I registered and had a play with winksite’s free mobile website development. The process of setting up a site that is accessible via a web enabled phone, PDA or PC is very straight forward. Most of the sites that have been set up are text based. The sites come up on a pop up window on my PC in a mobile phone / PDA window display. Clicking on some of the ‘full article’ links tends to bring up a standard website. I have not (as yet) tested this on a web enabled mobile phone to see how these sites actually load up onto the phone.
A pretty nifty tool that is user friendly and has loads of potential for use. Winksite also offers single click access via mobile devises to mobile chats, blogging, syndicated feeds, a simple process to share field notes, meeting agendas, etc. However, for use with mobile phones, web browsing capabilities need to be available. I can see that sites like Winksite will increase as more people start using their mobile phones and PDAs for simple text communications like email and blogging. Many of the articles I now read on PalmAddicts and Treonauts have been composed on WAP capable PDAs or smartphones and posted directly on to the websites or blogs.
The use of this form of communication opens up many opportunities for educators. In particular, the ability for groups to work together to gather, collate, reflect on and present their learning in a form that is readily accessible and synchronous. At the moment, I have a group of second year apprentices on their block course. These students come from a variety of cities in New Zealand More than half the class of 14 have WAP capable cellphones and almost all have pix capable phones. They take photos of their products and then show these photos to each other on their phones. Maintaining this sharing of pictures and information is now possible when the students return to their home towns. Portfolio collection and collation can now become a peer supported exercise. Our goal is to provide the platform for it to take place and then to provide the forum for the portfolio to be show cased (and assessed).