Tuesday, July 08, 2008

BPN 1152 Moodle on iLiad

Today I am travelling back from Paris to The Netherlands by the hi-speed train Thalys. I mentioned yesterday that there was wifi inside. I tried it out and it worked.fast. In the first class the wifi is free; in the second class it is not available. But the speed is very acceptable. I cn not understand why theDutch railway company is unable to realise wifi in national and local trains.

Yesterday was an x-day: exhausting and exciting. Especially the project groups in the morning were interesting. They two groups were experimenting with Moodle on the iLiad. Moodle is used as a learning tool in the European Master of Interactieve Media (EMIM) project. Moodle is 24 hours online, but a student might not be able to get onlnie all the time, but still might want to work offline. The electronic book iLad might be one of th devices to be used in order to store the learning resources and assignements.

The two groups had divided the work. One group took care of the forms with multiple answer questions, while the other group was securing the online connection between the Moodle server and the iLiad. The first group was working virtually, simulating with pdf files.They were using the virtual keyboard of the iLiad for the forms, but did not like the virtual keyboard. They had encountered problem with Moodle and Linux. The students will be working the project for the rest of July and present there results by August 1, 2008. As they see it, the real challenge is in the upload.

The second group is studying securing the link between the server of Moodle and the iLiad. They will introduce a security client and will need to develop a file translator. They were also looking into Open VPN. They have still some work ahead. During the session, the instructor, Carina Roels, suggested to plan a trial between the two projects.

The project is in fact the result of short presentation I gave on digital paper during the Academic Network Conference in Graz last year. I gave a short talk about the iLiad and digital paper and called upon the college instructors to look into developing software, preferably open software, for the iliad. The ITIN project is interesting as it tackles Moodle and secure lines. I think that there are a lot of schools using Moole, but not having enough computers for the students. So other devices like e-readers could be used. Of course the iLiad is just as expensive as a computer, but cheaper wired e-readers will come around.

The afternoon session was more of a lecture. I had taken along my vintage e-readers. The Sony EB of 1993, the Rocket Book as well as my two years old iLiad. I passed the iLiad around and asked a student to switch it on. He had a hard time doing it. He and his other students pressed the wifi button so many time that it took more than a quarter of an hour to get it to show a book. One student immediately thought up a simple solution to indicate the position of the on/of switch. He would print the top of a thumbon the case with on/off symbol. I think I have suggested that one also two years ago after my spoiled unwrapping party. But so far I have not seen any symbol indicating the on/off sign on the iLiad case. As said before: technology products might sell; usability improved products sell better.

Blog Posting Number: 1152

Tags: e-reader, e-book, Moodle

No comments: