The folks over at EduCause has published another publication in their 7 Things You Should Know … series. This time it is about mobile apps used for learning and like all the other publications in the series the go through :

  1. What is it?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Who’s doing it?
  4. Why is it significant?
  5. What are the downsides?
  6. Where is it going?
  7. What are the implications for teaching and

The iLibrarian posted a list of 10 mobile technologies that we should all keep an eye on this year and the next taken from a report by Gartner Inc.

Some I’ve heard of, but others not and I think it would be a good idea to try to read up on each one, don’t you?

  1. Bluetooth (3 and 4)
  2. The Mobile Web
  3. Mobile Widgets
  4. Platform-Independent Mobile AD Tools
  5. App Stores
  6. Enhanced Location Awareness
  7. Cellular Broadband
  8. Touchscreens
  9. M2M
  10. Device-Independent Security

Need to know more about Mobile IT? Then read this EduCause report on the 7 Things You Should Know About Mobile IT.

Here are the important bits:

1. What is it?

Mobile IT both reflects and drives the convergence of applications and functionality on smaller and smaller devices. The notion of mobile IT is also tied to issues such as cloud computing and federated identity, which help enable secure access to IT tools and resources from remote locations and multiple devices.

2. How does it work?

Mobile devices use cellular networks, Wi-Fi, or both, and many have touch-screen interfaces. Operating systems vary, and support for software such as Java and Flash is mixed. Just as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all device, so too do current and emerging examples of mobile applications span a wide range.

Mobile applications can be built using device-specific toolkits, often resulting in more functionality, but applications that use browser software work on a wider range of mobile devices.

3. Who is doing it?

College and universities offer many types of information and services online, and many are good candidates for mobile IT. Aside from numerous academic uses, institutions have undertaken initiatives in areas of administration, library services, and campus life. Having a single point of convergence for these several channels of communication presents an opportunity for institutions to integrate messaging services, including emergency  notifications.

4. Why is it significant?

Ownership of cell phones is approaching ubiquity, with growing numbers of smartphones and sophisticated mobile devices. Because mobile IT is fast becoming a part of some professional practices, an institutional choice not to pursue mobility is increasingly untenable. Student expectations for mobility are rising, and mobile IT efforts are an important part of keeping an institution’s online services competitive.

5. What are the downsides?

Converting to mobile IT is
not simply a process of miniaturization, and many institutional IT staffs lack expertise in redesigning websites or applications for a mobile context. As a result, although many institutions are dipping their toes into the waters of mobile IT, best practices don’t exist to serve as a guide.

6. Where is it going?

Colleges and universities will continue to convert applications and services to mobile formats, generally at a cautious pace. Vendors will increasingly offer their products and services in mobile formats. Institutions will seek to understand how to integrate mobile IT effectively into campus culture, and development is likely to accelerate around location-based mobile IT services and the capabilities of touch interfaces.

7. What are the implications for Higher Education?

Given that mobile IT is working its way into many professional activities, colleges and universities have a responsibility to develop learning environments that model those kinds of practices. Mobile IT can develop into a specialized field of study, and some institutions already offer courses on development of mobile applications.

I love the iLibrarian as she always posts very useful stuff. Like this morning’s post 10 Great Tools to Create a Mobile Web Version of Your Site:

Tom Walker at Spyre Studios reviews 10 Great Tools to Create a Mobile Version of Your Site. Each entry in the list includes a screenshot and features discussion. If you’re considering creating a mobile site for your organization you’ll want to check out this list as well as the suggestions in the comments.

Some of Tom’s suggestions are subscription based, but most are free to use. And the comments section has some great suggestions as well.

The European MOTILL Project has produced a searchable database of some 50 papers on Mobile Technologies in Lifelong Learning. Each paper has been given an expert review and the database contains a summary and critique of each paper, as well as comments on its lifelong learning context, technology, and implications for policy makers.

The database can be searched by tags, including type of learner, learning context, and learning approach.

