2012 M-learning Teacher and Trainer Guide

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Australian Flexible Learning Network


Page
4




























Acknowledgement

2012 M
-
learning

Teacher and Tr
ainer Guide

E
-
standards for Training

August 2012

V3.0

flexiblelearning.net.au



2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide



New Generation Technologies for Learning

incorporating E
-
standards for Training

National VET E
-
learning Strategy




Acknowledgements

The New Generation Technologies for
Learning
business activity, on behalf of the National
VET E
-
learning Strategy
,

wishes to acknowledge and thank participants from across the
Australian v
ocational education and training (VET) sector,
including
the
E
-
standards
E
xpert
G
roup
1

and the

following key contributors:

Version

Date

Authors

1.0

April
2007

Margaret O’Connell and John Smith, Canberra Institute of
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With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the Department’s logo, any material protected
by a trade mark and where otherwise noted all material presented in this document is provided under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3
.0 Australia (
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/
) licence.




1

E
-
standards Expert Group members

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide



New Generation Technologies for Learning

incorporating E
-
standards for Training

National VET E
-
learning Strategy




Table of Contents

1 Background

................................
................................
................................
......................

8

1.1 National VET E
-
learning Strategy

................................
................................
.............................

8

1.2 New Generation Technologies for Learning Business Activity

................................
.................

9

2 Introduction

................................
................................
................................
......................

9

3 What Is M
-
learning?

................................
................................
................................
.........

9

4 Why Use M
-
learning?

................................
................................
................................
.....

10

5 Good Practice M
-
learning

................................
................................
..............................

10

6 M
-
learning Design Considerations

................................
................................
................

12

6.1 Content Design Approaches

................................
................................
................................
...

12

6.2 User Interface Considerations

................................
................................
................................

17

6.3 Learning Activities

................................
................................
................................
...................

18

6.4 Planning Conside
rations

................................
................................
................................
.........

19

6.5 Business Considerations for Creation of Content

................................
................................
...

19

6.6 Expense Divide


Considering cost for learners

................................
................................
.....

22

6.7 Mobile Design Summary

................................
................................
................................
.........

23

7 Defining and Categorising Mobile Devices

................................
................................
..

23

8 Mobile Standards

................................
................................
................................
...........

28

9 Content File Formats


user guide and case studies

................................
..................

29

9.1 Audio Resources

................................
................................
................................
.....................

29

9.2 Video Resources

................................
................................
................................
.....................

30

9.3 Web Content and Communication

................................
................................
..........................

32

9.4 Portability of documents
................................
................................
................................
..........

34

9.5 E
-
books

................................
................................
................................
................................
...

35

9.6 Using Networked, Wireless and Proximal Devices for Learning

................................
............

35

9.7 Two
-
Dimensional (2D) Barcodes

................................
................................
............................

37

10 Accessibility and M
-
learning Standards

................................
................................
.....

38

10.1 Accessibility for E
-
p
ublications

................................
................................
.............................

38

11 Infrastructure Considerations

................................
................................
.....................

39

11.1 Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD)

................................
................................
.........................

39

11.2 Connectivity

................................
................................
................................
..........................

39

11.3 Device Management

................................
................................
................................
.............

39

11.4 The NBN

................................
................................
................................
...............................

39

11.5 M
-
learning and the Cloud
................................
................................
................................
......

40

11.6 Data Management

................................
................................
................................
................

41

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide



New Generation Technologies for Learning

incorporating E
-
standards for Training

National VET E
-
learning Strategy



12 Future Trends in Mobile Technology

................................
................................
..........

41

12.1 Near Field Communication Technology

................................
................................
................

41

12.2 Gesture Control

................................
................................
................................
.....................

41

12
.3 Augmented Reality

................................
................................
................................
................

41

13 Further Reading

................................
................................
................................
............

42

13.1 Useful M
-
learning Guides and Case Studies

................................
................................
........

42

13.2 References

................................
................................
................................
............................

42

Appendix A: Baseline Specifications for Mobile Devices

................................
..............

45

Appendix B: 2013 M
-
Learning Technical Standards

................................
.......................

47

Appendix C: Glossary

................................
................................
................................
.......

51

Appendix D: Topics and questions to start the planning process

................................

55

More Information

................................
................................
................................
...............

57



2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
8


1

Background

1.1

National VET E
-
learning Strategy


The National VET
2

E
-
learning Strategy (Strategy) aims to strengthen the Australian training sector
’s use of new learning technologies and
leverage opportunities provided by such projects as the National Broadband Network (NBN) to make major advances in the achiev
ement of
government training objectives.

The Strategy seeks to build the capability of reg
istered training organisations (RTOs), industry and community stakeholders to create more
accessible training options and facilitate new ways of learning through technology. It also aims to stimulate e
-
learning ventures to support
individual participation
in training and employment, and the alignment of workforce skill levels with economic needs.

The Strategy is driven by the vision:

A globally competitive Australian training system underpinned by world class
e
-
learning infrastructure and capability.

and
has the following three goals:

1.

Develop and utilise e
-
learning strategies to maximise the benefits of
the national investment in broadband.

2.

Support workforce development in industry through innovative
training solutions.

3.

Expand participation and access for
individuals through targeted




2

Vocational Education and Training

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
9


e
-
learning approaches.


1.2

New Generation Technologies for Learning Business Activity

The
New Generation Technologies for Learning
Business

Activity
incorporates the existing
E
-
standards for Training

activity and primarily
contr
ibutes to Goal 1 of the National VET E
-
learning Strategy. It has the following objective:



Support the capacity of the VET system to use broadband and emerging technologies for
learning, through research, standards development and advice.



2

Introduction

This guide aims to assist
vocational education and training (
VET
)

teachers, learning designers and developers to implement mobile learning
(
m
-
l
earning) strategies in their teaching

and training in a standards compliant way. It offers a snapshot of the mob
ile device landscape in
Australia, a summary of the
current standards for
mobile

learning

derived from the VET E
-
Standards
, guiding principles for best

practice and
case studies
.

3

What Is
M
-
l
earning?

For
the
purposes

of this guide

the terms ’mobile learning
‘ or ’
m
-
l
earning‘ refer specifically to learning that is facilitated and enhanced by the use
of digital mobile devices that can be carried and used anywhere and anytime. Such devices include:



feature

phones



smartphones

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
10




tablet computers



e
-
book readers




por
table digital media pl
ayers (e
g

iPods, MP3 players)



wearable devices (point of view glasses etc)
.

