IFeL blog

Structure, Dialogue and Autonomy

Machines to Boards

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We saw interface design coming a long way with profound transitions like washboards to washing machines. Today we take part in an equally revolving transition: from watching-machines to watching-boards. – The first transition is staged by a very emotional Hans Rosling in a TED-video explaining the profound implications of the magic washing machine, that brought time for reading and learning to women and their families.

Quite exiting therefore, to revise the watching-machines all around us, not merely on the level of screen design but on the profound level of structure, dialogue and autonomy, by means of which we are given time for reading and learning. In didactics this arrangement of structure, dialogue and autonomy opens space for learning. Thus we are observing attentively the transition of our learning environment Moodle from browsers to mobiles – transition from a browser-based interface with a lot of functionality in parallel, to a more consecutive and differently focused arrangement on smaller screens, which opens also a different space for dialogue and potential autonomy.

Moodbile.org – Mobile Learning for Moodle at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – Barcelona Tech has provided specifications of «web services for supporting the integration of external apps with Moodle» and beta-versions of a Moodbile-Server, an HTML5-Client and an Android-App. We have tested the server and clients and are exited about the potential they show already. Based on open standards this project provides the middleware for interfaces of the future mobile watching-boards and learning-boards.

At the IFeL we are designing and testing functional clusters and didactic sequences for mobile learning devices which this project reinforces not only conceptually. Thank you Moodbile, this helps to develop learning which is what our work is all about.


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