Registration is now available for the 1-day conference on “Mobile Technology for Teaching & Learning” at the University of Memphis. As you register, you can also see the conference program as it stands now.  But it’s still evolving a little as we’re waiting to hear back from a few folks.

Remember, this is for both practitioners and developers. So whether you’re a teacher/faculty member or an instructional design/developer/programmers, then this is for you.

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2011 7:45 AM – 4:15 PM (Central Time)
  • Attendance is free for all, but lunch will be provided to the first 120 registrants.

Again, I will be pushing for some sessions to be hosted through Adobe Connect so that those of you who are off location can still participate.

Get your registration in at Mobile Technology for Teaching & Learning.

Scanning QR codes at Union University

Image by Michael M Grant via Flickr

As part of my IDT 8600 course this semester, my students and I will conducting research into how teachers are using mobile computing devices in their classrooms.  To do this, we need your help!  We need to collect a list of great teachers who are doing great things with mobile teaching and learning.

If you’re one of these great teachers or you know one of these teachers, please complete the brief form below (or share this link with them so he or she can complete this short form).  We are looking for teachers at all levels — preschool, elementary, middle, and high school.

Yesterday, Adobe announced the release of Edge.  Adobe Edge is a “pre-release,” preview, pre-Beta, kinda application to develop (for now) animations that are HTML5 compliant.  I first read about Edge at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW). They describe Edge as

Edge is currently limited to basic animation and simple page layout. Users of timeline-based applications will immediately grok Edge’s simple UI and timeline for HTML 5 animation. Of course, just like in Dreamweaver, you can access code directly. Edge creates pretty clean code, but as an early product it isn’t doing anything particularly difficult yet.


But this is the beginning. In the comments of the article, though, I learned about two more tools like this.  These tools are offering some of the power of Flash with the flexibility of running on the mobile web.  I first learned about Radi. Radi in fact has the same look and feel as Flash.

It’s still in beta, but who isn’t these days. 😉 Admittedly, I had little success in finding out more about Radi. It’s relatively new, and I didn’t see any reviews or reports of how it’s working for folks.  If you’re using it, though, let me know.


The second tool I learned about while reading through the comments of the TUAW post was Tumult Hype. Mashable did a quick review of Hype and described it as

Hype presents the user with a blank canvas with a timeline at the bottom. The user can then drag in images, video and text, arrange those elements and use keyframe-based animations to define where those pieces of content go.

Hype seems to already have much to offer in terms of simple interactions beyond what it appears Radi is currently capable of.  The documentation says that exporting out of Hype creates Javascript, which can then be uploaded to a web server or can be synched into Dropbox. Hype also uses a timeline interface to control animations and interactions.

Your Take?

Are there other development tools for the mobile web that you’re aware of.  Both Radi and Hype were completely new to me. I would really like to find out what folks are using beyond directly coding for HTML5, CSS, and Javascript.  Anyone using the new Adobe CS5.5 to build for mobile? Please let me know in the comments.

Image representing Ipadio as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

As teaching and learning with mobile devices, such as cellphones and camera phones, continues to grow, the ways we can use these devices also continues to evolve.  For example, phonecasting and phlogging are two ways to use “low-tech” options for integrating cellphones into classrooms. Both of these methods allow use to make use of lowest common-denominator options for many students.

Phonecasting & Phlogging

Phonecasting is a method of podcasting with a cellphone. This is an easy way to record audio without having to use computer software to do it.  For example, students call into a system, and the system records the audio.  The system may automatically post the audio to website or email the audio file to you.

Phlogging is very, very similar.  In fact, some folks may use the terms interchangeably.  Phlogging is short for phone + blogging. (And yes, blog is short for web log.)  With phlogging, you call into a number and the audio is recorded and automatically posted to the web, usually inside a blog.

Some Tools

Two tools that I really like for doing phonecasting and phlogging with are Google Voice and iPadio. The links are below.

Google Voice

Google Voice is a great way to phonecast.  It records the audio file into an mp3 file and emails that to you.  You can then upload that mp3 to a website or blog.  Google Voice also does an admirable job with transcribing the audio file for you as well. It has a way to do this flawlessly, though. Here’s an example of how Google Voice can be used in a classroom:



iPadio is a true phlogging system. It records the audio file into an mp3 file, and it automatically creates a web link to it for you. You don’t have to do the uploading.  In addition, iPadio will connect with another blogging system, such as Posterous, and autopost into your blog there. So, you can easily create a podcast system or make it play directly inside your web site. iPadio also has a mobile app if you’re interested in moving toward a smartphone use.

More resources

Wes Fryer has written about audio recording options, so I encourage you to take a look at some of his posts, too.

