Using Google Goggles in mobile learning projects

One of the lesser known free Google services in our experience is Google Goggles. Specially in it’s lastest release (Version 1.7) it has received a few enhancements that make it very useful for some mobile learning applications

Scanning of barcodes

Google Googles will scan most standard barcodes and provide information on the product scanned.

Here is an example from the Google Mobile Blog:

Let’s say you’re reading a magazine article you really like and want to share it with your friends. Just point Goggles at a part of the page, and instantly find a link to an online version to share immediately or read again later. You won’t even need the entire article in the frame. Goggles will also pull up more information from pages around the web where that text is mentioned, so its easier to learn about what you’re seeing.

Text recognition

You can use Google Googles to take images of printed text and have the result converted to text using OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Whil the results may vary our own test have shown good results on newspaper and magazines.

To download Google Goggles you can scan the QR code below

Google Goggles are currently available for both Android and iOS phones (just install via Android Market or Apple App Store. See http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles/ for further details.

Useful software for practical mobile learning

Since a fair bit of my time is spent working and researching in the field of Mobile Learning and there is not a lot of recent  listings of Software useful in practical m-Learning implementations I have compiled the following list from my bookmarks and Software I commonly use for these purposes. This list tries to represent currently usable applications not applications in the development stage.

Rather than writing this in the form of  a blog entry I decided to keep this as a live document within Google Apps that people can contribute to.

Please consider adding to this list if you find some useful mobile learning software missing. You can also subscribe to the changes to this list via RSS. You can also download this list as a PDF document.

Mobile 2D codes gathering pace (outside of Asia)

FINALLY !!! As somebody that has been experimenting with this technology for over 2 years now I am quite exited to see that the adoption of this technology is gathering some steem. While it has bee widely adopted in Asia for some years now, it has taken some time to get a foothold in the rest of the world this seems to be changing now. At least in Europe as I can see for myself at the moment. In my opinion with Nokia finally getting serious and throwing its (considerable) weight behind this technology (http://mobilecodes.nokia.com/) and some other industry heavyweights joining forces in the Mobile Codes Consortium.� This will hopefully produce one key outcome, the stadardisation of the label technology, which up to now has been one of the stumbling blocks that has kept people such as myself from adopting these codes in real-world projects. Along with the adoption by some major companies in their advertising this should produce the momentum that was needed to push mobile 2D codes into some broad adoption.

Of course there is similar technology available for the applications that require this link between the physical world (presence) and the mobile internet. One example is RFID together with Near Field Communications (NFC). However apart from the additional expense for RFID labels, no other technology has anywhere close the number of handsets that are capable of using this technology without some add-on to the mobile phone. Currently there are only very few handsets that will support this technology. Possible use in m-Payment projects might speed up the process of handset manufacturers including this in their handsets, but that will be some way off. 2D codes are here and now.

datamatrix

Looks like I will dig out some of the pilot projects out of my (virtual) drawers and see if we can get some interest in them. The project that will most likely be the first is a m-Learning implementation using 2D codes together with the Moodle Learning Managment System which is our preferred LMS.

Let’s see if Australia is also ready to move on this technology ….

Using Nokia Mobile Webserver in an educational environment.

The ability to host your own content from your mobile phone opens some interesting possibilities to engage students and will allow the integration of user generated content in the education process. David Johnson from the University of Reading is working on serving portfolio data from your mobile.

Some of the current limitation of this approach:

-cost of the bandwidth
-speed

The ability to proxy the users content on the Mobile Web server Gateway as well as the ability to integrate content outside of the mobile phone seem to be the main points that will have to be improved for this to become a more mainstream technology. Another area of concern (or another potential use of this technology – depending on your viewpoint) is the backup of data from the mobile phone. The ability to proxy the content on the Gateway could also be used as a backup of the content that is hosted within the MWS on the mobile phone.

Some of this work is already on the way. David Johnson (see above) is currently working on some Webservice API for MWS that should allow the use of MWS served content in mashups with other content sources.