Tagging the Cloud Using the NBN

Organisational overview

GlobalNet ICT is an information, communication and technology education and consultancy business that specialises in supporting business and individuals to develop their technology and management expertise. Our mission is to empower individuals and business to maximise their investment in knowledge and skills. We provide innovative, flexible and customised services that focus on the needs of our clients - giving them significant competitive advantage and confidence. Our clients include small to medium Enterprises (SME’s), not for profit organisations, large public companies, government departments and government business enterprises (GBE’s).

Our expertise includes Social Media Business integration; ICT Project Management; Change, knowledge and collaboration management; business and systems analysis; coaching and mentoring; online and mobile learning solutions; instructional design; and QR and RFID technology integration.

Trial overview

The intent of this project was to develop two mobile apps that could be used to trigger access to learning resources using Radio Frequency Technology specifically Near Field Communication (NFC) and QR tags. With the significant increase in take up smart phones in Australia and with the increase in number of which currently ship or are planned to ship with RFID capability, there was a need to develop and trial apps that can handle multiple technologies. The apps were developed for the iPhone and Android platforms and facilitate both RFID and QR tag content access over the cloud to access a learning repository. (NFC would only apply to android until Apple releases its own NFC enabled handset.)
Our outcomes were to increase access to learning content and training and assessment activities using mobile technologies over the cloud. As part of our deliverables, we have provided the two apps that we developed back for use by others. We hope that this will help others develop their own apps or use the ones provided to enhance their own learning and training outcomes.

Trialing the technology


Research

GlobalNet has followed the development of business and learning solutions using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) tag technology for many years. Recently, we have also added QR (Quick Response) technology to our focus. This technology is by no means new, but our ability to use the technology for everyday use has grown rapidly with the advent of mobile broadband technology and smart phones. For example, important retailers such as Wal-Mart, Metro and Tesco conducted pilot projects and began to implement the technology in 2003 and 2004. With the introduction of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology into mobile phones in recent times (both Google and Apple are reported to have plans for large scale deployments of the technology in their handsets), the ability to automate the communication between the mobile handset and the cloud has rapidly increased, providing opportunities to deliver targeted, contextualised content to the user and to request such content back from the user. Likewise, the ability to scan and recognise QR tags on a mobile device provides the user with the ability to quickly engage with a richer content source. Removing the requirement to type log URL's for example, means that we can direct users to video, audio or text seamlessly.
From our perspective, the increasing ubiquitous nature of the technology provides us with a unique opportunity to provide and rich and engaging learning experience for users. Our history and experience in this field has encouraged us to get even more involved because the outcomes for learnings and users are so appealling. Our project team would love to see the opportunities for learning using NFC and QR tag technology brought to the mobile learning space in a much greater way.

Implementation

We're currently finishing the development of our three mobile apps (iphone, Ipad and android). The apps have actually been developed, and now we're putting the last touches to the look and feel as well as finalising the testing and finishing the back end. I've put a few links just below this part to show what the Iphone app (as an example) will look like. We're going to make these apps available (the source code) as part of the deliverables of the project - so you can see how the application is working. Of course, these types of applications do require management backends to handle user responses (if that's something that you want to implement) but at least people will have an idea of how to trigger different things from the application.
By management back-end, we mean a database that enables the administrator to configure what users will see and what they will be asked to do. It could be a customised LMS for example, or it could be a specially developed system. In our case, we modified an existing system that we had to communicate with the apps. Whilst there are a number of systems that we enable an administrator create a QR tag (many for free), they don' t manage the responses from users - including user uploaded content such as video or audio.
We're building the applications so that people can watch streaming video, read mobile compatible sites, upload video, upload audio and request more information from teachers etc and the idea (for this project) will be to augment the learning of the students by providing (and requesting) rich media making the process far more interactive.
We have had some challenges building the applications (as is the case with any IT development) - different operating systems (for the android platform) caused some issues. The update from gingerbread to ice-cream sandwhich (yes, those are real operating system version names!) necessitated us to modify some of our code. Another headache we had was getting the phone to upload video to the server in the right format and an acceptable size. Some of the video recording was at high definition which meant that we had to ensure that it records on low quality to cope with bandwidth constraints of the handsets (on a 3G network).
Here's a sneak peak at what the Iphone app is going to look like (note that it may not be exactly like this, but very close)

Screen shots of the apps


The screen shots below are provided to give an idea of what the apps look on the phones\

A Brief explanation of what the screen shots below mean:
There is an option for the user to login to our system. If the user logs in, the system is able to determine who the user is and allow the user access to more content options. The reason for the need to login is because if the workflow requests the user to upload video, audio or text, the system needs to be able to attach that information to a user. We have used a workflow model which takes the user from one question to the next as part of their experience. Note that when we use the word "tag", we mean QR or RFID Tag.