Scanning QR codes at Union University

Image by Michael M Grant via Flickr

My good friend, colleague, and doctoral student, Joanne Gikas, will be defending her dissertation next Wednesday.  The purpose of her study was to explore the changes to teaching and learning when faculty members implemented mobile computing devices in their classes.  She considered both faculty members’ perspectives and students’ perspectives in her qualitative research.  Here is a brief summary of her study:

The research questions focused on what impacts an instructor’s decision to implement mobile computing devices in teaching and how teaching and learning change when mobile computing devices are integrated into the learning environment. Three themes emerged from the data: (1) teaching with mobile computing devices, (2) learning with mobile computing devices and (3) training and support for higher education instructors and students. Teaching with mobile computing devices impacted instructional strategies and planning. Mobile computing devices impacted student learning by offering advantages, such as accessing information quickly, opportunities for collaboration and providing students a variety of ways to learn. Mobile computing devices also impacted the training and support model for instructors and students. Instructors were responsible for student training and institutions offered a mixed model of support for the instructor.  Mobile learning offers instructors and students more educational potential than simply accessing resources. Faculty members described evidence of institutional support and motivations to change their curricula, while exhibiting an interest in experimentation. Students applied what they were learning in courses through the mobile computing devices, and the devices contributed to their identities and learning.  While mobile computing in higher education is often perceived as pervasive, evidence from this study suggests we are still in the early adoption stage.

Flash file Icon

Image via Wikipedia

Today, Google announced Swiffy. Swiffy is a Google Labs product that will convert Adobe Flash (.swf) files to HTML5. Over at the Official Google Blog, an excerpt from today’s announcement describes Swiffy:

Today we’re making the first version of Swiffy available on Google Labs. You can upload a SWF file, and Swiffy will produce an HTML5 version which will run in modern browsers with a high level of SVG support such as Chrome and Safari. It’s still an early version, so it won’t convert all Flash content, but it already works well on ads and animations.

A lot like Wallaby

In this case, Swiffy sounds a lot like Adobe Lab’s Wallaby, which also converts Flash to HTML5.  At Adobe’s site they describe the features of Wallaby this way:

“Wallaby” is the codename for an experimental technology that converts the artwork and animation contained in Adobe® Flash® Professional (FLA) files into HTML. This allows you to reuse and extend the reach of your content to devices that do not support the Flash runtimes. Once these files are converted to HTML, you can edit them with an HTML editing tool, such as Adobe Dreamweaver®, or by hand if desired. You can view the output in one of the supported browsers or on an iOS device.

Both of these tools note heavily their limitations.  It will be interesting to see how (and if) these tools develop over time for the more complex interactions that are defacto in elearning content now. It will also be interesting to see how Articulate files may translate.

Where we’re heading…

It seems like for mobile computing devices both Google and Adobe are heading toward a conversion process for Flash content.  While I’m not usually a futurist, I do believe the near term direction development for Adobe Flash on mobile devices is heading toward an on-the-fly conversion to HTML5. The websites may in fact use a script to detect the browser and operating system and them deploy the appropriate content type to the device. For example, a laptop/desktop would be detected and a .SWF would be displayed, while an HTML 5 version would be deployed to iPhones.

I believe it will be interesting to see where Google and Android heads toward.  I believe this conversion with Swiffy is actually in conflict with their marketing and promotion for playing Flash.  Why would they need a conversion tool if their operating system and browser (i.e., Android and Chrome) play Flash files.  Is Google attempting to appease iOS in some way?

What do you think? What do you think about the converters? What do you think about Google doing this?

Related articles from around the web:

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Beginning this Sunday, June 19, I will be attending and presenting at the Tennessee Education Mobilization Summit hosted by Walters State Community College.  This is a program sponsored by the Tennessee Board of Regents eLearning initiative, Walters State Community College, the Mid-East Tenessee Regional P-16 Council for Excellence in Education, and the Hamblen County Department of Education.  In addition to a focus on mobile computing devices/technologies, there will also be an emphasis on Google Tools and the move to the cloud.  Here’s an abbreviated list of the topic and some of the presenters.

