Wednesday, September 19

Handheld learning 07

Tribal is offering a discount code to celebrate the launch of their latest release of authoring tools. Come and visit us on our stand to see them in action.

To get 15% off the entrance price, just make sure you use the code hl07ctad when you register.

Feel free to use it, and to pass it on.


Friday, September 7

Gadget review: Toshiba G900 Protege

The great folks at Toshiba let us get our hands on one of the first production G900's to hit our shores, and we leapt on it eagerly, to see how our resources run on it.

The spec is fantastic, and ought to make it a good choice for learning:
  • Wide, high res screen
  • Windows Mobile 6
  • Thumbprint recognition (and scrolling)
  • One of the fastest processors around
  • Reasonable camera (2 mega pixel - but with a great lens)
  • sleek lines

BUT (and this is a big but), both our devices were increadibly slow.
  • Video playback was slow
  • All apps were slow
  • Browsing the folders was slow
  • Email was slow
  • Even using the phone was slow.

We don't know why, and I have delayed posting this blog for three weeks while we wait to hear back from Toshiba. They took our concerns very seriously and are checking them out in their labs, but as yet I have no answer.

Is the problem Windows Mobile 6? Might be, but other WM6 devices seem OK. And all our earlier OS devices were running way faster ... even with less than half the processing power of the G900!

I will update when I hear back from Uncle Tosh ...

Thursday, September 6

m-learning on your iPhone !

It looks like the rumours are true, and we will be using the iPhones for mobile learning by the end of the year!

Apple has just announced the iPod Touch, which is just like a slightly thinner iPhone ... but without the phone.

It has the same touch screen, the same apps, the same Touch OS X operating system, WiFi and a Safari browser.

Apple haven't opened the OS up for us developers to write code for it yet, but access to the browser is a great start and the team at are champing at the bit to get their hands on one. Amazon in the US is already listing it

We want our MyLearning Authoring tool to export to as many mobile devices as possible, so even though the attached picture is a simulation, as soon as we can get our hands on one we will post some real samples.

(btw: if you like this, check out our previous postings about PSP where our materials are running within the PSP browser just fine!)


ps: thanks to James Clay for spotting this release at midnight last night!

Tuesday, September 4

See you at Alt-C ?

If you are going to be at ALT-C this year, I will be presenting some of our mobile authoring tools on wednesday afternoon at 13:30.

Details of the talk are on the conference site. I will be showcasing some of the great things that our partners and clients have been doing with our authoring tools. Highlights include:

- The Unite project and specifically some great mobile learning activities in the two UK schools

- The ALPs project with Leeds Met University who used the mediaBoard as an e-portfolio

- Some fantastic resources for 5 yr olds made in a Wolverhampton primary school, part of the Learning2Go group

- Work-based skills audits from the transport, catering and customer service industries

I would love to meet some of the blog readers - see you there?


Monday, September 3

5 year olds need mobile, playful ICT instead of laptops!

Teaching ICT to primary aged children using tools designed for office-based adults isn't the best approach.

This is the result of a study recently completed at Stirling University in Scotland, which found that it was far more helpful to get them started with the technologies that fit more naturally into their lives: digital cameras, video cameras, electronic keyboard, barcode scanners and mobile phones.

The TES ran a great article on the study this week (pg 34?), and although the full version is not available on the university website just yet, it is expected shortly.

The Tribal m-learning team have had similar, very positive experiences with Key Stage One children using our resources. We recently visited a primary school in Wolverhampton, part of the Learning2Go initiative, and were bowled over by the inspirational mix of PDA activities, class-based learning, and paper-based worksheets.

Robin C, the class teacher, had used our MyLearning Autoring tool to build text based activities, using words from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. He them made paper-based worksheets to extend these activities further. The mix of book, PDA, differentiated worksheets and class-interaction was very engaging. even the most hyperactive of his 5-6 year olds was totally absorbed in their task.

Kids with a 2 minute attention span were sitting, engrossed, for a good half-hour!

Robin, we think you and your class rock! Keep up the inspiration!

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