butterflies!

This is a truly international event and a great cultural arts drawcard for NZ. Hats off to all involved, especially the amazingly talented designers – what vision!