Tag Archives: ipod

The mobility of learning: using mobile learning to rethink the digital divide – done!

I ran a workshop at ALT-C yesterday afternoon on mobile learning though didn’t have time to blog about it yesterday.

Session seemed to go well though I did have about sixty people in a long narrow room.

The feedback from the session can be found here:

http://altcworkshop.blogspot.com/

Please feel free to add comments to people’s blog posts.

Recorded Gabcast podcasts from my sessions at #altc2008 today. They are online now at http://tinyurl.com/hood2feedback

iPod nano on the big screen

Now and again I will watch video on my iPod, but the iPod nano screen is rather on the small side for me, so prefer using other things for video (such as my Mac or my Archos device).

iPod nano on the big screen

However I have been experimenting with an AV cable for the iPod nano and it works well on my TV. Battery life is ample for a whole movie.

Only downside is pausing or rewinding the movie is a little more complicated than using the remote.

You can also connect the iPod nano to a projector, if the projector has a video input.

Though you can only show videos and images in this way.

PSP or iPod touch, that is the question?

I believe that the iPod touch has a lot of potential when it comes to mobile learning.

I think the SDK gives a whole new way of working with the iPod and Exchange intergration via ActivSync allows it to be used at an enterprise/institutional level that wasn’t possible before.

In our MoLeNET project we have a group using the iPod touch and another group using the iPod classic. If you remove the wireless aspect, the classic (or nano) is a much more flexible device. What makes the touch special is the wireless capability.

The fact you can browse the internet, use e-mail, web widgets, etc… on the iPod touch makes it much more usable for some aspects of learning than the “traditional” iPod.

My colleague Alan though mentions one failing of the iPod touch over other iPods. With the nano and the classic you can use them as USB storage devices to store files, however this is not possible with the iPod touch.

You will need to consider that the touch interface does mean the screen gets grubby pretty quickly and the included cloth will need to be used on a regular basis.

Another disadvantage is that it can’t play Flash based content.

So what about the PSP?

PSP or iPod touch, that is the question

Well it has a bigger screen for one thing and it can play games!

I do like the PSP and at £120 is cheaper than the iPod touch.

It does not require iTunes and can be connected to a PC via a simple USB cable. With extras you can use Skype, record video and audio, and use GPS. The PSP also has built in speakers which means you don’t always have to use headphones.

However it comes with no onboard storage, so you will also need to buy a Memory Stick Duo for it. The wireless browser is okay, but nowhere near the level of usability or sophistication of the iPod touch browser.

Text entry is, well let’s just say, it’s interesting compared to other devices, it does mean that entering URLs is not easy.

The PSP can play “some” Flash based content.

So which one do I prefer?

Well I do use both on a regular basis, but for me the iPod touch wins out.

New Apple products announced

Those who know me will know that I am a bit of a fan of Apple products, not exclusively, but I do like good design and stylish kit.

Yesterday in San Francisco at MacWorld Expo, Apple announced some new products and upgrades for the iPod touch and iPhone.

Key new product announced at the keynote was the MacBook Air, a small light MacBook.

New Apple products announced

I do like small computers, great fan of the 10″ Sony VAIO laptops, however this is slightly bigger than I would like, and I can’t see how that would survive travelling by air or train.

Don’t get me wrong I think it’s very stylish, well designed, but doesn’t meet my needs for a small portable computer for use at conferences, on the train and in coffee shops.

No rumoured touchscreen, nor a Blu-ray drive either (actually no optical drive, though cleverly you can use your other Mac’s drive wirelessly, which is a very clever piece of software and something I would like to use with Windows UMPCs).

There was also upgrades for the iPhone and iPod touch announced which provide additional applications, annoyingly free on the iPhone and a £12.99 upgrade for the iPod touch.

Huh!

Probably worth it for the e-mail and notes applications which make the iPod touch a more interactive device.

Also announced was a new Airport Extreme base station which comes with a 500GB or 1TB drive for Time Machine backups.

On the Americans get the opportunity to rent films, here in the UK we don’t.

iPod touch, impressions

Gloucestershire College is undertaking the Glossy project as part of MoLeNET and as part of that I am evaluating and reviewing mobile devices that we may use as part of our project as well as seeing how they work so when we create (and convert) content for use on a mobile device we can ensure that it works on the majority of devices that our learners actually use.

Well I now have an iPod touch, and though I have touched one before, to actually use one for quite a bit of time, is a different kettle of fish. I am very impressed still with the device. Apple have done an excellent job.

The touch interface is very impressive and compared to the typical Table PC or Archos touch interface, the iPod touch interface is more fluid and responsive, and though I don’t like the fingerprints all over the device, the use of the finger is very intuitive.

It is these fingerprints which will probably mean that the device is not suitable for use in a classroom environment with the institution providing the devices. Learners will more thank likely look after their own iPod touch, but a class set would soon get very grimy and would need to be cleaned on a regular basis. That’s not to say this would not happen to other mobile devices, I only need to look at my phone and my iPod to see fingerprints all over them, but there is a difference when you are using your finger to poke and swipe to actually use the device.

Having said all that I can certainly see learners been able to use this interface quickly and easily, more so if webpages (ie web content) is designed for the interface.

The screen quality is excellent and images and video look excellent.

iPod touch

Syncing took a bit of time, it’s just an 8GB device, but I did put over five hundred photographs on the device as well as 4Gb of music and podcasts. This is something to consider when first using the device, it will take time to initially charge and synchronize.

The browser is probably the best I have seen on any mobile device, the way you can intelligently zoom in and out makes browsing webpages really nice and you don’t feel you are losing out with the small screen (well it’s a lot smaller than my 20″ iMac).

Overall I do like the iPod touch. it is one of the best mobile devices I have ever used and I have used a lot.