While laptop and netbook computers may also be used to facilitate mobile learning, the focus of this document is on devices t
hat are primarily
handheld or wor
n, and can generally be
identified
by their relatively small screen, lack of standard keyboard and highly portable nature.

4

Why Use
M
-
l
earning
?

Good m
-
learning makes the most of
the potential for learning to take place anywher
e,
both

beyond

and in conjuncti
on with

formal learning
settings, in places such as the workplace, home and outdoors
. It recognises that both the learner and the practitioner/teacher may
be
mobile
and that the broad ownership of and access to mobile devices
allows them to take advantag
e of
immediate access and connect
ivity
, and in
context information
.

According to the AIMIA Mobile P
hone Lifestyle Index Survey 2011
67% of Australians now own a smartphone, 16% also own a tablet and
another 33% planned to purchase a tablet in the next 12 m
onths.
P
revious AIMIA surveys

indicate that

there is a clear trend towards more
Australians
owning
mobile devices for web browsing and accessing information on a daily basis
, in addition to phone calls and texts.


Usage patterns too are changing dramatical
ly
,

with just over half (54%) of survey respondents having visited websites on their mobile phones a
minimum of once a week. This is up from 38% in 2010
3
.


As faster broadband becomes ubiquitous in Australia, students will expect to be able to consume medi
a rich content
as part of

their education,
participate real
-
time in experiences without being physically present and complete remote assessments. Much of this will involve devices we
currently classify as ‘
mobile


making this a business advantage for provi
ders able to adapt quickly.

5

Good Practice M
-
learning




3

AIMIA


Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index (link to report)

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
11


Good m
-
learning uses good teaching and learning practices and makes the most of being mobile.
As noted in the outcomes of the MOBIlearn
project
4


the interactions between learning and technology are comp
lex and varied, with learners opportunistically appropriating whatever
technology is ready to hand as they move between settings, including mobile and fixed phones, their own and other people

s computers...


Thus good

m
-
learning should consider that it is
the

learner who is mobile rather than the device
5

and this key principle should inform all other
m
-
learning principles.

S
upporting the notion that the learner is mobile and likely to choose their devices some principles enable

good m
-
learning are:

1.

Focus on

tasks
/required functionality

rather than tools

The range of devices that can be used to complete the same task
is

enormous and growing.
For example
if the task is that the student
should provide photographic evidence
, focus on
specifying the required out
come of
the task
and providing
, quality instructions,
examples, and support for students

r
ather than setting a specific way for learners to produce a photo

-

you can take a photo on almost
every brand of phone, and
there are numerous other options.

Also c
onsider systems for learners to submit the photo, review and
feedback, and storage of evidence.


2.

Aim for cross platform solutions

E
ndorse

solutions
, where possible,
that use

recommended file formats
and

are interoperable across devices, operating systems
and
platforms. For example, a software company like Skype provides its service across all major mobile phone and tablet platforms
, desktop
platforms, gaming, Smart TV and more. Such a service allows most students to use the same solution for their communic
ation.

The most pervasive cross

platform format is web content displayed through a web

browser
, which makes it
the simplest way to deliver
mobile content to the maximum range of devices.

3.

Offer alternatives

Mobile learning might be great for many learners
but as with any teaching we need to anticipate some students being unwilling or
unable to utilise the technology. Providing equal alternatives in your planning will enable fair and flexible delivery.
P
ossible barriers to



4

MOBIlearn project (link to website)

5

Sharples, M., Taylor, J. and Vavoula, G. (2005) “Towards a theory of mobile learning” (link to report)
:

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
12


participation are digital literacy,

financial costs of owning and using technology,
inaccessible content,
and geographical issues such as
internet access.

Th
is guide endeavours to assist
VET teachers, learning designers and developers to implement mobile learning (m
-
learning) strategies in
their
teaching and training in a standards compliant way
,

but there are also
a number of
other sources of
m
-
learning

resources

to support you when
you are ready to try an m
-
learning approach in your own teaching. Many of these highlight the benefits of m
-
l
earning and discuss aspects of m
-
learning pedagogy and practice in more depth than this document.

These a
dditional resources are provided in the ‘Further reading’ section of
this guide.

6

M
-
l
earning Design
Considerations

6.1

Content

Design

Approaches

There are a

number of approaches to mobile web content design that
aim for interoperability and a
quality mobile experience
for users, these
approaches are discussed in more detail below:




Responsive
d
esign
:

creating content that scales and adapts to screen size



Ada
ptive
d
esign
:

creating grades of content that are optimised for specific devices


uses



Progressive
e
nhancement
:

creating content from baseline specifications
uses



Progressive
d
isclosure
:

displaying only the necessary content for different device contexts a
nd/or uses.

A recommended workflow for developers

is to maximise
interoperability through a responsive design and choice of interoperable formats and
,

where this is not possible in the first instance, to provide adaptions/alternative formats of the conten
t.

An additional consideration when developing content is whether it will be ‘consumed’ online or offline. Where students would
benefit from
accessing content offline, formats such as ePUB and to a lesser extent PDF may be employed.

6.1.1

Responsive Design

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
13


Desi
gning content once that will

work across a variety of screen sizes is now possible with a
r
esponsive
d
esign approach. Ethan Marcotte
essentially coined the phrase "responsive web design" with his

article
6

by that name

in

A List Apart


in May of 2010. In h
is article, Ethan laid out
both the problem that is facing web designers as well as a very specific method for solving it. He called this method

responsive web design,


and it included three specific tools:



f
luid
g
rids



f
lexible
i
mages



m
edia
q
ueries
.

Since

the publication of Marcotte’s book, there is a wider range of techniques to enhance
r
esponsive
d
esign, and the term itself is often used to
encompass
any approach that
results in graceful rendering of the content

regardless of the size of the user’s displ
ay and the limitations or
capabilities of the device.

The existing design guidance supplied for all e
-
standards content development is consistent with this approach
:

“all content should also be
scalable and designed to resize proportionally to the display
size, available screen area and resolution.”

This may be accomplished through a liquid or fluid layout

that

-

through the allocation of a percentage of space to each element

-

results in
images, text and spaces proportional to display size. See the
web content file format section in the
E
-
s
tandards website
,

which should guide
the approach taken for all browser based content

in the sector
.

