Summer: Mobile technology

English summer

The English Summer is upon us and I’ve been caught in thunderstorms twice. All the classes finish soon and I’m ramping up the staff development. I’ve been thinking about how people will interact with the Internet over the next few years.

I hate to admit it, but the future is probably with small portable devices rather than Web Books. I think there may be a ‘student’ use-case (see comments on the article linked in this paragraph) where a decent screen and day long battery life make a Web book attractive, but people who are not in full time education will be sticking to an enhanced phone for mobile Web. We have enabled the mobile theme for the College Moodle, so that smart phone users can use their small screens to see lesson content and use forums.

Another factor: the laptop manufacturers are moving towards larger screens and heavier machines with higher price tags. The 7 inch Asus EeePC has now been discontinued as has the Elonex One £99 laptop. The difference in cost between some of the fancier Web books and ‘proper’ (larger, heavier) laptops is now quite small.

BODMAS mobile theme on tytn

I’m migrating the BODMAS theme over to something that will serve both the mobile needs and look OK on larger devices (this is a work in progress!). I’m also hoping to be able to get a sim card for the tytn phone that I have been lent to use over the summer that allows mobile Internet. The aim is to publish to this Web site, upload photos (the English Summer image at the top of this article was taken on the tytn’s camera), do sound and short video clips from the phone. We’ll see how it goes.

bodmas on the tytn showing how the search box appears first

I’ll need to rethink navigation for the site theme, not just use liquid layout and plainer page designs. There is an argument for a very simple landing page for mobile devices that shows the most recent updates, and provides a link to a page with more content and search functions.

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