IADIS 2011 mobile learning: the quest for a device neutral platform

Avila, Spain
Avila, Spain

Ok, there were no less than 2 presentations that I attended that presented projects that attempted to create device neutral m-learning platforms. Some of these were pretty technical and challenged me, but the takeaway for me is that we are all facing the problem the incredible number of device options and how we address m-learning in that landscape.

The Poznan University of Economics (Poland) presented their work on something called the MILES interfaces, which even with my limited technical knowledge, appeared to be nothing short of brilliant.  Basically, of some sort of backend interface (SOIL, service oriented interface language based on XML) it allows the appropriate “template” to be pulled up for the appropriate device, and adjusts media size etc according to the device.  Basically, an “interface adaption system” that extends to Web 2.0 tools such as wikis or blogs.  Sorry folks, that’s the best I can do.

The Moule project based in Italy seemed addressed the device issue in a different way, but the presentation was less about the technical and more about its application in higher ed.  The technical is described here and makes heavy use of GPS, (and  I believe QR codes but I could be mixing that up with another) as a way of extending the learning experience beyond the classroom and more embedded in the real world.  This is a very tangible and valuable idea for me, and again has concrete relevance in the types of applied learning programs we do at the JIBC, which are so often embedded in workplaces and less in the classroom.  The Unidroid project (also Italian) explored the same kind of institutional application of mobile learning by building on the compass, camera, accelerometer, and the GPS, in conjunction with QR codes, mainly around orienting students to the campus, schedule information, bibliographic management, and language lessons.

I’m pretty sure there was at least one more device neutral platform presentation that I either attended or missed, but the notes aren’t digging it up.  That’s all for this topic.



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