Monday, September 14, 2009

PSP2 - play station portable in education

Obtained a Sony Playstation Portable using academic research funds a couple of weeks ago. I have had a play with it to gauge it’s usability for mobile learning. The PSP does more than play games it is able to play music and videos, archive and display photos and surf the web. Connected blog provides videos on the various used of the PSP.

I had also viewed several projects (video summary here & a brochure summary) at mlearn 2008. Most of the projects involved the use of a modified PSP with attached camera. The PSP was also used to revise classroom learning and the video does show a range of contexts (primary schools, esol students, deaf students, armed forces etc.).

Other resources uncovered in the last week or so include a wiki on using the PSP in education, a long way around but possible use of the PSP to put up your presentations (if you did not have a laptop available). I also reconnected with Lillian Soon’s blog which details work on not only PSPs but also on Nintendo DS & other portable devices.

Although project examples are mainly in primary schools, there is room for using the PSP within a tertiary environment. My on-going surveys of pre-trade students have continued to show low ownership / accessibility rates of desktop computers amongst vocational / trades students. However they all own mobile phones & over 80% own an mp3 player or similar. Around 70% own an old gameboy, Nintendo or PSP & so providing access to online course material via WiFi for a diverse range of portable devices makes sense. The cost of a PSP – around NZ $350 is also cheaper then a netbook or laptop. However, it’s still the mobile phone that stands out as the preferred device for young people.

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