The database is available at

Here is a list of some of the articles available:

The European MOTILL Project has produced a searchable database of some 50 papers on Mobile Technologies in Lifelong Learning. Each paper has been given an expert review and the database contains a summary and critique of each paper, as well as comments on its lifelong learning context, technology, and implications for policy makers. (read)
posted by Rune Baggetun on 02/14/10 23:08:33

image Edited by: Giasemi Vavoula, Norbert Pachler, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Published by Peter Lang (Oxford). Mobile learning is an emerging field with a developing research agenda and many questions surrounding the suitability of traditional research methods to investigate and evaluate the new learning experiences associated with mobility and support for increasingly informal learning. (read

Twenty-three mLearning researchers and practitioners from around Australia attended a 2-day mLearning Research Workshop 25-26 November 2009 held at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)… (read)
posted by Rune Baggetun on 01/20/10 23:43:39
posted by Rune Baggetun on 08/24/09 10:00:16
2010 HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition (read)
posted by Rune Baggetun on 01/10/10 20:09:29
Mobile Learning, a Retrospective Outlook: Since its inauguration in 2005, the IADIS Mobile Learning conference series has provided a forum to present, discuss and promote international mobile learning research.
posted by Rune Baggetun on 12/20/09 13:22:17
The HCTD Research Centre is hosting a free Mobile Learning Research Workshop 25-26th November 2009 at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. (read)
posted by Rune Baggetun on 11/24/09 20:02:41
There is a 20% discount (£75) at the Handheld Learning conference ( to be held in London from 5th-7th October, for IAmLearn members who register online and pay before September 14th. The discount code can be found in the Members area of the IAmLearn website. Registration for Handheld Learning is at (read)
posted by Rune Baggetun on 08/31/09 23:12:00
Au Press has recently published “Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education & Training” edited by Mohamed Ally.An online version of this book is available for free. (read)

QR Codes are not new – a few of the South African libraries have used them in their marketing campaigns for a year or two now and although I’ve always thought they have major potential in South Africa (and especially at an ODL institution) I’ve never had the time to really investigate them.

Now it seems I might not have to as David Hopkins from the eLearning Blog: Don’t waste your time is looking into QR Codes and will write posts about it!

In the meantime, here is what QR codes are all about:

Introduction to QR Codes

QR Codes and Mobile Phones

janeknight-typepad-com Picture 1

If you are not already following Jane Hart’s blog, you are missing out on some excellent links and insights. Her most recent post is a link to an article she wrote for e.learning age magazine on the 10 tools we’ll be using next year.

The tools she lists are:

– Prezi
is the highest ranked newcomer on the list. It’s a Flash-based app that lets you build amazing, non-linear presentations where you can zoom in and out of a visual map containing words, links, images, videos, etc. (I blogged about this a while ago)

lets you capture things (web pages, screenshots, photos, note, etc), which you can tag, store and find again fast . It works across many different (Windows and Mac OS) computers and phones (iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, Palm Pre) that are used in daily life

is a web conferencing tool that lets you deliver synchronised presentations, whiteboards and web pages while sharing voice and video. It’s already a winner of a number of awards, and offers remarkable value when compared to other commercial web conferencing systems.

is the only web-based word processor that allows people to work together in really real-time. Unlike other online documentation or wiki tools, Etherpad updates each document every half a second, which means that a number of people can work together and see each other’s updates immediately.

is course authoring software that lets you build a course very quickly and easily online either on your own or collaboratively with others. You can easily import existing content, e.g. PowerPoint presentations.

is an online screencasting tool. A number of these have come onto the market recently, but this tool from the Articulate stable has quickly become a favourite. It lets you record on your Mac or PC, and then play on the Web or on an iPhone.

is a very simple blogging system. If you haven’t yet got into blogging this is by far the simplest way to start. Just post to your Posterous blog using email and attach any type of file – photo, MP3, video, document, etc – if you want to include it. If you already have a blog elsewhere (e.g. Blogger, WordPress or Typepad) you can also auto-post to it, or even auto-post to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr.

is a private micro-blogging service. If you like the idea of Twitter but are concerned about the updates being public, then Yammer provides the same functionality as Twitter, but for in-company use. Only individuals with the same email domain can join a given network. In addition to microblogging there are discussion boards and users can form/join groups. There are also Yammer iPhone app and Blackberry clients.

is a small, fun and quite versatile little tool. It is a word cloud generator. Input or copy in some text and generate a visual cloud of the most frequently use words. You can then tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts and colour scheme.

Flip Video
Finally, this one is not software but a tiny little camcorder that lets you easily take videos and upload them (using the inbuilt USB) to the PC as well as YouTube, Facebook and other sites.

I’ve used 3 of the 10 tools and am glad for the heads up of the other 7. Thanks Jane!