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April 13, 2009

Technical session: Mobile Learning Meeting

We're asking the question about how to develop things locally (i.e., in the Colleges) while the infrastructure is changing so much.

Google gears? He thinks that these might be interesting for developers, but I don't know what they are.

Someone asked the question about what needs to change on the back end to deal with the changes that we want on our front end?

There are different ways of thinking this. Mobile devices allow us to do something completely differently. The mobile devices are smart and they can do very interesting things, and that may change what we care about.

Has anyone thought about how these things might be used in academics? To help students do novel and innovative things.

Mobile Devices Initiative Workshop

Rex Wheeler, IT Director, UM Extension. Recommendations from the initial study:

  • Biuld out wireless infrastrtucture

  • Identify interested partner units and begin the process of setting standards for mobile devices

  • Leverage SMS messaging to send and collect information to and from students.

  • Investigate dynamic video transcoding -- the ability to push single source video to a variety of users

  • Support all mobile devices

  • Create a developer's guideline clearinghouse in partnership with U of M units

  • Establish usability testing protocols and programs

Louis Hammond, Infrastructure and Operations Director, OIT. Mobile devices need to connect to the infrastructure. The infrastructure that we need is not stable. He is concerned with issues of bandwidth and capabilities and what happens when people switch between different types of connections. 2G - 4G (but not real 4G devices yet.)

Pat Haggerty, trainer, makes the case that mobile is important because our audience is now mobile (and he insists, are distracted). He's discussing the basics of separating content from form, and semantics, which is fine. I'm wondering if OIT is going to offer any tools to assist with this. Creating a system that allows us to create XSL transformations on top of XML, and an XML academic content data standard, would be very cool, but I sense that this is mostly just a pitch for separating content from design, which is sort of an old idea.