Monday, January 18, 2010

Future of mobile learning – internet capable mobile devices exampled by ipod touch

Back into the fray and taking a couple of hours out of working on my dissertation to catch up on news on the bloggersphere via bloglines.

Latest Horizon report out, both the international version and the Australasian version. Summaries by Derek Wenmouth, George Siemens and Jane Hart. All have mobile learning or mobile internet capable / cloud assisted learning as their top pick for mainstream adoption.

I have been playing with the ipod touch for several months and must say that the capabilities for using it as a learning tool are very good. However, due to its small screen size, it is very much a one person display device. Access to WiFi also an essential if the ipod touch usage is to be maximised in a classroom situation. Access to WiFi also preferable for distance learning students who use it as an access device to their LMS. The grand thing about the ipod touch is that it displays webpages without the need to tweak the display/style sheet settings of the actual webpages. The ability to enlarge and navigate around the page plus tap on the links with a finger are all intuitive and simple to use.

So far, I have barely been able to use the 32G on my ipod, I have at least 26G of space even though I have a few albums of songs, about 200 photos, over 100 documents (using a pdf reader) plus about 60 apps. I bought my daughter a 32G ipod touch for Christmas & she has already filled up all but about 5G!! She has 5000 songs on it, all transferred from her old ipods.

While away, I used the ipod touch extensively to read by blogline feeds and to keep an eye on the weather. Also to use it to make advance bookings for accommodation, onward travel and find information on places of interest. WiFi pretty easy to access in the urban centres of NZ but much more difficult to find (plus expensive) in smaller places. Especially the small towns around the central North Island (Turangi, Whakapapa) and the southern end of the South Island (Waikouaiti, Riverton, Tuatapere). However, once access found, things ran smoothly and 15 minutes of access would be sufficient for me to complete tasks required. Plus in December,  I updated my blog at the Ascilite conference mainly using the ipod touch. At home, my laptop only came out to work on my dissertation. All web surfing and games playing accomplished on the ipod touch. What did I use to do without the ipod touch?? drag out my laptop and wait 10 minutes while everything boot up by which time I have forgotten what I needed to find out or distracted by another task.

Back to apps, I have been exploring these over the last few weekends, mainly trawling through the lists using the iTunes shop search function. Lots of little apps for science (periodic tables), maths (drill programmes), word games plus usual reference tools for astronomy, botany etc. Probably the best application to date would be this one for sharing multiple choice questions with students who also have ipod touches. As apps profligate, will need to keep in touch with some of the bloggers who lists and review new eudcational apps. These include Tony Vincent, Chris Webb, wired educator and Kathy Schrock.

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