Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mobile learning - part 1

In the framework of the OUNL project on new educational services, Henry (co-project leader) and I have started to buy some mobile devices to try and experience issues with mobile learning. Within the project we have a track on technology and trend watch, namely. The first device was delivered to us on Monday, the HTC Touch Diamond smart phone, with a Vodafone voice and data price plan, including mobile broadband.

It's a very nice-looking and slick device with quite some functionality (running on Windows Mobile 6.1), but the interface reacts in a very slow way, which often leads to unwanted results.

It took about 3 hours to get started with the device. We have mainly looked at its connectivity.
  • Wifi at the office is problematic. It keeps asking for my credentials, even after I have selected "remember password" innumerable times. Maybe I am too far away from the access point? Henry does not seem to have the problem 4 offices down the hall.
  • Wifi at home is very easy.
  • 3G mobile data was not functioning. Turned out that the Access Point was, instead of the pre-installed Thanks to the ICT support staff for the solution.
  • Active Sync was not as straightforward as indicated in the manual. Already had to un- and re-install the application on my laptop. Now it seems to work again, except for the direct sync with Exchange server at the office. Probably a security issue.
I already installed two applications:
  • Mobipocket reader was a piece of cake, as it started from the laptop version of the application. I did not have to actively download anything, just had to get the HTC to sync with Mobipocket reader, and that took care of the install for me. Neat!
  • Skype for Windows Mobile. I first tried to install from the laptop, but I got the message to shutdown all other apps, which I didn't want to do, so I downloaded the .cab-version and installed it from the device itself. We tested Skype on the HTC, but found the connection quality not very satisfactory. On a wifi connection, there was quite some delay. On the 3G Mobile connection, the sound was distorted and the conversation frequently interrupted.
  • Want to try an app such as FlashMeeting, one of these days.
More updates to follow ...

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