For the purpose of d
esktop compatibility it should be noted that CSS3
m
edia
q
ueries, which are used as multiple style specifications within a
style

sheet based on media types including device widths are not compatible with
Internet Explorer
7
,

8

or 9
.

6.1.2

Adaptive
D
esign

Adaptiv
e design
is the practice of creating multiple formats of content to cater
for

different situations, such as ‘forking’ your content into HTML,
EPUB and PDF. Rather than one
responsive piece of content, adaptive

design

offers specifically designed content un
iquely for categories of
devices
such as

f
eature

phone,

s
mart
p
hone
,
tablet

and

d
esktop

(
see the Defining and Categorising Devices section of this document for more



6

Responsive Web Design (link to website)


2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
14


information).

This may involve developing several versions or formats of the content and eit
her delivering the applicable version for the device
on the basis of code that detects the device being utilised
,

or the user selecting the version applicable to their device.


Even the practice of making
r
esponsive

design fluid

g
rids can incorporate mobi
le specific templates

and
functionality to enhance the user
experience by considering the unique context, hardwa
re and user interface of a mobile learner.

6.1.3

Progressive
E
nhancement

The progressive
enhancement

approach start
s

with
the simplest form and work
s

out
wards
. It is the opposite of ‘
graceful degradation

,

a
common approach
whereby

mobile design
i
s an afterthought to desktop design. By designing content for mobile first we can develop a rich and
meaningful mobile learning experience and enhance the sa
me content for larger screen experiences. Mobile first approaches are also valuable
in simplifying the often overloaded layouts of many learning objects and sites.

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
15



6.1.4

Progressive
D
isclosure

Progressive disclosure involves revealing only what is necessary at

the point of need. For example, m
any mobile styles for blogs only show a
list of article headings which, when clicked, open up to a full article view. Progressive disclosure is used in broader web d
esign but is
particularly useful in making better mobile
learning experiences.

6.1.5

Browser Based

Versus

Native App

D
elivery

Mobile ‘apps’, small applications designed for mobile operating systems, can be deployed in education for productivity, asses
sment or simply
as content. Native applications are those which are

downloaded to a mobile device’s operating system and can function independently of web
connectivity. Mobile devices can also have web browsers which, like desktop browsers, can deploy content and applications to
the end user.
Some of the unique aspects of

native applications and browser based delivery are outlined below:

6.1.5.1

Browser based delivery:



content is

likely to require connectivity to the
Internet

to be used and/or refreshed



c
an be accessed from a large variety of devices/ browsers and is more intero
perable



i
s able to be adapted rapidly like all web based content



r
equires just a single resource that can be delivered to multiple device

types



is consistent with desktop content

6.1.5.2

Native
a
pp based delivery:



c
an be faster loading and more stable to use in g
eneral



c
an utilise the full device hardware eg
a
ccelerometer,
c
amera
.



r
equire
s

installation or download from app repositories



a
pps can be subject to third party review and require standards set by
app
store providers



a
re not cross
-
platform compatible (
although versions may exist for different devices).

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
16


Disadvantages of choosing an app include the lack of interoperability and the need to potentially build apps for a variety of

operating systems,
the associated development costs and maintenance cycles, an
d the barrier of requiring the user to download the app.

Learning designers choosing to build a custom app should consider the target user group, their devices and the broader market

share in order
to determine which operating systems they need to author
the apps for.

Apart from custom apps, there are a wide variety of apps that can be used in education and training to facilitate learning. C
hoosing the app
based on the target user group and their devices could facilitate a facsimile of interoperability, a
s many app developers offer apps on all major
platforms (including desktops) making them excellent choices for learners.

6.1.6

Interactivity (Flash vs HTML5)

The trend in
creating

animation and interactivity for both mobile and desktop is
moving
away from Flash

and towards the emerging standard of
HTML5
, which is in fact a combination of HTML, CSS3 and JavaScript. Flash is not supported on some mobile platforms (including App
le’s
iOS, which is the operating system used by iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch) and Adobe

will discontinue support for Flash on Android devices
over the next three years.

HTML5 support varies across the different browsers, and is not yet currently a supported VET E
-
standard.

The choice for mobile content developers is to
either avoid

us
ing

ric
h interactivity and animation (and other HTML5 features) or to provide a fall

back option for older browsers. New elements such as the new media queries and semantic tags should be used with caution as m
any desktop
browsers still don’t support these featur
es. It is also important to test how HTML5 relates to accessibility standards, see

Accessibility
(WCAG2.0) and HTML5

7
.


HMTL5 should be used to create mobile optimised content only when at least one of the following apply
:



t
he code used will run across a
ll currently supported browsers and devices. As of May 2012 this is only <ContentEditable>, <@Font
-
Face>

or

<DragDrop>




7

Accessibility (WCAG2.0) and HTML5 (link to website)


2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
17




A fall back mechanism is provided for browsers that cannot render HTML5 ensuring that the

end user access to alternative/equivalent
conte
nt that renders on their device
,

such as

a JavaScript
audio
player

as
fall back
from

a
n

unsupported
HTML5

player
.

See the
VET
HTML5

Research report
8

for more information
.

6.2

User Interface Considerations

U
ser
interactions with

touch

and multi
-
touch

screen de
vices differ from
interaction with
desktop devices
, using ‘touch actions’ rather than (most
commonly) keyboard and mouse.
The
se

touch actions
currently
include
t
ap,
d
ouble
-
t
ap,
d
rag,
f
lick,
p
inch,
s
pread,
p
ress,
p
ress &
t
ap,
p
ress &
d
rag,
t
ap and
h
old

and

r
otate
9
.
Designing mobile content for accessibility should take into account that content on touch screen devices does
not respond in the same way as mouse controlled activity
.

The main differences on touch devices are:




c
lickable’ content including button
s and links require single or multiple tap actions to perform an equivalent ‘
c
lick’ action



there is no equivalent to the hover state (mouse rollover) event on touch devices
, so

alternative text (“alt text”) labelling dependant on a
hover state will not di
splay. Therefore other methods of providing that labelling should be implemented for mobile content, for example
providing captions under images.



