m-learn: Mobile evidence gathering using GoogleDocs

This one nearly escaped my attention yesterday. Google has just announced the ability to edit Google Docs on your mobile device via their Google Mobile Blog.

Just point your mobile browser to m.google.com/docs and start editing.

Along with the use of 2D barcodes this will open a few interesting m-learning possiblities for educators that would previously have required custom coding to achieve. I can see this being very useful in situations where you have students being in the field and allowing them to enter data gathered using a standard mobile phone. The barcodes could point students to the location of the spreadsheet (avoiding the need to type the information)

The screenshot below shows a spreadsheet that I just made up for demonstration purposes.

Google Spreadsheet

Google Spreadsheet

Google Spreadsheet - add record

Google Spreadsheet - add record

The data gathered can easily be used embedded into LMS course pages for review in the classroom. The (quite capable) graphing tools in Google Spreadsheets can be used to visualise the results gathered. For some of our clients that use Moodle and GoogleApps for Education this is a very interesting combination as would allow for the authenticated entering of mobile data into the LMS.

It would be interesting to look at how you could easily geo-tag the information gathered for mapping purposes. But that’s probably a topic for another post.

Using Nokia Share Online to upload directly to Flickr

One of the nicest ways to get photos straight from your mobile to Flickr (without having to use e-mails) on Nokia devices is the Flickr Plugin for the Nokia Share Online application. Since a lot of my clients in the educational sector  are starting to use Flickr as part of their online teaching I decided to create a short HOWTO.

The application itself comes with the phone on most recent Nokia S60 devices (with recent Firmware – check Nokia Software Updater for new firmware). To check if your particular phone is capable you can check the Nokia Share Online Support site.

Nokia Share Online appears on the home screen of your device (screenshots are from a N95 8GB):

Home Screen

Home Screen

First time only configuration

On first use you will have to check the available services by choosing ‘Options’:

Update Service

Update Service

Activate Service

Activate Service

On a new device you will be prompted for your Flickr Username / Password. Since I have used the Flickr Plugin on this particular phone previously the Username was already saved (which is a bit of a worry – since deleting the account should have also removed the credentials I would have hoped).

Select Access Point

Select Access Point

Activate Website 1

Activate Website 1

Activate Website 2

Activate Website 2

Accept Conditions

Accept Conditions

Set the update frequency:

Update interval

Update interval

NOTE: Be careful with this setting as there could be mobile data fees involved depending on the method you use to connect to the internet on your device. Consult with your network operator on the fees if you are using the wireless data network of your phone provider.

After this step you are ready to connect to Flickr and sync your recent fotos:

Sync recent

Sync recent

Create Flickr Post

Once the service has been set up you can create post using the following steps:

New Post

New Post

Adding the Post Title and Description.

Post Title

Post Title

Insert Image(s)

Insert Image(s)

Choose Image

Choose Image

Tags

Tags

You can coose from a list of previously used tags (or create new ones).

Choose Existing Tags

Choose Existing Tags

Finally you can post to the web:

Choose Existing Tags

Choose Existing Tags

Your post is now being uploaded and should be available via your Flickr Photostream (mine is on http://www.flickr.com/photos/leogaggl/) soon. The upload time will depend on the size of the image and the speed of your data connection.

Enjoy !

QR code usage in Japan

Just came across this post about barcode tombstones in Japan. Shows very clearly how much public acceptance the 2D barcode technology has got in Japan.

It allows visitors to the grave to access to the biography and photos of the deceased person and leave a personal message.

This concept probably takes some time to get used to, but you can see that it could clearly add some value for people visiting cemeteries. There is not much info you can fit on tombstone. A good example of providing ‘further information’ for people that are interested.