  1. James Kelley, Education Technology Consultant Higher Education Leadership & Creative Markets Apple Education Group
  2. Kevin Roberts & George Saltsman, Abilene Christian University (ACU)
  3. Dennis Bega, United States Department of Education, Atlanta Office
  4. Wade MaCamey & Lori Campbell (WSCC)
  5. Dale Lynch, HCBOE
  6. Glen Clem, Griffin Technology
  7. Tristan Denley, APSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  8. Gerry Hanley & Cathy Swift, MERLOT – Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching
  9. Bill Hughes & Debra Volzer, Pearson
  10. Scott Nance, GALE & Cengage
  11. Aimee Tait & Todd Svec, McGraw Hill
  12. Margaret Askew, Elsevier
  13. Terry Countermine & Carolyn Novak, ETSU Emerging Technology Center
  14. Karen Dale, Mobile Music Composer, CSTCC
  15. Terri Blevins, Practical Nursing Director, TTC Elizabethton
  16. Mohan Vasanth, MOBL21, Web Base App Development
  17. TBR Library Deans/Directors: TBR Mobile App Library

I’m really excited about heraring from Abilene Christian University’s team of CIO, etc. with their initiative. In addition, I’ll be presenting on a number of topics with Google Docs, QR codes, and my MOBL 21 pilots.  I think I’m also giving a hands-on iPad training … but I don’t have an iPad 2 yet.  Eek!  Gotta figure that one out.  What would you like for me to pay attention to and bring back?

Original raster (.png) version uploaded by Cly...

Image via Wikipedia

Early Monday morning I had the pleasure of sharing with 18+ faculty members and university staff members at the College of Charleston during their annual Faculty Technology Institute.  Monica Harvey, the Interim Director for the Teaching, Learning, & Technology Department of Information Technology, invited my to video conference in for the keynote to set the tone for the week of professional development and inspire the faculty members.

I presented on using mobile teaching and learning in higher education.  The presentation was titled “Dare you to move: Making mobile matter at College of Charleston.”  This is a nod to Switchfoot‘s song “Dare You to Move,” as well as a hat tip to Josh Wilson’s song lyrics, “I could choose not to move but I refuse.”  Both are very appropriate for making mobile teaching and learning matter, where I am encouraging colleagues to move out of their comfort zones.

You can see a summary of notes from my presentation on CofC’s site here by Mendi Benigni. You can also see my slides below from

[slideshare id=7212826&doc=cofc-slidedeck-110309222453-phpapp02]


In the past week, I’ve had two really nice (and fun) things happen to me professionally, and I wanted to share them with you guys, too.

MOBL21 Interview

First, the super-engaging folks at MOBL21 conducted an interview with me on how I’ve been doing mobile learning and mobile learning research over the past year or so.  It was a fun interview, and it was a fun opportunity to reflect on the work we’ve been doing here in Memphis on mobile learning. In particular, it was nice to consider the different presentations, research, and blog posts we’ve been working on, as well as all the great people I’ve had the change to talk to about mobile teaching and learning.

You can find the interview on MOBL21’s site at

Buck Institute for Education Highlight

Also, a good colleage/friend of mine at the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), Jason Ravitz, ask me about highlighting some research I conducted on project-based learning on their site.  This research represents a students perspective for project-based learning, which is often not reported on. You can find full research article and citation on their site at

A quick summary of the article says:

This article shares the perspective of five students who completed an 8th grade geography project that focused on investigating civil rights issues around the world. Based on what students said about their experiences, engagement in projects is shaped by a combination of

  • internal influences that motivate students,
  • external influences they perceive,
  • prior experiences and beliefs about projects, and
  • reliance on technologies.

Sometimes I think I’m the last person in the world to find out about something.  Case in point: Shakespeare in Bits. The folks at Mindconnex Learning have take Shakespeare’s most famous plays Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet (Read: those in high school required reading lists) and made them fresh.  I think what they’ve done is created a new equation.

Graphic novel  + Cliffs Notes + multimedia + some everyday language = Accessible Shakespeare

The Mactrack blog describes Shakespeare in Bits like this:

‘Shakespeare In Bits’ is a new, integrated approach to Shakespeare Studies that promotes quicker learning, deeper understanding, and greater appreciation of Shakespeare’s plays. Leveraging the full capabilities of iOS devices and the Mac platform, it presents an interactive, unabridged version of the play’s text alongside a fully animated presentation. It also includes a full range of innovative study features, including dynamic translations of difficult terms, full synopses and study notes for each section, and a character map highlighting the relationships between the characters.

The iPad prices are what I would consider steep. Macbeth iPad is $14.99. However, there is a Romeo & Juliet iPad Lite version for you to check out for free. They also have them for Windows and Mac desktop versions in their catalog and they are also in the Mac app store.  However, if you’re going to be replacing a book, mobile is the way to go. With their desktop versions, they do have institutional pricing.  However, I couldn’t tell on their apps if they were part of the Apple institutional app pricing or not.

I’ve decided to let my guilty-self off a little.  As I perused the Shakespeare in Bits blog, I found out Macbeth was new in January 2011.