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!

3 comments:

sienne said...

Brilliant work Geoff. If I was a teacher, I would definitely want this included. Are the bods who produce games here in Cambridge for Sony not at all interested in a bit of corporate social responsibility?!!

russelldonders said...

Hi - I work for a school in london that is part of a pilot project using psp's in class rooms. at the moment we are developing flash resources that run on the psp to deliver to the girls but i would be interest in others use of the psp for education and any ideas that may be around. my email is dondersr@clsg.org.uk

geoff said...

Thanks for the message, Russel.

I am aware of a couple of different groups looking into how to use their PSPs for learning, though we ourselves haven't done any real trialling yet.

What we have done is convert our PocketPC content (flash based) so it plays on the PSP. The end result of which is, similar to yourselves, flash running in the PSP browser. (though of course, tutors creating the content do not need to use Flash to create it).

Other uses in a couple of school trials I am aware of seem to center mostly on the "PSP as a smart memory stick" idea. So learners download texts / pictures / video clips from websites related to their learning, and read / view / watch them later either as part of their learning, or for reference.

I haven't had much feedback to know how this is going. I know technically that the PSP is a great device for watching video, but it suffers by not encouraging learners who want to create new media. Most phones, which make it really easy to capture pictures / sounds / movies. PSPs do not.

But as with many mobile learning devices - I find that comparing devices is a distraction. It tends to narrow our focus when what we should really be doing is embracing anything that comes along and finding the right way to use it (as you seem to be doing with the PSPs).

I hope this helps, and would be very interested to find out how you get along

Geoff

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