JISC innovation forum, Keele University (part 4)

More liveblogging. The  final Keynote  is from Jason Da Ponte, managing editor, BBC Mobile Platforms, who is talking to us about the BBC and its use of mobile technology.

BBc define mobile as any interaction between the BBC and its audience over a portable device and within a mobile situation

Mobile devices are:-

Personal, immediate and location aware.  Jason thought that there was a lot of untapped potential. He asked how many of us had more than one mobile and how many had used the BBC’s mobile provision.

The BBC are interested in streaming live television to mobiles – technology already available. Should be here in about 2010

But already things like mobile browser service – BBC have recently relaunched their mobile platform making their services more geo-aware. They have over 3 million users

Mobile Rich Media and Broadcasting. This is where they see their future. BBC iPlayer on iPhone and IPod Touch. They’re also doing 3G TV (Whatever that might be!) trials with network operators, and they are really looking forward to a mobile broadcasting future.

Messaging – Admitted that this was a bit rich after the scandals of the previous year, and they’re setting up a new compliance unit. They working on new programme formats, more than just voting, for example, offering alert services which they’re planning to try at the Olympics this year so people will know when events will be taking place

The final platform is the “Out of Home”. This includes the Big screens in cities like Hull and Manchester. They were talking about Bluetooth and wi-fi and QR codes to promote interactivity (although he called QR codes “semacodes” – apologies if this is something different)

Then he raised the matter of web 2.0. He sees this as a way of thinking about how you can build services that get taken up. They identified some fundamental principles between FlickR, You Tube and so on. These are basically –  Straightforward, Functional, Gregarious, Open, Evolving. Web 2.0 apps “invite you in” – which is not how we usually build technology.  How can we apply these principles to what we do in edudcation?

Also, what do we need to have in there? Participation seems important. We want to get people to participate. So is distinctive. If there’s something else that does a similar thing why should they use ours? (Plethora of Blackboard sites, anyone?) Does it do what it says it is going to do? and How personal is the experience.  And if you are part of the web, why do you need to bring things in. Why not just link out to what’s there. Jason thinks this it the most important barrier to innovation that the BBC has faced – people are reluctant to cross this boundaryFinally he’s referring us to this paper about co design http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/makingthemostofcollaboration

The UK education sector doesn’t score well in collaborating with its users in design. (There’s a theme that is emerging from all these sessions) Co-design is a trial and error style of working, a collaboration, a developmental process, and outcome based. Only the last one of these is particularly comfortable sitting in an institutional context though. (Blackboard, and VLEs generally ring a few bells here). But if there’s any message here it’s “Please Remember Your Users”). His contact details are: – Jason.daponte@bbc.co.uk  

One questioner invited Jason to speculate where we might be in 2020. He thought there might be some application specific devices. Apparently every taxi in New York now has a touch screen (although I’m not clear what for, something taxi related no doubt!) and he speculated about things like umbrellas which could deliver weather reports (Again, though, I couldn’t help thinking you’d probably notice if it was raining!) The point is your interaction with this technology would be fleeting. I suppose I could imagine a library shelf end that indicated where related material might be stored for example.

Final question was about whether the BBC had any plans to get involved in mobile learning.  Unfortunately the BBC is in the middle of revising its e-learning strategy and Jason wasn’t really able to answer this. But GCSE Bitesize is available on mobile