Research Essentials

Perspectives on an academic environment: a collaborative blog by Gill Clough & Rebecca Ferguson

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A Moveable Feast?

September 5th, 2007 · No Comments

A Moveable Feast? Accessibility barriers and opportunities of mobile learning
Alistair McNaught and Simon Ball
Co-presenters – one in the lecture theatre and one in Winchester talking to us via www.instantpresenter.com
Keeps you focused on the screen, where there is a video link with the presenter, a list of the signed-in attendees and a little text chat. The video link is very good, although it does occasionally have very brief pauses to buffer material.
We’ve spent some time in our office playing around with webcams and video links. Alistair has his webcam set on his head and shoulders – we find it’s more expressive if you fit hands and arms in the picture as well, because everyone talks with their hands to some extent, and head and shoulders gives an artificially static look. There are also issues with lighting, and the disconcerting effect produced if the speaker leans towards the camera and suddenly fills the screen. ☺
Their model focuses on four areas:
• Does it support me?
• Does it engage me?
• Can I work it?
• Do I value it?
I’m not sure that the model works as a circle, because you plot someone’s position in the middle as scoring low on all four dimensions, but there is nowhere in the circle where you can place them as scoring high in each dimension.
Thinking about studying Shakespeare’s plays with the help of a PDA. Hmm. I’ve got a degree in English literture and I use a PDA every day and I find the idea of having to study the plays on a PDA a potential nightmare. The arguments in favour for, for example dyslexic students, look good but I remain unconvinced that they work in practice. Maybe I’ll try writing a sonnet via PDA with a friend and see if this works better than I expect?

Tags: ALT-C

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