Although we’re still at the early stages of mobile phone based collaborative learning, I’ve just experienced the most promising sign to date that Mobile Learning is on its way to becoming integrated with Web 2.0. Winksite is a service that allows users to easily create highly functional mobile portals, with customised informational resources (“channels”), including a number of provided services:
- Announcements: Post announcements to the portal – which can be syndicated elsewhere via full RSS support
- Core: Post content pages – a place to put information to be made available as mobile content. Appears to only support text content at this time but can be syndicated via RSS
- Agenda: A mobile calendar feature
- Blog: A mobile, text-based blog that can be syndicated via RSS, and can also grab content from all major blog sites and products if your blog is maintained elsewhere
- Journal: haven’t played with this yet… can be syndicated via RSS
- Syndicated Feeds: Displays RSS feeds from any source
- Syndicated Events: Displays RSS event feeds from any RSS event source
- Field Reports: Allows all users to text-moblog entries to the portal
- Notes: Creates notes which can be viewed publicly or set to private (admin only)
- Chat: Interactive, mobile, real-time chat. Awesome. Chat rooms can be syndicated via RSS
- Forum: Discussion board, can be set to allow users to add their own topics. Topics can be syndicated via RSS
- Surveys: Results can be viewed in real time as people respond.
- Zine: haven’t played with this yet…
- Guestbook: Get user feedback on your portal!
- Links: Best reserved only for other links that can also be viewed on a mobile device.
Testing the interface (using both my cell phone and the built-in previewer) made me completely confident that the portal performs very well on mobile devices. This is no clumsy work-around to extend Web 2.0 fuctionality to mobile devices, but a custom tool for supporting true information, collaboration – and learning – mobility. There’s even a function to have your portal’s details converted into all major 2D-Barcode formats (mCode, Semacode and QRCode, illustrated on the right).
With such fantastic functionality already in place in Winksite, it appears that specialist tools for mobile teaching and learning could be just around the corner: mobile assessment, gradebooks, and group tools.
If you’d like to try out some of the tools available in Winksite, I’ve just started building a mobile portal on Mobile Learning, for educators. It’s accessible through your normal web browser, or through your mobile device, at http://winksite.com/mlearning/teach. It’s already got quite a lot of functionality for you to try, and I’ll continue to update it regularly – so check back!
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