Flash will not display on mobile devices for which there is no
F
lash player (the majority), and interactivity
built in JavaScript does not
respond to touch actions in the same way as mouse actions, creating issues with consistency and access to navigation in site
s that
utilise Flash and JavaScript for that purpose



some browser based content and mobile apps may in
clude non
-
menu based actions, for example “swipe” to change page, or “tap” to
scroll. Some mobile navigation gestures, although intuitive, are not
recognised

by accessibility software



Apple recommends the average finger tap space of interactive content is
about
44x44

pixels

(m
any smart device icons are 33x33

pixels

but have added padding to equate to 44x44

pixels).
This allows users to comfortably and accurately tap on content




8

VET HTML5 Research (link to website)

9

Illustration of some touch and multi
-
touch actions (link to website)


2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

inc
orporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
18


6.3

Learning Activities

Previous
ly the

m
-
learning standards have
predominantly
focuse
d on content delivery platforms and formats
,

however
the increased availability
and capacity of mobile devices


particularly smartphones

and tablet devices

has facilitated the

use of mobile devices in other aspects of
learners’ experience. These include l
earning management, enrolment, scheduling, student support, feedback, reporting and more. Another
important
category

for consideration

is learning activities such as student interactions and us
e

of
mobile device capabilities in field
measurements, gaming a
nd assessment.

To take full advantage of m
-
learning

designers
need to
be aware of the capabilities
and functionality
of mobile devices and focus on assigning
task
s

that can be accomplished with multiple devices
rather than prescribing

the
tools

that learne
rs should use to complete the task. Where
possible a list of cross
-
platform tools should be provided to students along with instructions or access to tutorials on how to use the tools. Some
students will ignore the suggestions and use another method to com
plete the task.

The great advantage of personal mobile devices is that although there is an unending variety of models and types, most owners

can use their
own device
s. For example, it would be impossible to provide detailed instructions on how to use eve
ry mobile phone camera, but owners
generally know how to use the camera on their own phone and could use it to provide an image to a trainer.

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6.4

Planning
C
onsiderations

Before deciding to make use of m
-
learning it’s important to be clear on the drivers for

doing so. The ADL
Mobile Handbook
10
:

outlines a very
useful planning process which seeks to establish why you want to implement an e
-
learning project, what you are seeking to achieve, whether
your organisation is ready, what access you learners have to de
vices, the type of instructional strategies you want to employ, how it will be
implemented and supported.

6.5

Business Considerations for
Creation of
Content

In addition to the design approaches outlined above

the

development

approaches/models that need to be
considered
in the context of business
need
,
timeframes and costs. The more complex the task (
e.g.

making an iPad
a
pp), the more time it will take to develop and manage that
content in the long term.

6.5.1

Testing and Tweaking/Repurposing Existing Content


The ea
siest step towards mobile learning is to look at existing content and make minor ‘tweaks’ that will help learners access it t
hrough mobile
devices. This should first involve research into what devices learners are using currently. Information on what learn
ers are using can be
obtained through student surveys and system analytics that
provide

detailed
information about which

mobile devices and/or mobile browsers
are being used to access online content. Testing existing content on many mobile platforms
will g
ive the most accurate result but
can take time
and incur large costs. An alternative to testing
on all the devices

(
that is not as accurate but faster and more affordable
)
, is to use mobile
browser emulators
such as

iOS Simulator.

After
obtaining

a pictur
e of what learners are using and testing existing content on included mobile devices, content
can be tweaked
to make it
more mobile friendly
.
This may include changes to image and video formats, text spacing and text size, all of which should involve relat
ively
minor effort
.

6.5.2

Responsive Layouts





10

ADL Mobile Learning Handbook (link to website)

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Taking existing content and making it interoperable across as many digital platforms as possible (or designing it that way fr
om the beginning)
offers the
advantage of only
needing

to design and update content once fo
r all scenarios. This approach
may

require more initial investment in
creating the responsive
content
templates, but can save time in managing multiple versions of your content. Making your content responsive to
the screen size of each device involves usin
g fluid layouts, images and text. Some of the advanced responsive layout techniques
such as

using
CSS3 @media queries do not function in IE7, IE8 or IE9 and therefore should only be used where a fall back or alternative is
provided for users
on these brows
ers.

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6.5.3

Dedicated Mobile Content

Creating a dedicated mobile site or piece of mobile content involves directing learners to mobile optimised version
s

of content (mobile site,
mobile e
-
b
ook). Rather than adapting existing content to every platform
,

this app
roach is about creating content specifically for mobile devices.
This can involve making the content more ‘mobile friendly’ to exploit the unique functionality of a mobile device to match th
e often ‘mobile’
context of the user. In addition it may involve m
odification that include
s

re
design:



n
avigation

menus
,
l
inks and other touchable areas are
relatively
larger for finger tapping



s
ome menu items and content may be excluded from the mobile content



i
nformation is presented in small chunks to the user and for
matted for small screens.

6.5.4

Unique Mobile App

Generally speaking making an app is the most time intensive and expensive way to create content for mobile devices. App devel
opment at this
stage still requires an advanced knowledge of
m
obile
o
perating
s
ystem sp
ecific technologies and coding languages. Once designed
a
pps still
need to be uniquely developed or adapted to different mobile operating systems
. For example,

a
n iPad
a
pp is built specifically for an iPad, and
Android
a
pp
s are built

for specific Android
d
evices.

You may find
that
the content or activities can be delivered through the mobile browser and therefore work across more devices
.
The
main
reason
s

for
develop
ing

a mobile app
are

to have offline functionality (although an e
-
b
ook may suffice for por
table content) and to access native
functions of the mobile device
,

for example,

the built in microphone of the device.

6.5.5

Assessing your Choice of Design Approach

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6.6

Expense Divide



Considering cost for learners

It is worth stepping into the learners’ shoes

to see how they might receive m
-
learning; what they expect from it and how they might manage it.
Overall, consider how appropriate it is to develop and use m
-
learning by asking
the following questions
:



Does it extend the learning and make it better?



Is th
e mobile technology accessible for learners and teachers?

The cost of the device (initial investment) and
the cost of
using the device (ongoing investment) should be taken into consideration when
developing learning activities to be carried out using mobil
e device
s
. For example, if you wish to involve learners in SMS games, you should
consider how much students will spend on
this function
. Is the cost itself a reasonable ’investment’ in their learning?

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Asking learners to incur the costs of searching for inf
ormation on the internet and using their mobile phone when there may be a classroom with
internet connected computers available would be inappropriate
,

given that data rates for mobile web access are still relatively expensive.
Setting up a
l
ocal
a
rea
n
etw
ork may be an alternative
worth

consider
ing
, as trialled by the

Mobilae 2009 Emerging Technology Trial

(
see

Delivering situat
ed, real
-
world learning and assessment using mobile devices and wireless networks
”).

