HEA conference, day two, nomadic devices

by Paul Maharg on 23/06/2010

The blurb for this session — 'we will discuss how nomadic technology will utterly transform learning' — is irresistible.  Stuart Smith (3 Sheep Ltd, in association with MIMAS), started by defining nomadic learners pretty broadly as anyone with mobile devices + travel + working & learning.  

He started with the example of a hairdressing salon — no space for computers, but there is space for digital resources on mobile devices.  For hairdressing courses he developed same content for desktop interface and mobile interface.  All of it will be OER in the next upcoming iteration.  This iteration will use Druple and other open source software, and access social software apps, eg YouTube.  

Four approaches to mobilisation: 'mobilize, don't miniaturize!' (Little Springs Design)

  1. do nothing
  2. transcoders
  3. mobile style sheets
  4. mobile optimisation
  5. apps

Going down the list, prettiness and effectiveness increases.  But so does cost.  

Rather basic technical stuff (still beyond me — or at least I cd understand the concepts but rarely have practised them), but I can see where he's going, in terms of getting us to understand the difficulty of mobile presentation of data.  Questions as we went along — what about WPTouch for styling mobile interface — Stuart liked it a lot, particularly for WordPress apps.  

Regarding apps, he's investigating ways that apps can be made to work across platforms — Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.  At this point (just when it was getting really interesting AND he used analogue tech (visualiser) to show what was happening on his mobile phone), I had to leave the conference to head back up north. Good session.  Worth keeping an eye on his work.  

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