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October 20, 2010 / mauricefli

Apps for Mobile

Mobile Learning Update –  Apps

I’m getting a little more confident with my iPhone, although I must confess historically I’ve not been a mobile phone user – texting is a real pain, I prefer to pay for calling people. My one finger text skills are pretty atrocious.

So the qwerty keyboard on the iPhone is a big leap up for me. I started off one finger entry, and the predictive, learning software enables me to make reasonable mistakes and by hitting the space key get a corrected entry – so the notes I take in meetings have been useful, at least as a base for review, and not a lot worse than hand written notes. As I remarked earlier, the big advantage is I can then just mail them to my computer and integrate them into other resources. And the phone fits in my pocket with not much more ‘baggage’ than a pen, etc.  Cameron has convinced me to learn two thumb entry on the key board – I think it’s working but I need more practice. I thing of how I struggled to overcome two-finger typing and here I am heading back into it!

A bit of time exploring apps ( yup, I’m becoming enculturated – ‘application’ is disappearing from my lexicon, at least in that context!) this week.

mTouch

I’ve uploaded mTouch which is an app for Moodle that works pretty well from a ‘student’ perspective. It allows you to edit your profile and choose a number of appearances for your screen. Four icons along the bottom of the screen offer a choice of courses that you belong to, that having selected one of, you may then choose from the other three to go to resources, assignments or forums. On the bottom right of the screen is a link to other resources including, glossaries, upcoming events, chats, quizzes, grades, choices, databases, wikis, and all the other frequently used Moodle activities for students. There is a link to down load files to your computer if you need them or you can just open them in the iPhone if you wish.

Selecting ‘course topics’ suggests you will be taken to the menu block, but in fact you are taken to the Zero Section of your Moodle page and a list of resources and activities. This is a pain if you are looking to see how these activities relate to learning objectives and related resources for the unit of work or topic you are doing.  In our courses at Lincoln University we are encouraging people to move towards topic based structures that use topic and single section formating in Moodle so that learner get a comprehensive and integrated visual map of how the course works. mTouch defeats this pretty nicely, so in my opinion is a very useful mobile application but not able to stand alone as a Moodle resource.  To add Spice, I talked with Jason about this and in some course one gets a full list of sections, and in others not – something for us to work on but perhaps needing more consistency from mTouch.

Overall a useful app that I need to explore more

Maurice

PS – I’ve struggled getting images rto upload to this article – screen shots taken with Grab and saved as jpegs don’t get accepted for upload – suggestions?

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