Monday, October 16

more PSP learning please!

I am just back from the handheld learning conference in London, where I showcased our content authoring, and in particular the PSP materials.

It seems we have tapped into a latent, and unfulfilled need. We know that there are a lot of PSPs out there. What we didn't know was that there were so many people interested in using them for learning. Fantastic news!

(the hits on my blog have escalated by about 10 times since posting about our PSP content authoring)

But now the tricky bit. As PSPs stand, they have great batteries, a fantastic screen, good video playback, but no real educational content. Certainly nothing to compete with the games I can buy for it.

I have met a couple of people in the UK already looking to use the PSP as a glorified memory stick in education. They are about to start trialling PSPs with a couple of schools - but as their website isn't live at the moment, I will not post any links.

This is a good idea, but seems like only the beginning. What we need is tools for educators to be able, more simply, to create more relevent, more meaningful content of their own - personalised to their learners.

At the moment, our PSP authoring isn't scheduled to be included in the release version of Mylearning author. Mostly, because we don't have many teachers interested.

I am sure they exist, so if you are one, and if you think it ought to be included, please post a comment to let me know. The more momentum we can get, the more likely I can get it into the next release!

Wednesday, October 11

Make your own Playstation (PSP) resources!

Wow! This is a hot-off-the-press sneak preview.

I have just seen some of our mobile learning materials running on a PSP!

We have been dabbling with it for a while, but what I am looking at right now is materials, built by a non-technical author, using our Mylearning authoring tool.

The games were intended for display on a PocketPC, but the team here in cambridge have been reconfiguring our mobile framework, and now it runs just fine on the PSP as well!!!

It looks awesome. (if I say so myself)

Yet another step forward to give authoring tool to the masses, so they can transform all sorts of mobile devices into learning tools!

So far, I know that they have been used on TabletPCs, UMPCs, PCs. PocketPCs and Whiteboards - but this is the first real gaming platform to be included.

Huge thanks to Juan, Ivars and Chris who helped make this rather out-there dream into a reality!

Put those podcasts to work on your PDA!

I am part of the team creating several different mobile learning tools. We make:
  • mobile content
  • tools to help teachers make their own mobile content
  • platforms to help people use SMS and MMS as educational resources
as well as spending much of our time exploring the pedagogies around mobile learning.

That was a rather long buildup to a very specific bit of news. One of our tools, Mylearning author, creates interactive content for mobile devices. But we never made enough use of audio. Sure we included sound effects and voice overs, but audio was always an extra.

I guess we were still struggling to shake off the prejudices of "e-learning on your PC".

Today, I am very pleased to announce that our author also lets you add in audio files. Not audio plus text, or audio as a background, but pure, podcast-style audio files.

We have had learners recording their own pep-talks, to remind them of things they learned before.

We have had recordings of lessons, or public talks

We have a few online e-learning courses that include podcast summaries.

All of these can now be more easily included into the mix when you make your mobile content.

Cool huh?

With huge thanks to Chris - the man who made our very first flash-based mobile content all those years ago, and who is still working magic in 2006 - this time with audios.

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