Thursday, June 01, 2006

Voice & Video emails for mlearning

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been looking at options for bringing eportfolio evidence that have been gathered using mobile phones into the CPIT network. Evidence would include photos of products, videos of job tasks with audio descriptions, text or audio explanations / recipes or acknowledgements.

Nick Ford, our CPIT elearning designer & staff developer suggested that we try to use Moodle as the test LMS that we could link to. The CPIT Moodle test site is accessible using my Treo, so we have made a good start. Some of the pages are quite text heavy and take a while to download, so when we construct the actual Moodle page for apprentices to use, we will have to organise it to be mobile display friendly.

Next, we looked at various websites we could use to gather the evidence.

For photos, we will be using flickr as it is easy to use, photos appear almost instantly after you have emailed it to the site and we are able to link my flickr page to the Moodle test course page.

For audio input, we looked at Wimba voice mail , Yackpack and Springdoo.

We could not get Yackpack working on a PC so did not attempt with a phone. The interface is very well laid out and has good visual appeal. However, it is not very intuitive to use.

Wimba mail was promising, loading and working on a PC well. However, the site is housed on a WebCT site and not very friendly to use. Wimba also needs Java to be available in order for the various voice email, voice bulleting board etc to work. I could not get pass the introduction page with my phone. I then downloaded the Palm OS version of Java called the Websphere everyplace micro environment from palm support. However, Wimba only runs on the PC based Java & not on the mobile Java.

Sprindoo got us really excited as it worked really well on a PC and linked to Moodle without any hassles. It was also very user friendly to use and very visually pleasing to look at. The interface for recording voice and video emails is very good, intuitive and responsive. Your audio or video input shows up as a graphical display so there was good feedback as well. If we were working with a PC based course requiring audio or video input, this would be the site to use. However it requires Macromedia Flash to run and my Treo does not run on Flash lite. We will have to hunt up a compatible phone to try it out.

For video input, we went to videopxt but found this to be quite clunky on a PC and the page was too big to download on to my Treo.

Springdoo also had an excellent interface for video emails. As the Springdoo office is based in Christchurch, I rang them to find out more about the product. Their video email function has become very popular but they are not supporting their audio mobile phone email function as their latest market research showed that this was not a function that mobile phone users wanted to use.

It’s been good to work with someone else who is as committed as I am to getting mobile phone evidence gathering to work within a tight institutional framework. We will continue exploring various applications over the next week or so, we will need to settle on several that will work so that we can evaluate our Moodle hosted mobile course site more fully with apprentice users.

3 comments:

BJ said...

YackPack does work on any web browser (not sure why you had problems on your PC). We don't have a phone interface yet.

BJ Fogg
YackPack

Selena said...

Thanks for your help bj. We will give Yackpack another try. Many thanks, Selena

Jerry Gene said...

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