6.7

Mobile
Design Summary

As outlined above there are

approaches to designing content for mobiles that include making content that is fluid and adaptable to different
device
scenarios
,

or making content specifically for targeted mobile devices
. The approach chosen

will depend on budget, learning goals and
the needs of end

users
.

7

Defining and Categorising M
obile
Devices

There
is an

almost infinite number of types, brands and
models of mobile devices, and the boundaries are blurring every day. The following

table describes

the major categories of devices currently common in the Australian market

and the capabilities of those devices.

Device

Description

Capability

Pros

Cons

F
eature phone

Feature phones are phones with extra capabilities over and above
standard call and messaging. They can often use email and record
audio and images, but do not have an extendable operating system.
Their use is rapidly declining as older phones

are upgraded. These
devices can still be used in m
-
learning
,

however their web browsing
abilities are limited and they are not known to be widely used for
delivery of content.


SMS


Phone calls

Low initial cost


Low ongoing
costs


Portability

Minimal
fea
tures


Small screen

Smartphone

A smartphone is a mobile phone with an operating system and
advanced connectivity and ability compared to a feature phone. Often
SMS

(short message
service)

Multimedia
features


High initial cost


High ongoing
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Device

Description

Capability

Pros

Cons

modern smartphones combine the functions of portable media
-
players, digital cameras
,
global po
sitioning system (GPS) and web
browsing, which can access and display web pages (rather than just
mobile
-
opt
imised sites). Smartphones are highly portable through
their size and battery life. These devices in most cases complement a
user's computing experi
ence by allowing them to use multiple devices
to access the same tools, documents and other content. Smartp
hones
also have access to unique applications that give the phone extended
capabilities, for example an app that can capture and edit photos
before s
ending to social media sites.


MMS
-

camera/
video

(multimedia
messaging service)


Phone calls


Web access


Bluetooth


Email enabled


Wireless enabled


Document, image,
audio, video
viewing/ recording

Port
ability

costs


Slow to input
large amounts
of data

Tablet computer


A tablet computer is a mobile computer that has a flat touch screen for
input. Typically ‘tablet’ refers to a computer which is designed to be

portable and

has a screen larger than five inches. They run on unique
operating systems that are more similar to that of

a
s
martphone
than
a desktop computer. Tablets are made for touch input, often including
multi
-
gesture actions, which makes the user interface and t
he user
experience different to that of other computers. Tablets can be used
with added input devices such
as keyboards and microphones but the
default functionality of the device is to act as a standalone portable
computer. Examples of tablet computers ar
e the iPad and the Galaxy
Web access


Bluetooth


Email enabled


Wireless enabled


Document, image,
audio, vide
o
viewing/ recording

Portability

Multimedia
features



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Device

Description

Capability

Pros

Cons

Tab.
For a full list see Wikipedia’s comparison of tablet computers
.

Portable digital audio
players


Audio file handli
ng/
recording

Easy to use

Limited
functionality

Portable digital media
players

These include portable mp3 players and devices that can store
video/au
dio content for portable playback. Content suitable for digital
players can include podcast content for education. Audio players can
also be used in some cases as an audio recording device. Although
most smartphone and tablet computers als
o act as portable

media/audio players, a separate portable digital media/audio
p
layer
may be lighter and more portable, af
fordable and quick to use.

Image, audio, video
viewing/recording

Easy to use


High storage
capacity




Small screen



e
-
book reader


An e
-
book reader

as opposed to a tablet computer has

the
specific
purpose of reading digital e
-
books,
with
optimised screen output for
reading text based documents. These devices can usually store digital
e
-
books of more than one file type such as PDF, EPUB, Kindle, etc.
Fo
r a full list of supported formats and a comparisons
visit Wikipedia’s
comparison of e
-
book formats
. Dedicated e
-
book readers use
electronic paper technology to display content, al
though any device
that can display text on a screen can act as an e
-
book reader and
there are many apps for smartphones and tablets that allow them to
also have some of the functionality of e
-
book readers.

Read digital books
and periodicals


Text
-
to
-
speec
h for
accessibility

Portability


Can be read in
bright sunlight
due to the
electronic ink (E
ink) display


Long battery life

Commonly grey
scale


Small screen

Portable and wearable
devices

This includes a range of portable technologies which are in that
sense
mobile but are not in the same category as phones, tablets or media
POV video/image
capture,
augmented reality,
Portability


Wearable
Require higher
level of training
and support

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Device

Description

Capability

Pros

Cons

players. Portable technologies can be used to collect information at
the point of need and in some cases respond to the environment
around them.

Point of view (POV) glasses are wear
able glasses that allow the user
to create video recordings of what the user sees. This allows for
‘hands
-
free’ activities
, such as demonstration or evidence capture for
assessment purposes, while recording video. For example, the
wearer’s perspective cou
ld be recorded while undertaking connection
of a drainpipe as part of an assessment. There are now emerging
wearable dev
ices that may allow sophisticated interaction with the
local environment and the web (
see Google’s
P
roject
G
lass
YouTube
video
).

Smart Pens are another portable technology
that

allows users to
record digital copies of what they write with the pen on smart paper,
and record audio into the pen that is synced in time with the writin
g
.


GPS.

devices allow for
hands free
movement by
the wearer.

Comments


Device



The mobile devices listed are not intended to be indicative o
f any particular model. Instead the titles are used to group devices into generic categories
ranging from a very basic mobile phone to a smartphone (see Appendix A for details).


Capability



The capability of a mobile device describes the typical features

of a device in a particular category. For example, a basic mobile phone has
telephony

and SMS. We can assume that these features are available across the board when it comes to mobile phones.

Pros



This column comments on the strengths of the device that

can be taken into account when determining its suitability for any given m
-
learning context.

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Device

Description

Capability

Pros

Cons

Cons



This column comments on the drawbacks of particular devices and their capabilities that impact on selecting a mobile device f
or m
-
learning.


A description

of typical baseline specifications for each device type listed in Table 1 is provided in Appendix A.

