In another post in this edition of NewsFeed we touch upon the issue of platform dependency when thinking about using mobiles in mainstream education (there are obviously other facts like ownership and control, but I’ll conveniently ignore these for now).
The glue which is potentially removing platform constraints is the Internet. A direction which is being explored by a number of institutions is to look at existing web services and social networking sites students are already using and seeing how these can be used in education.
Just as students will choose their preferred mobile device, they will also choose their preferred tools and sites. The solution is not to design for one, but to design for many. Aggregating results from multiple sources starts putting personal choice and personal preference back into the hands of the student.
An example of this model is Hotseat developed by Purdue University. This project is exploring collaborative micro-discussion in and out of the classroom by pulling response from a range of social networking sites.
Students can post messages to Hotseat using their Facebook, MySpace or Twitter accounts, or they can send text messages or simply log into the Hotseat Web site