MobilED is an open source platform for connecting phone call and SMS functionality to a data source, such as a wiki. We’ve previously piloted another application, the Audio Encyclopedia, in South Africa. The community wiki is more geared for easy asynchronous communication within a community or distributed team, and thus more applicable in informal and nonformal learning scenarios.
For some time we have been doing design research with the MobilED mobile audio wiki prototype we designed and implemented with our partners in South Africa.
The research has relied on research-based design approach with contextual inquiry, participatory design, prototyping and piloting of the prototype with real people in real life situations. In number of event and forums we have present the results of the research (we are still woring on with the main article). It’s been an interesting journey.
Now someone should take the MobilED technology – the mobile audio wiki engine – to a new level. If there is somewhere some software developer with coding skills related to one or more core technologies used in the MobilED, these are Asterisk and MediaWiki, we are happy to give the leadeship of the development for you.
We are happy to keep on hosting the development site (http://dev.mobiled.org/trac/), the SVN and give all the support one may need to get on working with this. Let us know if you are interested in.
We today got together to organize work around preparation and writing of research papers. Our new research assistant Katrina is taking the greatest responsibility to keep us analyzing and reporting the research results from the last three or so years of work in the research group. We are working on the following papers (working titles):
Software as hypothesis – developing human-centered design research method through three design cases
Audio wiki for mobile communities – information systems for the rest of us
Design of LeMill – web community for finding, authoring and sharing learning resources
The first article is a formulation and conclusion of the design research method and practice we have been developing in the research group.
The second article is presenting new design direction for the MobilED project proposing that the audio wiki is probably more useful as an informal community information system rather than as an application for formal teaching and learning (for what it was originally designed for).
The third article is the first proper description of LeMill with explanation of principles behind it, design rationale and the process of designing it.
We are aiming to get these out in six coming months. We are targeting to some journals and some conferences. Can’t wait to get these out!
I just realized today that we have a good change to release three new major “products” still before the summer. I also have a student who is interested in to develop the Papanek idea machine. This would make it four.
So, what are these “products” and how they should be considered in the “academic context”?
Our products are actually our hypothesis. They represent and carry with them definitions of challenges related to some human activity system. They are also representing out understanding on how the challenges could be solved. As hypothesis they are also prototypes: they are something we can test if they really solve any of the challenges they are designed to solve. The product is not only a product, but also our definition of “better way of doing things”.
In the academic circles the “product” sounds very commercial. However, our products are avant-garde products. They are experimental and novel. This makes them naturally to be “products” coming from an University, rather than from any other place.
Are we going to have a major release party some day later in spring?
If, we’ll get all four products released before then end of May, I’ll promise to arrange a huge party. Hans will be the dj.
The videos depict the possible usage of the Mobiled services in formal and informal leaning as to test the ideas of how the service can be used and to also clarify what’s being produced. The videos are targeted towards the organisations and people involved in the project as well as potential collaborators.