Comparisons and advocacy

 
 
Picture of paul papapaul
PDA version of moodle?
 
Hello moodlefuns!smile

I'd like to know if there is a PDA version of moodle?Is there the ability to join in moodle forum via PDA?

If there is a link that leads to a pda version of moodle or any screen shots that prove the existence of a pda version, please post it.
Thanks
 
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Picture of John Isner
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
You can use the orangewhitepda theme. After 1.7...

Site Administration -> Appearance -> Themes -> Theme Selector -> Orangewhitepda
 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
I view Orangewhitepda on my computer but it doesn't seem to me like a pda version of moodle.Unfortunately i haven't a pda device to check it out but regading with other tools(sites) i think that i can't view the pda version via computer.(For example the www.google.com/pda is viewed via pc like on a pda).
I'm saying all that because i have to develop a tool for moodle(forum that someone can participate via pda).I will use php programming and there is no point to develop it if this tool already exists.


 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Any feedback regarding the previous post?smile
 
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Picture of Robert Saari
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 

Paul,
I posted this reply using my PDA, a Motorla Q. I had no problem viewing any of the content. Unfortunatly, I can't acess my installation of Moodle at work to test the orangewhitepda theme (peronal devices aren't allowed to connect to the intranet).

As long as you don't overload the page with blocks, your users shouldn't have any problems.

*****************************************************************************************

I'm editing this post from my laptop - typing on a PDA gets old real fast!

If you're expecting visitors using PDAs, keep in mind that some of your content may not be available to them.  For example, I have Flash Lite on my PDA, but there's still a ton of Flash content I can't view because it was published for a different version of Flash Player.  

 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Thanks a lot Robert!
 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
I'm doing my diploma dissertation and i am working out the use of moodle via PDA and generally its contribution to mobile learning .I am interested to know if there is the ability to participate in an on-line course using only a PDA device.I have make sure that someone can participate in the forum of moodle but i would also find out if a user (e.g a student) could take a part in all the modules of a course using a PDA.
Unfortunately i haven't any PDA to check it on my own and that's the reason I need feedback from this forum.

Any post regarding the topic above will be appreciated
 
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Picture of Bair Abasheev
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
hello
now i want to develop plugin for adaptation learning content to PDA-user
in example, quiz, forum, text, image on-fly resizer.

and change theme of moodle depending on browser for minimazing traffic
 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Hello Bair Abasheev,

that's mean that isn't there modules like forum, quiz, activities etc. in which the user can participate via PDA? I mean, if i had a PDA and i would participate in a course via my PDA, could i use all modules via this device? I know that i could participate in a forum but i don't know about other modules...
 
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Picture of Bair Abasheev
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
i want to adapt more popular modules for PDA, because mobile browser has croped functionality of the same browser in PC version.
 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
It's very useful that you want to make.
Could you refer any course module that exists and can the user interact with via a PDA? As i refer someone can participate in the forum module via PDA, but is it possible to participate in any ither course modules?
 
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Picture of Matt Gibson relaxing in the Alps
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 

Hi Paul,

I've not tested extensively, but the use of moodle can vary greatly depending on the type of PDA and the mobile browser you use.

I use a high spec hx4700 which has a VGA screen and a 624MHz processor, with NetFront 3 from access co. as my browser. This renders websites in their native resolution if need be and moodle works nicely for most tasks. The real drawback is that the HTML editor relies on Javascript, so anything that uses that does not work properly. Not such an issue for posting, but when it comes to e.g. editing a wiki that has been made using the HTML editor, its a big problem. The NetFront browser does have some basic javascript support, but sufferes from being slow and clunky as a payoff.

The biggest barriers to effective use apart from the above are the lack of a keyboard for typing long posts and the speed of page loads. Handwriting input is OK if you have advanced software e.g. calligrapher, but can be slow and annoying. A nice alternative is to use a portable keyboard, but his adds cost and can be fiddly to get out and set up. Page loads however are a significant issue. Even with WiFi, they can be annoyingly slow, even on good equipment.

Ultimately, I've found that all the modules I've used are usable, but are frustratingly slow or fiddly due to the above issues. Perhaps it will become better with faster PDAs and/or specialised themes, but I can see using a PDA being quite off-putting if they were the only way to access the course at all.

Matt

 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Thanks a lot Matt for your descriptive post,

I would also like to know about the interactive enviroment of moodle. For instance: 1)The theme that fits best for pda is the orangewhitepda? 2)Does the horizontal scrolling bar exists? If it does,i think it's not according the guidelines that a mobile application should folow (according to w2c).
As i understand, the view of moodle site via pda is like (or almost like) the presentation of the site in a pc,so the horizontal scrollling bar is necessary.
Could someone parametrize the appearance of moodle with configuration of its code files.I'm trying to minimize the width of site in half of its original.Should i edit the code files of a theme folder for that reason?
 
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Picture of Bair Abasheev
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
You can try: http://www.operamini.com/demo/
This is simulator

Also see on Windows Mobile Emulator, which included with Visual Studio 2005 or install Virtual Machine with that OS
 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Are all the PDA's the same? (I tried in the past to port some parts of Moodle to WAP... and discovered that all these cell-phones had different screenformats!)
 
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Picture of Matt Gibson relaxing in the Alps
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Hi Paul,

for me, yes, I have a scroll bar so its not ideal. However, I can get rid of it by choosing 'just-fit rendering' on the netfront browser, so that it gets resized and re-arranged. I don't think you need to change anything about the way moodle works and to be honest, any theme will give you similar results as the layout tables are always the same. The way to get it to display properly is by using a screen thats large and a browser that will intelligently re-render to fit.

There is an alternative, where you could put some code in the theme header so that if the browser was detected as a mobile one, it would select a different CSS file, but this would be more complex to implement. If you wanted to, you would just change the table widths using the CSS for that theme. Have a look at the chameleon theme - it won't work on a PDA but will make editing a theme so its smaller a lot easier.

Matt
 
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Picture of Andrew Fournier
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
The posts which discuss the pda itself seem more on the mark. I can run moodle on firefox on my Sharp Zaurus (linux pda). It is easier on a bigger, faster desktop, but that is to be expected.

Probably the effort would be better spent supporting better mobile computing platforms like the eepc, the Neo1973 smartphone, and of course, the OLPC, than on porting the moodle interface to a pda
 
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Picture of Matt Gibson relaxing in the Alps
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
FYI,

A comparison of mobile browsers that a PDA can use and a large, very in depth comparison table of their features. I'm testing how effectively I can get AJAX to function with different ones and will report back.

Matt
 
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Me on the coast in Kolanta Thailand
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
I think the ideas here are sound but the approach is not. The best way to be consistent across Smart Phones ---as PDAs are going to be extinct soon --, existing PDAS, and other portable devices is to write your application in Java. I hate saying JAVA as I do not like programming in Java, but it is very well supported in the mobile device community and you can integrate it into the database and create interactive content.

I live in Japan for three years and now I am in Dubai. I do not know a single person with a PDA but almost everyone I know has a Smart Phone/PDA . In both countries Java Based Apps are very popular for these devices.

If you use a language like PHP I think you will be able to make a very useful site, but if you want the site to be interactive on a smaller scale, you need a technology with Libraries that support that type of development.

Tony D.




 
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Picture of Walter Brock
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
I have been successful using our Moodle site on my PDA by accessing it through www.skweezer.net. Skweezer also works well for many other sites on the Internet.
 
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Picture of Kathryn Mac Callum
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 

Hi all,

I too have been looking in to using Moodle on a mobile device (for my PhD thesis). Though I am focusing on just the Forums, the reason is that I want students to be able to communicate more easily and using a mobile allows students the ability to interact whenever and wherever they are. I am looking into many things to make this possible the main ones are:

1) Modifying the Moodle discussion forum (as it stands it works okay but some functionality does not work as well, I will be developing a template and working on some of the functionality that does not work (this mainly due to the fact that most browsers do not support high level Java)

2) SMS notifications and possibly being able to use SMS to post content to the discussion forum (I see that Andreas Forstinger has written something on this http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=46160 and http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=36809#p330647 ). At the moment I have only been able to just use the email notification system that sends an email to my email provide which in turn sends a SMS to my phone (see http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=55099#p353346)

3) Offline Moodle Forums so students can access and search old posts when no Internet connection is available. I am hoping to use Google Gears to accomplish this or a version of RSS feeds)

I haven’t got very far in my PhD but so far I have been focusing on how well Moodle Forums work on smartphones (I agree with the previous posts that PDAs are defunct but Smartphones act very simular in functionality). I have done a study looking at a number of phones and using a number of browsers (as this will also impact the way the website works), ultimately I have found that these mobile devices work OKAY viewing the standard Moodle environment (this is without the PDA template that I think is a waste of time as it doesn’t work very well) but some functionality is lost. I have attached one of my earlier studies that looked at how mobile browsers support standard Moodle discussion boards if you are interested. [Sorry looks like file is too big can email if anyone is interested in it]

Overall I suggest you get access to some mobile phones to test your concepts, as you will never be able to really understand how the Moodle environment works without real life testing. Also I suggest having a look around on this forum, as there seems to be a few people talking about using Mobiles to view Moodle, and contact them as see if they would be willing to pass on their knowledge smile .

