Archive for March, 2010

An offer: interested in taking over Mobile audio wiki project?

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

From the MobilED blog:

Picture 31 An offer: interested in taking over Mobile audio wiki project?

The MobilED – mobile audio wiki – project was a research project we started in 2006. The most active years were 2006-2007, when we built a working prototype and conducted testing in two schools in South Africa. In 2008 we did some more testing of the service in Finland, with the idea of a mobile Craig’s lista local community wiki with news and classifieds.

The original idea of MobilED was to bring Wikipedia to so-called “entry-level” mobile phones, which are mainly used in the Global South. In practice entry-level mobile phones are those with voice (calling) and text message facilities. With the MobilED prototype we demonstrated that this is possible. Content from Wikipedia can be searched for with a text message and the output can be a 160-character text message sent back and/or automated callback, with text-to-voice reading of the content. This works with the MobilED prototype.

In schools we conducted an experiment in which pupils not only used Wikipedia content, but also uploaded their own school projects in audio format to a server. From there their peers, friends and parents could listen to the podcasts with their entry-level mobile phones. The testing was not really successful, because the servers crashed and caused a lot of trouble for the users. My conclusion on this was that at this point the system was too complicated to be used for this purpose in schools. The experiment was, however, useful because it led us to consider MobliED from a new perspective.

This led us to experiment, in addition to the project to bring Wikipedia to mobile phones and schools, with the idea of a community-managed audio information system. With the service people could maintain their own audio wiki news/media service, with local news, classified ads etc. We made a prototype for this purpose, too. It worked but was never taken up for further development and dissemination.

In the research group we are now working with totally new challenges, such as services for smart phones/laptops and interactive whiteboards in classrooms. As you might have seen, the MobilED project and the blog have not been very active for a couple of years.

Because I think that many of the things we did in the research project are valuable, I would love to see someone taking over the project and continuing the work.

Here is my offer.

I promise to transfer all my know-how related to MobilED to you if you’ll promise to do two things:

  1. Finalise the mobile audio Wikipedia configuration and start to negotiate with operators/governments to provide this for free in the Global South.
  2. Finalise the mobile audio community news/media service and start to offer it in the Global South.

I am not the right person to create the business/sustainability plan. You must think this up and design it yourself. I may, however, give my comments on it – if you wish. I am not interested in starting another “research” project, and so I do not propose to apply for new grants for this. What I would like to see is a business or non-governmental organisation taking the product to “the market”. We also have the domain:

If you are interested, please let me know: teemu.leinonen

Language checked by WriteIT. Thank you Ruth.

LeMill community has reached 10 000 members

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Announcement from the LeMill blog (also in the LeMill blog in Finnish):

 LeMill community has reached 10 000 members

We are happy to announce that LeMill community has reached 10 000 members today. Most of them are primary and secondary school teachers who are looking for a simple solution to create and share web-based learning resources. LeMill allows them to create various types of web-based learning resources (web pages, exercises, lesson plans, etc), descriptions of educational methods and tools.

LeMill has been online since May 2006. During this time teachers have created 7808 learning resources and descriptions of 3960 educational methods and 879 tools. All content that is created in LeMill is published under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence. This makes LeMill one of the largest collections of open educational resources.

LeMill community has members from 61 countries. However, we still have not gained much attention in English speaking countries. The most active users of LeMill are in Georgia and Estonia. It is difficult to say exact number of members from each country because many people do not completely fill up their user profiles. If we look at the amount of resources in different languages, number of members and Google Analytics statistics, then we can estimate that about 70% of LeMill use comes from Georgia and 15% from Estonia. These two countries have been so active because the national ICT agencies (Deer Leap Foundation and Tiger Leap Foundation) have promoted LeMill among the teachers. There are smaller LeMill communities also in Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Finland.

LeMill was designed and developed as part of European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme project CALIBRATE. The continuation of development was supported by Tiger Leap Foundation. The dissemination of LeMill is supported by ESF AVO project. LeMill project is currently run by Media Lab at the Aalto University (Finland) together with Centre for Educational Technology at the Tallinn University (Estonia).

We would like to thank all teachers who have used LeMill and all institutions who have supported us so far.

ITE 2010 (ITK 2010) conference

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

ylapalkki vasen ITE 2010 (ITK 2010) conference

Interactive Technology in Education (ITE) –conference is the largest conference in Finland related to information and communication technology in educational use. In Finland the conference is known as ITK.

The ITK conference takes place on 21st – 23rd of April 2010 at Hotel Aulanko, Hämeenlinna, Finland.

Actually calling ITK a conference is a bit misleading. It is a conference, but same time so much more. For three days ITK gathers together in a single conference venue close to 1 500 professionals working in the field of educational research, technology and publishing. The program inclused workshops, meetings of researchers, fair kind of exhibition of educational service providers and gadgets, unconference activities and naturally the main conference program with plenary sessions and 6 to 8 tracks of presentations.

The full conference program is now out.

People from my research group will have give several talks and host several sessions in ITK. Here is the list of events and talks we are involved in:

April 21st: Full day workshop

Workshop on social media in teacher’s daily work

April 22nd : keynote and sometu track talks

Teemu Leinonen: Networks and Learning in Future (in the Opening)

Tarmo Toikkanen and Jukka Purma: Teachers’ open idea repository, LeMill (in the Sometu track)

Tarmo Toikkanen and Anne Rongas: Teaching and studying in the fully open Finnish Wikiversity (in the Sometu track)

April 23rd: Content repositories

Jukka Purka and Tarmo Toikkanen: 15 years of content repositories for teachers: what went wrong?

April 22nd and 23rd: In the Open Content Bazar

On Thursday and Friday we also have a booth in the “Open Content Bazaar” where we are continuously running demonstrations about LeMill and Wikiversity.

ITK is from most parts in Finnish – all our talks are in Finnish. If you are still interested in to get to know the Finnish “scene” there are some nice presentation in English, too.