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8

Mobile S
tandards

The
VET E
-
standards for training are developed, researched and maintained to
ensure that practitioners/teachers and learners have the ab
ility to access a broad
range of online learning resources that are
:



re
-
usable and adaptable,



easily discovered, reviewed and obtained,



r
eadily transferred to different delivery platforms, and



accessible to users across state borders and sectoral bounda
ries.

The E
-
standards provide
a guide and a measure for those developing and deploying
content

and systems
,

and
enable
the
learning resources and systems to grow, be
sustained, maintained and delivered to learners.

S
tandards are critical enablers of seven

of

abilities


identified by
e
-
Learning
Consortium at the MASIE Centre in New York
11
,

which
when available facilitate the
delivery of

e
-
learning
. These a
bilities a
re:



interoperability
-

ability of two or more systems to share information



reusability
-

abi
lity to reuse or modify existing systems, data or code



manageability
-

ability to monitor and maintain systems, data or code



accessibility
-

ability of many users to access a system and its data or code



durability
-

ability of a system to endure over time



scalability
-

ability of a system to handle growing amounts of information and
work



affordability
-

ability of systems and data to remain in financial reach of users.

The

E
-
standards Expert Group w
as originally
motivated to investigate m
-
learning
standar
ds as a
specific area

of the

VET E
-
standards

in 2007

as it became obvious
that
there was increasing potential for the use of m
-
learning techniques and

device
s

in

education.

Subsequently

the range and capability of the mobile devices has
risen exponentially

to the po
int where there are
less
discernible differences
between mobile devices and

desktop
devices.

In fact in many ways modern smartphones and tablets are more
capable and more likely to be updated than traditional computers.
This has diverted
the focu
s for designers
away from providing mobile specific content and activities and
toward delivering content that is accessible on the broadest range of devices.

To that
end, where possible the file formats recommended for VET content are platform
independent
and will function on the majority of mobile and desktop devices in the
sector.

The following section outlines various types of m
-
learning content and case studies
of their use and the applicable file formats.



11

e
-
Learning Consortium (2003)
“Making sense of e
-
learning specifications and standards

(2nd Ed.). S3 Working
Group Report, November 2003 (link to report)
, The MASIE Centre, New York


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9

Content File Formats



user guide and case
stu
dies

As more students choose to consume and contribute via mobile devices
the
designer, developer, teacher/ practitioner’s
selection of file formats becomes very
important. A good understanding of the e
-
standards will equip you to deliver
accessible conten
t to the majority of students.


9.1

Audio Resources

Recording and replaying sound files has been a popular method for learning ’on the
move‘ for a few decades now. Lectures, speeches or notes that may have once been
recorded on audio cassette using a personal
stereo or micro
-
recorder are now
recorded using digital media players, mobile phones or iPods. Audio resources that
were once distributed on cassette or CD
-
ROM can now be recorded and delivered as
a digital file that can be played on a digital media player
, mobile phone or
smartphone.

The quality of an audio recording depends on the amount of data used to store
information about the sound being encoded
.

I
n general, the more data and the larger
the file size, the more natural sounding the recorded audio wil
l be.

When a sound file is compressed, part of the information about the sound is lost;
however
,

most sound compression methods do this very cleverly and are able to
preserve almost all of the original

perceived

sound quality using a fraction of the
origin
al file size
.

Case 1: Using audio to record and distribute a guest speaker presentation

Teacher James has an audio recording of guest speaker Harold Long's 45 minute
presentation and has stored it on his desktop computer. He sees it
i
s a .wav file. He
also

notes that the file is almost 40 megabytes in size. James would like his learners
to have access to Harold's informative presentation so he needs to upload it to his
subject website. He also has many students who use mobile devices for both their
project
management work and for their study.

James undertakes the following steps so his students can access the audio file in
ways that suit their needs:

1.

Given the audio clip is a voice file, James can compress the file considerably.
He switches the file from 'st
ereo' to 'mono' using audio editing software like
Audacity, which effectively cuts the clip in half (in terms of file size).

2.

He then converts the .wav file to .mp3. This reduces the file size even further.

3.

He uploads the .mp3 file to his subject web page s
o that learners can
download the file.

4.

He then sends out a bulk SMS to his learners to alert them of the new file now
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available on the subject web page.

Nigel is one of James’ learners who works full time and studies. He has just received
an SMS notifying
him of the recently added file to the subject web page. From his
work computer he logs in and sees that James has included the audio file of Harold's
talk to the list of weekly resources. He right
-
clicks the file link and saves the file to his
computer. He

activates the Bluetooth function on his mobile phone and on his
computer and transfers the file to his phone. It will make good listening for the hour
-
long bus ride home in the afternoon.


9.2

Video Resources

Recording and replaying video files has been a po
pular method for learning for some
time. Video resources

once distributed on CD
-
ROM or DVD can now be recorded
and delivered as a digital file that can be played on a digital multimedia player (eg
iPod Touch), mobile phone or smartphone. The quality of the

video recording
depends on the amount of data used to store information about the video (and its
sound) being encoded. In general, the more data and the larger the file size, the
more smooth
-
running the recorded video will be when played back from a devic
e as
opposed to via a slow Internet connection.

As with audio files, when a video file is compressed, part of the information about the
moving image and the sound is thrown away; however
,

most compression methods
are able to preserve the majority of the or
iginal quality using a fraction of the original
file size. Different methods for achieving this compression vary in success for
different video requirements. Detailed advice on audio and video formats
and the
principles of creating digital video
is availab
le on the
New Generation Technologies
for Learning
website.

Case 2: Using video to demonstrate safety procedures

Cookery teacher Tracey Wiles has a digital video recording of a kitchen safety
demonstration about five minutes in length. She sees it has an
AVI extension and
that it is a large file at almost 800 megabytes in size. Tracey would like her learners
to have access to the demonstration especially in a kitchen setting. Her department
has smartphones which learners can borrow to support their study,
especially in
kitchen and restaurant settings.

Tracey can add the video file to the network drive so it is available via the local
w
ireless
a
rea
n
etwork. This means Tracey and her learners can login to the wireless
network and retrieve files as they need
them during their kitchen classes, as well as
prior to or following classes for preparation and revision. Tracey first compresses the
file so it is smaller in size (down to about 50 megabytes) and adjusts the screen size
to suit the smartphone screens (240

x 320px). She saves the compressed file as
MP4 and then saves it to the wireless network drive allocated to her department. She
will use the demonstration in her next cookery class.

