A host of mobile web sites platforms have emerged over the last year or so. Most tend to have desktop based interfaces. In general these were all easy to use, with good visual layout and icons that make sense. The influences of web 2.0 type user interfaces prevail.
As an example of how quickly mobile website development platforms have developed, just compare winksite, one of the original mobile website platforms to jag a relatively newer one via celladmin. One is dated and although easy to use as a whole, it is not so simple to, for instance, add a picture. The other, although desktop based, provides a 30second interface to put up mobile greetings, invitations and sites and allows easy links to linkedin, myspace, facebook & google.
Most of the sites were optimised for development of the webpages via desktop computers. Included in category were wirenode, mobfive (in Swedish), swiftmob, jag and mofuse. Good examples of desktop interfaces include mobisite galore, zinadoo. tagtag, mobilemo, wapple and wapamama. All of these are optimised for setting up webpages on a desktop / laptop and not directly from a mobile phone.
There was one which worked well on mobile phones but required input in HTML, not an easy option on a mobile phone. Phn would be difficult for students to use as a tutorial on HTML will be required first. Mobisite galore may be suitable as you are able to set up a customised template first & then input more items are required.
Two possibilities have emerged for further trial. Mobilikey provided the facility to create, update and post pictures to personal mobile websites via the desktop or directly through their cell phone or mobile device. The interfaces is quite user friendly. To post a picture, video or voice file, you basically email the file across. There is no preview screen, so you need to wait for the pictures to come through before you can view whether they have synched across.
xtgem is more visually attractive but harder to use via mobile phone. In order to include pictures etc. the browse button does not work on the phone so there is a need to store pictures etc on sites like flickr. Generally less intuitive to use compared to mobilikey. Plus in the preview screen, there is a embedded link to a site to view videos of girls! which will be an incentive for apprentices but does not wear well for me!
Another quick way is to make use of Nokia lifeblog. However, to date, very few students own a Nokia phone with internet access! Plus software needs to be downloaded on to a PC for ease of access to manipulate / collate the photos / videos and other blog items.
Also possibility of using the mobile learning engine which is a plug-in for Moodle. Links from various repositories for photos / videos etc. can archived on Moodle. Moodle site can then be the ‘aggregator page’ for a range of evidence.
Will put a few more sessions into testing out possibilities before evaluating a few with students.