My mobile personal learning environment

Taking part in MobiMOOC has given me the opportunity to take stock of my own MobilePLE – the top 5 tools I find most useful as part of my ongoing learning.

 

  • Catch Notes (previously 3Bananas) – mobile note taking the most critical component. Whenever I get a new device – this is what has to be installed as one of the first actions. For those not familiar with this software – it’s like Evernote without the bloat.
  • TwiDroyd – mobile Twitter / Status.Net client. This could be replaced by similar Twitter clients
  • GoogleReader – RSS reader client
  • Flickr – image upload and sharing
  • FourSquare – location based sharing

 

These are the main applications I use pretty much constantly, however here are some other useful services I use regularily:

 

  • Delicious – Online Bookmarking (this is an old one, but a good one). Unfortunately there are not a great deal of mobile interfaces for Delicious as Yahoo has publicly stated that it is trying to offload the project
  • Pixelpipe – universal uploader (upload to multiple services such as Flickr, Picasa, Youtube from mobile)
  • BeyondPod – podcast client
  • GoogleGoggles – image recognition software to allow searches based on camera input
  • Zxing Barcode Scan – open source barcode scanner (QR codes as well as EAN type)
  • WordPress Client – mobile client to edit wordpress blogs
  • Sketchbook – mobile drawing application from Autodesk (you need a reaonable screen for this – tab preferred)
  • UStream Broadcaster – streaming video producer from mobile handset

 

One thing worth noting is that this is very much the “CURRENT Mobi-PLE”. The one sure thing with mobile tech in general is that it tends to change quickly over time and with need.

Looking forward to hearing about things I am missing – comments welcome !

Using Yahoo Pipes to aggregate learning resources

I am using the opportunity of me taking part in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on mobile learning as an excuse to add some more content to this neglected blog.

On of the issues I am facing with my participation in the MOOC is the massive amount of e-mails generated and my already overflowing inbox would not cope (let alone me managing it). That is not taking into account other sources such as Twitter & Flickr

Since I have always been a fan of RSS (hat tip to Dave Winer) my answer to this dilemma is to create an aggregated RSS feed from a number of sources (including the Google Group responsible for the bulk of the traffic). And so far the best tool I found for this purpose is Yahoo Pipes.

To create a Pipe log into http://pipes.yahoo.com/ (if you don’t have a YahooID you need to create one first).

The GUI is very simple (kudos Yahoo) and for simple aggregation needs hardly any explanations. The hardest part can often be finding the RSS sources to add to Pipes. The aggregation process is basically 3 steps

  1. add sources (see list below)
  2. add union operator
  3. connect to output

 

 

As an example here are the sources used for the MobiMOOC Pipe are:

  • http://groups.google.com/group/mobimooc/feed/rss_v2_0_msgs.xml?num=100
  • http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=mobimooc
  • http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/geo/?tags=mobimooc&lang=en-us&format=rss_200

All you need to complete your “mobile learning journey” is to subscribe to the resulting feed (http://pipes.yahoo.com/leogaggl/mobimooc) with your favourite (mobile) RSS Reader. I personally use GoogleReader which has worked for me on various devices. It has worked well for me on Nokia S60’s, Windows Mobile, iPhone and more recently on Android.

To download for Android you can just scan the QR Code below or just visit http://m.google.com/reader from any phone.

Since the feed sources are fairly simple I am happy for any comments on other sources to add to this feed.

Enjoy !