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Mobile Scrapbook View

anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 29

23 November 2009, 19:16

I'm looking in some way to initiate a project to enhance the already quite fabulous Mahara ePortfolio System with a view to addressing a need for Work Based Learners to submit evidence where conventional computing environments are either unavailable or impractical.

The potential success of this project could then stand to make this enhancement an interaction based on choice for the individual learner beyond the requirements of these specific Work Based Learners.

For the most part, Work Based Learners do not set foot within the bricks and mortar of  the providing institution.
They are however expected to provide evidence of learning for assessment and also (it is presumed) that they would like some form of personal record of their progress that can be passed onto either a further providing institution or eventual employer(s).
Whilst there is little guarantee that these learners have access to any form of technology at all the ubiquity of mobile phones and, more to the point, increasingly advanced mobile devices being available at a similar premium to the fairly simple devices of recent years. Added to this the rise of reasonably priced, all inclusive data plans due to almost frenzied rivalry between carriers means that learners are increasingly likely to be be literally carrying everything they might need in their pockets.

The aim of this project would be to create a "Mobile Scrapbook" View in Mahara.
This View, whilst perhaps similar at first glance to a standard Blog View has a significant difference.
Content (Text, Images, Video, Audio) would be sent directly to this view via a *secret* email address, something along the lines of:

[email protected]

This email address would be linked exclusively to that users own implementation of that particular view. It would also only be able to receive mail from  the learners authorised email address that is already authorised in Mahara (eg, Email associated with MIS Data and/or ActiveDirectory, Existing Moodle Account).
This would allow the learner to capture evidence either dictaphone style, or with still/video camera and add text to an email or MMS message and send directly to their portfolio from the same device, without the need of an additional laptop or the previously mentioned, unavailable or inappropriate desktop computer.

Work Based Learners receive visits from institutional assessors who would provide guidance in terms of organising this data in an appropriate form for assessment. This, as with conventional methods of evidence collection and organisation would be done during periods set aside for reflection.

Evidence is captured, not manufactured and the pocket sized method for this capturing of evidence becomes something that the learner can take full responsibility for. 

(Copied from my blog post, any constructive input appreciated) 

anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 1643

23 November 2009, 20:30

Hi - sounds interesting Smile. Not just for work based learners, but for schoolkids and other students too. Everyone has a camera phone these days, it would be great if they could use it to their advantage.

Perhaps I don't understand your vision fully, but I was thinking that maybe it would make sense to send such files to a folder in a user's files area, which they can then arrange into a View later. They could send email notes to themselves that show up as blog posts in the same way. In fact, blogging from a phone would be potentially pretty useful.

Using e-mail as the delivery mechanism is fine, though you could also have iphone apps, or a mobile version of Mahara itself as well. There's lots of possibilities! 

anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 29

24 November 2009, 3:31

Sure it would be good for any kind of learner but this has come from considering our Work Based Learners. I guess it's a matter of it works for them (as they are an extreme case) then it's a doddle to implement it for anyone else.

Yes, delivering to a folder/repository makes a lot more sense as these files would need to be a organised at a later date anyway.

I avoided the idea of an iPhone App or a Mobile Mahara as, from experience we have had with a similar project with Moodle there is a risk of exclusivity that can really prolong and even bring development to a halt.

Focussing on common gateways like email and SMS would allow for a greater amount of compatible handsets from the get-go. 

anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 338

24 November 2009, 8:15

Hello Gary,

I have read your post with interest, as I was approached by a local charity not so long about something similar: they wanted indigineous communities -who don't have, as you said, many Iphones or Blackberries, or laptops- to be able to speak up by themselves and to express their views with regard to the Climate Change.

There are several free platforms for converting sms messages into emails,  but I don't know how efficiently they will run in practice.

In the end, I am looking at this solution with my wordpress instalation: 

Maybe something similar could be done in Mahara.

Let  us not how you are getting on with your project


Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

04 May 2010, 7:03

Great thoughts, thanks for linking to this from Twitter.

See also Penny Leach's exploration of this as a blogging tool:

anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 1

12 March 2010, 6:02

Because of the poor coverage of networks in Cornwall especially in coves and coastal villages, we can't even guarantee WBL students can get a decent wired internet access let alone 3G as so many of our WBL students are in tourism, hospitality or agriculture. So been playing with Digimemos for collecting evidence, although actually prefer the Aiptek model, its more bombproof, and very often found in Aldi. uses a similar pen to Promethean, but also has ink cartidge, so get hard paper copy plus an Asci picture file of handwriting which can be converted quite accurately with the Many other uses back in the classroom as well, as can be used as a writing tablet for real time display on IWB, as now has a dongle facility. But using this in conjunctio with say a Flip video to capture and write up evidence wiill give an assessor a full tool kit to collect a superb portfolio of eveidence which can be inserted in most of the current e-portfolios we have been looking at.

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