Monday, March 14, 2005

Reverse engineering -hard & software tools for mportfolios

Some of the aspects revolving around the selection of hardware and software tools were covered in the section on evaluating mlearning tools. So this blog is a continuation along a similar theme.

On the hardware front, the selection of a smart phone capable of the following will be important:-
  • Normal mobile phone capabilities
  • Ability to ‘tele-conference’, ie to allow several people to link up & talk to each other and the group as a whole, this is now available in NZ via push to talk technology
  • SMS via text with possible video functions if we move into G4 technology
  • Longer SMS messages which are now possible with G3 phones
  • Capability of receiving and sending emails (although SMS would be probably the preferred mode of non-aural communication)
  • A camera providing the ability to take images to at least 3.5 mega pixels
  • Colour screen large enough to view web pages and with a high enough resolution to view video clips.
  • Web browsing capability
  • Enough memory to hold downloads of text based documents for download on to a printer / fax to print out the documents along with sufficient memory to download their portfolio on to a computer / data show / TV.
  • Standard PDA functions (diary, address book, memo pad, calculator, dictionary / glossary, measurement converter)

From the institutional / training provider point of view, the following will need to be installed or adapted using existing platforms and supported.

  • LMS that will work seamlessly with mlearning which includes the ability to maintain a student management system that will allow SMS messages to be posted to students via the tutor’s computer through to the students’ phones.
  • Content development tools, some progress seems to be made in this area with mspecht
    (thanks for the welcome to the blogsphere Micheal) reporting that Micromedia has licenced Flash to be used on Nokia phones.
  • m-portfolio tools that could be part of an existing LMS or separate software that is linked to the LMS. This should allow students to maintain a collection of text, photos, videos using their phones. The ability to manipulate and reorganise their collection of evidence should also be possible using their phones. The download of their m-portfolio via their phone onto a device (computer or data show or TV) that will allow them to show off their m-portfolio will also need to be explored.

Most of the above can be achieved using existing technology. However, there still needs to be some thinking and lots of technical development to be done with regards to modifying existing LMSs etc. to fit in with the peculiarities of maintaining a portfolio using a phone as the primary collection, collation and dissemination tool.

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