Cheers
Kathryn
 
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Picture of Andreas Forstinger
Possible Solution
 

Hi Kathryn, hi guys!

Just stumbled over this thread by chance. You might not have read my posts some time ago about my thesis. I developed a mobile learning solution for Moodle in fact. I am a bit in hurry right now and therefore only can give a very short overview but will add up later.

Besides the theme/css based solution (standardwhitepda) there are some other projects going on like MFM (moodle for mobiles), or TRVok, a Java based vocabulary trainer for mobile phones.

To my solution, it is a Java based rich client application to be installed on a very broad variety of mobile (smart) phones. With this client called MOMO (mobile moodle) it is not only possible to implement a very specific scenario (as it is with the above mentioned vocab trainer) but it offers the necessary infrastructure and tools to implement diverse mobile learning scenarios.

It is possible to access moodle courses, blogs and activities like forums or choices. But that's not all ;) It also integrates into Moodle messaging system allowing to push(!) messages to mobile users, initiating voice calls if a number is provided in the user profile etc.
We even provide possibilities to implement real context based / location based scenarios! One technique offered is via mobile tagging using the so called Semacode technology (another solution based on GPS is currently being developed).

The special thing besides all this and this is also my main point when arguing if a browser-online solution or a rich client is the way to go: we have the possibilty to access the hardware and capabilities of the device with a rich client.
This offers completely new possibilities. So what you can do with MOMO is not only read or post to a forum on the go, but DIRECTLY use your phone's cam and take a photo or record a small video and this is added to your post as an attachement!

For all who are interested, we presented MOMO at the 4th Int. Moodle Conference here in Graz, Austria last week. So there will be the presentation and also a Screencast I was told.

We also host a demonstration and testing site at www.mobileclassroom.at. So everyone is invited to register there, learn more and try it out (must admit, page is currently being reworked, materials might not be available in english yet).

Regards, Andreas

P.S. Thanks for your mail Kathryn, I will catch back later. I would definitely appreciate talking with you about this smile 

 
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C'est moi
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 

My experience using my mobile (which approximates to a PDA) is that I can use our Moodles without a problem. The main difference is that the rich text editor doesn't render in the browser (the phone is a Nokia N95 and I'm using the internal browser).

I can upload files, post in forums, use the messaging system, edit courses, do all sorts of things - the Flash bits (such as the multi-media plugin for MP3 files) even work to some degree. The media player handles MP3s and video files, I'm on an enhanced 3G or wifi connection on the device, and it's brilliant.

Should you be bothered, I've just blogged about it...

moodlea.blogspot.com/2007/09/moodling-on-mobile-phone-properly.html

Any comments welcome, please put them on the above post...

Ian.

 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
What about the necessity of viewing all modules of moodle via pda. Is there any module that could be omitted when using the mobile moodle?And if someone believes that a course module for example, is not necessary, try to give a reason.


 
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Picture of Matt Gibson relaxing in the Alps
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Not sure why you would do that. If a course uses a module, avoiding it on a mobile would prevent full participation in the course. Unless you mean to design courses so that they don't have certain modules from the start to make them mobile friendly.

On another note, having just played around with a demo of the iphone, I think the browser is a more or less full featured version of Safari which should render everything. Has anyone got an iphone they can test moodle on yet?
 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Matt

I mean what you secondly said. I'll try to design a mobile friendly course and because of the limitation that a mobile device has it should be better to avoid using some modules (I don't know which of them so I need some opinions).
 
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Picture of Kathryn Mac Callum
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 

Hi Paul

When you are thinking of excluding modules on the PDA will the excluded modules then be accessible when the student is using a desktop computer?

I am of the opinion that making Moodle accessible on a PDA should enhance the learning environment not limit it. Therefore focusing on key modules and making them usable on a mobile device and offering the rest on a PC I believe would be of the most benefit, rather than expecting the whole environment to be usable (which I assume you are looking at judging by your questions). Offering a Moodle course just on a mobile device might not be the best idea unless it is available from a desktop as well. Some people might have an alternative opinion about this!!