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Case 3: Using video on location for instant recall

Defibrillators are
used by paramedics to restart the heart of victims of heart attack.
The correct use of a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death for a
victim but, because of the electric shock delivered by a defibrillator unit, incorrect use
can also
cause death for the person administering the treatment. Furthermore, when
someone needs to use a defibrillator they may be far from an internet
-
connected
computer, or even mobile phone connectivity, but may wish to seek the reassurance
of a video ‘refreshe
r’ to ensure they use the correct technique and safety procedures.

To ensure learners can recall instruction on this process when and where they need
it, James would like to provide a 30
-
second video of ‘Defibrillator Essentials’ to be
stored and viewed by

learners on a number of different mobile devices. This would
allow learners to choose for themselves which device best meets their own needs for
immediate recall when and where they require it. James doesn’t
which devices

learners

have and where they
will

store

the video


he knows that they could have
a
video iPod, smartphone or even a portable game device such as a Sony PlayStation
Portable (PSP).

To provide the video for learners in a ready
-
to
-
use form, James
wants

to convert his
original video to

a for
mat that will work on all the devices, so he refers to the VET E
-
standards and notes that the recommended format is

.mp4
. He
converts

the video

and makes it

downloadable over the web
.

Learners who visit
his

online course are
able to download
the file whic
h has been

optimised for playback on their mobile
devices when and where they need it.


Case 4: Learners creating learning content using mobile devices

Amelie would like her learners to use their mobile devices to record and capture their
encounters with
customer/client service and share those examples with other class
members for comments and discussion in an online course. For example, learners
could take photos of good signage for customer service, an audio recording of a
positive client interaction in
which they participated
,

or create a video of customer
service in action. Th
e
se examples
w
ould

be uploaded to
her

online course on
c
ustomer
s
ervice where
she
and her learners can comment on each resource shared


the good and bad aspects of each item of cu
stomer service evidence.

Amelie is aware that her learners
don’t necessarily have access to the latest
technology and that whilst they
have many different
feature
phones and portable
media players only two of her learners own a smartphone. The various devi
ces have
different capabilities


some can record video, others can only take pictures and
some can record audio.
It’s likely that

devices may record video and audio in different
formats

that aren’t compatible with
one another
.

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To ensure that learners are
able to share their resources most effectively and
seamlessly online, Amelie refers to the relevant m
-
learning standards and provides
her learners with a brief session on how to convert the resources they create with
their mobile devices to
the formats rec
ommended in the standards to
make them
visible and shareable online. She requests
that
her learners ensure
that
their
uploaded files are in a prescribed range of formats

based on the E
-
standards and
their devices
.



9.3

Web Content and Communication

Using the

web for learning via a desktop computer has been popular for more than a
decade
.

W
ith the widening capability of mobile devices and the interconnectivity of
these devices over computer networks (wireless LANs), learners and teachers can
access the web on
their phones and smartphones.

There are
s
everal

ways mobile users can download and view web content including
using their phone service to connect to the web (see also the
Using networked,
wireless and
proximal

devices for learning
section).

One primary co
nsideration for designers of web content that is meant to be accessed
using a mobile device is the ability to view
content
.
Screen

sizes on mobile devices
are
much smaller than

desktop computer monitors so content should be designed
accordingly. The amount

of information presented should
also
be considered; if more
than a page of text
is required, it might be worth considering an

alternative to a
mobile device or reconsider
ing

the way
information is
'chunk
ed
' so
as to
deliver
it
in
smaller modules.
N
on
-
text

versions
could also be considered
such as diagrams,
flowcharts or
audio
-
visual

formats.

Approaches and recommendations for delivering browser content to
a

wide range of
devices
are

expanded
upon in the ‘M
-
learning Design Approaches’ section of this
guide
. Detailed advice on web content formats is available on the
Strategy’s

New
Generation Technologies for Learning

website. A summary of this information is
available in Appendix B.

Case 5: Delivering learning activities via the mobile web

Kathryn teaches p
hysics and wants to provide learning activities

as web pages that
can be retrieved each time
learners

encounter the use of a simple machine (e
g

inclined plane, wheel and axle, lever, pulley, wedge, or screw). Adopting a mobile
learning approach means that
Kathryn’s learners will be able to use
her

interactive
activities whenever they encounter one of these building blocks of science and
engineering
.

E
ven if they’re not near an internet

connected computer they can use
their smartphone or portable gaming devi
ce to access the learning activities.

Kathryn ensures that her activities will be
interoperable on smartphones, tablets and
portable gaming
devices
by

using responsive layouts and the file formats specified in
VET e
-
learning standards..

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

incorporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
33



2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

incorporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
34



Case
6
: Delive
ring learning activities
to basic devices
via the mobile web

Erica teaches kitchen operations and wants to provide in context learning activities
that can be retrieved by learners in preparation for using the new equipment. She
has asked her students about

their access to mobile devices and is conscious that
her learner group who are seeking to re
-
enter the workforce don’t have high
-
end
mobile devices
, can’t afford to use a lot of data

and are predominantly using feature
phones so she can’t expect them to
access highly interactive content
. However she
is confident that if she uses the right file formats

and takes a progressive disclosure
approach to the design

she can provide access to con
tent, in context, in real time.

Erica

ensures that her activities w
ill be viewable on even basic mobile browsers, by
developing them to the legacy m
-
learning standards that support feature phones and
focusing on use of basic xhtml, images and audio. She understands that in doing so
it does reduce the ability of those act
ivities to work in other mobile devices, because
the feature phone formats are not interoperable but decides for her specific scenario
it is acceptable and that the
source
files could be converted

to other formats
for
future users.


9.4

Portab
ility of d
ocume
nts

As with desktop computers, there are various ways that mobile users can download
and view documents. A primary consideration is the amount of content as well as the
screen size; screen sizes on mobile devices are much smaller than desktop
computers so
content should be designed accordingly. The amount of information
presented should be considered and particular attention paid to document navigation
features which may vary across formats. It is likely that learners will:



use a mobile device to transport

docum
ents from one place to another, and



use the document as a quick reference guide in a specific, localised situation.

The

W3C Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0

12


covers all aspects of the mobile web
from an overarching principle supporting the notion of
’one web‘ to recommendations
about page size and layout, text, images and navigation. It is highly recommended
that these ‘best practices’ be read in conjunction with this guide when developing
content, resources and interactions for mobile web access.

