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Sending Homework to a Phone Via MMS Messaging

I’ve just sent off my first homework task during the after hours that has utilised the capabilities of MMS technology. MMS technology is the extension of SMS text messaging that allows users to send multimedia content such as videos, music and pictures. Most standard mobile (cell) phones have the ability to send/receive MMS content which paves the way for all sorts of exciting possibilities when using www.smsglobal.com.au

SMS Global allows you to easily send MMS messages or standard text messages to phones that you add to your address book. All you need to do is sign up for a free account and purchase ‘credits’. Once your account has been setup you simply have to select the recipients from your address book, select the multimedia from your computer that you want to send and your away. The recipients will receive the message and be able to view it as you had intended. So here’s why I decided to use the service today.

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  • Students in my VCE Physical Education class are learning about how we learn sporting skills and the different stages we move through when we are learning how to perform them. This section of the course requires lots of practical sessions and observations of people performing different skills.
  • I had a heap of sporting videos on my computer that go for a couple of seconds from a heap of different sports, which I usually use as great examples of skill development.
  • I then converted the files from there AVI format to 3GP which is the format most mobile phones utilise. I used Imtoo 3GP converter which made the job extremely easy.
  • I then logged into SMS Global and selected the students I wanted to send the videos to, entered a text element within the message informing the kids what they needed to do with the videos and then selected the 3GP videos I wanted to send.
  • Now the students will receive their messages, read the instructions, watch the video and complete the questions all for a cost of 25c (AUD) per message, which is really not much at all.
  • Homework delivered right to your students pocket containing highly engaging multimedia content.

Anyway If you would like to see exactly what my students would have received and your from Australia, Im more than happy to send you a MMS message so you can see just how awesome this service truly is. Just send me an email with your mobile phone number or send me a direct message via Twitter and consider it done. Go on try it out, I know you want too.

Awesome Fun with a Bluetooth File Server

Today during my senior Outdoor & Environmental Studies class we begun looking at the different motivations or reasons people choose to participate within outdoor experiences in natural environments. This part of the course is usually quite exciting as it lets the students share their own experiences. Anyway I’ve been looking for a genuine reason to utilise a Blue tooth server within the classroom and today was always going to be a great opportunity, here’s how it happened.

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  1. I downloaded and installed the Bluetooth Server/Marketing software called ‘BlueMagnet’
  2. Using a creative commons picture search engine  I found 20 pictures of different Natural environment user groups and saved them within a folder on my computer.
  3. I ran the Bluemagnet software and setup a  ‘campaign’ that would randomly send the 20 pictures to devices as they became discoverable.
  4. I then wrote up the questions that the students needed to answer for each picture on the board, which was “What do you think motivates the person/people in your picture to participate in the outdoors?”
  5. I then ran the ‘Campaign’ from my computer and all of a sudden all 11 students had received a  random image that they then had to write about within their workbooks.
  6. We then continued this process 3 times, with excellent discussion occurring between people in the class about what picture they received and what they thought the main motivations would likely to be. Perfect.

Some people may say that I could have simply handed out printouts of the pictures to the students, which is true as it would have done the same thing, however I can guarantee the engagement levels of this activity would far exceed its more traditional alternative. The bottom line is my students simply loved it and to prove this even further some of them wound up saving some of the images on their phones as wallpapers. Overall it worked incredibly well and I look forward to trying it out again in the future. Next time Ill be sending MP3 or video files in the same manner, now that will be awesome.

MP3 revision & My favourite class ever

An interesting  and very exciting thing happened in my VCE Physical Education class today. The group, which are apart of a one to one MP3 player/Voice recorder program, blew me out of the water when they suggested that rather than having me go through what we learnt last week as revision, they could simply listen to the 8 personalised audio recordings they each created during the previous week. Although the idea had occurred to me, the fact that they suggested it highlights the fact that the MP3 program is doing exactly what  I had hoped….and more.

The students were taking responsibility for their own learning and clearly understood the importance of revision before progression within the course. The next exciting thing happened when they asked to move away from the standard desks within the Library to the comfortable reading couches spread throughout the room. Some students even elected to casually browse through books while they listened to their own audio recordings. I was truly blown away by what I was witnessing, as this is exactly the type of classroom I want to encourage within my senior classes, classes where the learning can occur anywhere and anytime.  

 

After the students individualised revision sessions they then moved to the area of the library with computers where they worked through a PowerPoint presentation I had created and uploaded to my website. This again allowed them to work through at their own pace, completing the activities as they were required. Some of the activities called for voice recordings, whereas others required downloading from the class website.

On Thursday the students will be applying the theoretical component of the class within a practical swim session. They will also be using the voice recorders to record immediate responses that can be utilised as prompts when they are completing their practical session write ups at a later date. Overall I left the class feeling extremely happy and satisfied with how the MP3 players had successfully altered and improved the way in which I teach the VCE Physical Education unit. I also know for a fact that the kids are enjoying it and are looking forward to completing exam revision as a casual bike ride around the lake listening to their Mp3 recordings.