So modules I see that would benefit from being available on your mobile device are the more communication orientated modules i.e. discussion forums, wikis, and things that can be done quickly i.e. quizzes. Expecting students to read course notes etc may not be as useful (I can see this might be useful up to a certain extent but would ultimately be difficult for learners to truly sit down and study).

Opera is also a great browser that renders websites pretty well on a mobile device. The new version even recognizes the CSS3 for handhelds!

Kathryn

PS I hope to get my hands on an iphone soon so will be able to comment on that soon smile

 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Hi Kathryn

The excluded modules will be accessible via a desktop computer.

I agree with you that the communication modules are the most important for a mobile device.


 
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wen photo
Re: PDA version of moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers
Yeah I would be interested to know if anyone tried moodle on their iphone. Anyone?
 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
I entry via my PDAs browser to my pc moodle using my ip but the loading time of a page is more than an eternity...I note that I have make the appropriate changes so that the appearance of a page fits to the limitations of the pda screen. I also note that any version of moodle that i try to load via my pc (using my ip) to my pda appears the same time delay.
 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Ok I found my problem. I haven't define well at the installation the web address (I wrote localhost/moodle/...). I should have written ip/moodle/...
 
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Picture of Kathryn Mac Callum
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 

If you want to try out the new iphone and cant get access to real device, you can use the free iPhone web simulator. 

(http://www.marketcircle.com/iphoney)
 
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Picture of Matt Gibson relaxing in the Alps
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Good link, but it needs Mac OS X sad
 
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Picture of paul papapaul
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Does anyone knows how could i edit block headers, like topic outline, search forums etc,in case that it disappears the show/hide icon and the alternative "skip this block" whenever i browse my moodle via my pda?I am refering only in code editing.

Thanks
 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: PDA version of moodle?
 
Look in the stylesheets forums: you must say that that message gets printed above the visbile screen by adding a negativ absolute position.
 
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Picture of Marguerite Koole
MobiGlam (Mobile Glamorgan) - works with cell phones and PDAs
 
Hi,

Check out MobiGlam: http://mobi.etrainingwales.com/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php
  • It is accessible through PDA and cell phones (simple and smartphones).
  • Java-based (device and LMS agnostic).
  • Nearly all Moodle Modules work with it.
  • Integrates SMS notification for forum activity, grades, workshops, news, messages, etc. (Very handy.)
  • Extremely low bandwidth for cell phone users.
It's really very clever.

Cheers,
Marguerite
Athabasca University


 
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Picture of Ken Wilson
Re: MobiGlam (Mobile Glamorgan) - works with cell phones and PDAs
 
Hi Marguerite

Looks very interesting from your post. What do I need to do to find out more? When I click on the MobiGlam Installation link, I get a blank page sad. Also, what's the difference between this and students accessing Moodle out-of-the-box on say a BlackBerry or an iPhone?

Thanks

Ken
 
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Picture of Marguerite Koole
Re: MobiGlam (Mobile Glamorgan) - works with cell phones and PDAs
 
Hi Ken,

Sorry for the delay. I'm a bit swamped . . .

The best thing to do would be to contact Fatma (the developer of MobiGlam). Her contact information should be on that page (see previous posting for link).

I guess the main advantage is that MobiGlam requires low bandwidth--making it usable on a variety of devices including very rudimentary cell phones. So, in it's lean delivery of content, it cuts out unnecessary navigation and does not force the user to scroll through copious amounts of text and links. The high cost of data in Canada is a big issue for us. We do not have very good "unlimited" data plans--if any.

The application is client-side and programmed in Java. It does works Blackberries, but not iPhones (which, I believe, do not work with Java nor non-authorized-by-Mac applications). In my work, I do not want to force users to purchase a specific device (especially expensive devices), so I have been investigating MobiGlam which will allow many different devices to access Moodle remotely.

I have been testing MobiGlam with simple cell phones as well as my fancy-schmancy HTC TYTN II smart phone, Palm Treo, and anything that my colleagues and project respondents have. It works well for me.

I get a little lost in forums, though. The forum is the one module that I would recommend permitting more text/posts to appear on one screen in MobiGlam--even though it would increase scrolling and data download for the user.

Hope that helps.
Cheers,
Marguerite

 
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