Det
ailed advice
on document

formats is available on the
New Generation
Technologies for Learning

website
. A summary of this information is available in
Appendix B.

Case
7
: Using interactive quick reference guides on the job via smartphones

Joshua is undertaki
ng work experience at a local computer firm as part of his



12

Rabin, J. and McCathieNevile, C. (Eds) (2006)
“Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0: Basic guidelines”, W3C Proposed

Recommendation, 2 November 2006 (link to website)
:

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

incorporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
35


Certificate IV. He goes along to service jobs with the technicians, often to small
businesses and home offices. On these jobs the computer technicians use
smartphones on which are stored technical
manuals for a range of computer
hardware makes and models. The technical reference guides make on

the

job
decision making quicker and easier and there is no need to leave a job to locate the
relevant manual. Each guide is available as a PDF document with a

searchable and
interactive table of contents.


9.5

E
-
b
ooks

E
PUB is an emerging standard that allows for offline content delivery on many mobile
devices and includes scalable text for smaller screens. This means that users can
access content such as text and
images
,

audio, video
,
some
J
ava
S
cript



the range
of formats available to the user depends on the mobile device and/or the eReader
app
.
Additional

functionality
is also made
via EPUB

reader apps such as
annotation
,
highlighting
etc.

to allow for interactio
n and assessment

so the end experience of the
user can vary
.

Case
8
: Using EPUB e
-
books to deliver content to students on mobile devices

Peter is working part
-
time in a rural area and studying a Diploma in Youth Work
through a
registered training organisat
ion (
RTO
)

based in the capital city. On an
average day he is 1200kms from the campus and his work has no internet access.
During downtimes in his day Peter would love to complete some of his reading,
make notes and complete assessments.

Fortunately the RTO

recognises this need and offers course
materials and
learning
guides
online in the learning management system

and as a downloadable ebook in

EPUB format. Peter
has chosen an eReader app for his tablet that supports
extended ebook functionality so he simp
ly

downloads the e
-
book version to his tablet
at the beginning of the unit

and

he can read the material, answer quiz questions
including short answer and long responses and
,

when finished and online again, he
simply emails the responses back to his trainer
.

The text is scalable which means that Peter can easily read text even on his
smartphone. The RTO simply exports their learning guides to PDF and EPUB and
loads both files beside each other into their learning management system for
students to download th
eir preferred format.


9.6

Using Networked, Wireless and Proximal Devices for
Learning

Proximal devices, wireless and wearable technologies are sometimes referred to
as
p
ersonal
a
rea
n
etworks (PANs).

Logging into networks, connecting wirelessly
and exchanging

information proximally (
eg

via Bluetooth or radio frequency
identification [RFID]) is a complex area, especially for learning. It has advantages
2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

incorporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
36


and disadvantages regarding connection, identity, security and authenticity, which
are being challenged by the

way this technology is used. The opportunities
afforded by this

connective technology ha
ve

much to do with opening up the
power balance between teacher as content producer and learner as consumer;
so too, useful connections (technically and socially) pote
ntially increase.

Table 2:
Different approaches
to
achieving personal area networks for
learning
using

different devices:

Connectivity
details

Good for…

Not good for…

GPRS

Mobile phones where GPRS is still
the
main form of connectivity


Information tha
t is provided in small
downloadable chunks

Large chunks of information,
due to the costly nature of
GPRS available via phone
services

Bluetooth

Localised activity where devices interact in
a small location like a classroom, workshop
or office space


Incid
ental and opportunistic learning and
connection

Older mobile devices where

Bluetooth is generally not
available

Wi
-
Fi/WLAN

Activities that require some distance to be
travelled, as in around a campus, an office
block or café


S
martphones where Wi
-
Fi is co
nfigured


Activities that require strict security
measures


Activities that require access to a network
of information

Activities that require the transfer of
significant amounts of information


use of
Wifi is significantly more cost effective

Mobile phon
es where GPRS,
infrared or Bluetooth are still
the main forms of connectivity

GPS

Smartphones and high
-
end mobile
phones/smartphones with GPS enabled
hardware and software


A GPS service must also be registered in
most cases


Activities where locality is
paramount

Low
-
end mobile phones

Indoor locations shielding
satellite signals

Please r
efer to the glossary for explanations of acronyms


Case
9
: Using GPS to role play location
-
specific simulations

2012 M
-
learning Standards Teacher Guide


National VET E
-
learning Strategy

New Generation Technologies for Learning

incorporating E
-
standards for Training


Page
37


Renata is a teacher in environmental studies. She conduct
s an environmental
simulation which engages learners in a real
-
world environmental consulting scenario
not possible to implement in a classroom setting. Learners role
-
play environmental
scientists investigating a rash of health concerns on their campus lin
ked to the
release of toxins in the water supply.

Working in teams, learners attempt to identify the contaminant, chart its path through
the environment and devise possible plans for remediation. As they physically move
about the campus, their location
-
aw
are smartphones (ie GPS enabled) respond to
their location, allowing them to collect simulated field data from the water and soil,
interview virtual characters, and perform further research to devise a plan to address
the environmental health threat.

At t
he end of the exercise, team members share and compile their data using peer
-
to
-
peer communication and report back with their findings
13
,
14
.


9.7

Two
-
Dimensional (2D) Barcodes

There are a number of two
-
dimensional barcode types, but the most widely used type
ar
e quick response (QR) codes. These account for the vast majority of codes in use.
The codes were originally used in industry to encode for example part numbers but,

with the advent of readers on mobile phones, they are now often seen in advertising
and on
business cards, particularly in Japan.

The codes can encode enough characters to represent a URL and they employ error
correction techniques to ensure data can be decoded in the event of printing defects,
dirt etc. The codes are quite sensitive to errors i
n the so called ‘quiet zone’. The quiet
zone is the white space that must be included around each barcode image, which is
used by the readers to locate the code pattern. If this zone is too narrow, or is
disrupted, the reader will not recog
nise the pattern

as a barcode.

Case
10
: Using 2D barcodes for the identification of weeds

Steve is enrolled in the ‘Treat Weeds’ competency unit. A collection of common weed
types are laid out in a classroom, each with a photograph of a typical environment
and
QR code on

a

label. Steve and his colleagues moved between weed exhibits,
scanning each label

to learn about the weed.
Steve
connects to the internet via a
WiFi connection to a WLAN set
-
up by his teacher and uses

a QR code reader app
on his smartphone

to scan the c