What does a QR or RFID Tag do?
QR Tag
  • A QR Tag (short for quick response) tag embeds a URL into an image so that when the tag is scanned, the tag points the device to a particular location on the web. This could be a website, a database, document or anything else that can be put on the web (and the device can view).
RFID Tag
  • A RFID tag works on a radio frequency (different types of RFID work at different frequencies) and when scanned basically passes back to the reader (in the case of passive tags) a serial number. A reader then determines what that serial means (ie - show something, ask something, register that the tag has been scanned, etc)

In our system, for example, a QR Tag might be configured to do the following (the numbers indicate the order of the steps):

  1. Present a mobile friendly website to a user
  2. Show the user a video (such as a Vimeo or Youtube video)
  3. As the user for their comment on the video (in the form of a text book)
  4. As the user to choose the most appropriate answer from a checklist
  5. Ask the user to take a photo of something related to the content (for example a particular plant) - When this is done through the app, the app will upload this to a folder on the server
  6. Ask the user to take a video of their surroundings (for example, their garden) - When this is done through the app, the app will upload this to a folder on the server.
  7. Finish the process

The Login Screen (login is optional)
external image TTC_iphone_login.png

Being able to choose different options by scanning / swiping the tag:

One functionality that we have developed on the backend is to tie multiple workflows (we call them tag apps) to one QR or RFID Tag. This means that swiping a "tag" gives the user an option of selecting one of many different workflows. So, an administrator (by administator we mean a person responsible for configuring the back-end system (see above for what we mean by system) could "attach" multiple workflows to a single tag. In the screen shot below, an administrator has attached more than one workflow to a single tag - so a user could choose:

  1. to view a video and answer a question about the video (in the Experience life Android workflow)
  2. Answer questions and upload a photo of what food they are eating (in the food diary workflow)
  3. Rate a particular experience by answering multiple choice questions (in the rate me workflow)
  4. Register themselves as a user in the system if they don't have an account (in the Register self workflow)
  5. View a mobile friendly website (in the Safety website workflow
  6. Enter in their personal details and their mobile phone number (in the SMS me workflow). The system can then use that number to SMS them some information

external image TTC_iphone_activetags.png

One of our initial in-house testing included asking the user to show us what food they were about to eat. It involved asking the user to take a photo as a record. We thought this could be used to support people trying to diet for example. This photo is then automatically uploaded to a folder on the server. The system "knows" which user has uploaded which photos, so an administrator, for example, can run a report to see what a user has uploaded.

external image TTC_iphone_fooddiary.png

The screen shot below shows a text box where the user can enter free text. This could be in response to a question or it could be used to provide feedback.

external image TTC_iphone_RegisterSelf.png

http://www.taggingthecloud.com.au/images/TTC_iphone_RegisterSelf.png. For users that don't login (or are guests, the system will simply forward them onto the URL embedded withing the QR Tag.

The scanning options (note that for the Iphone, RFID is not available - although we are hoping / anticipating that the next verion of the Iphone (the 5) will include NFC http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/30/more-hints-that-apple-is-working-on-an-nfc-payment-system-on-the-next-iphone/

external image TTC_iphone_scanner.png

http://www.taggingthecloud.com.au/images/TTC_iphone_scanner.png

Giving the user the ability to enter in their mobile number and the system will send them an SMS: http://www.taggingthecloud.com.au/images/TTC_iphone_SMS_Me.png
external image TTC_iphone_SMS_Me.png

A finshed process: ihttp://www.taggingthecloud.com.au/images/TTC_iphone_finished.png

external image TTC_iphone_finished.png

Classroom trial/s

[Provide a brief overview (1-2 paragraphs) of the trialling undertaken with students and/or teachers, or applicable end users. Further information about the response of the learners should be recorded in the learner feedback section.]

May Update
We're anticipating starting the trails very early in May. We're building the video and audio resources (as well as as few web sites that are mobile friendly) so that we can push media to the students in the outdoors at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) as well as in their own schools. There's quite a lot of work still to be done (in building the resources) and linking them to the tags, but once we're done, we are hoping for quite an interactive experience.

June update
We have not had an opportunity to trial the application as much as would have liked. This has been for a number of reasons:
  1. The target audience has been the school children of three private Christian schools involved in the trial of another NBN project. Unfortunately, due to Naplan tests, holidays, school commitments and our own project time constraints, we only had two or three opportunities to engage with students - although the feedback has been very positive thus far.
  2. The Iphone and Ipad apps have been manually installed onto the mobile devices whilst we wait for approval from the Apps store to publish them. This has constrained the number of devices we have been able to use for the trial.
  3. The students are again away on holiday until the 19th of June, so we will continue again after this time and will solicit feedback from both the students and the teachers.

Continuation of the trial
Given the short time frames, we have decided to continue the trial into June and July. This will provide us and the participants with the extra opportunities needed to adequately conduct the trial and to solicit sufficient feedback to properly evaluate the technology. It will also allow us to explore the technology in other contexts (such as the Aged care sector) and with the upcoming RTBG projects that will be made public shortly.

The trial will continue our work with high school children in their own school environments and students attending the RTBG to provide them with rich content through the mobile devices. QR and RFID tags will be attached to a range of exotic plants and garden beds to provide a quick and easy access for students to websites, video and audio - as well as ask them for their feedback about what they learned. The tags will be placed at various indoor and outdoor locations that are within wireless network locations and connected to high speed broadband and the NBN

Examples include:
  • placing QR Tags at the base of garden vegetables being grown by a school in their school grounds so that students can scan the tag and learn more about the vegetables.
  • Placing QR Tags and RFID tags on plants in the RTBG to link the plant to information and video about the plants (such as their history, growing conditions etc)
  • Placing QR Tags at entrances and near woodworking tools so that students can see how the tool is to be used and it's safety requirements.


Implementing the technology/ies


Evaluating the technology/ies

[Consider the usefulness, efficiency and effectiveness of the technology/s utilised in the trial from a technical and an educational perspective.
Consider the following questions when writing this section

Are you satisfied with technology/s used? Why?
We have been extremely satisfied with the technology for a number of reasons
  1. The technology is very ubiquitous so barriers surrounding user inability to engage because of lack of technology are low.
  2. The mobile and tablet formats have been the perfect vehicle for the delivery of the learning resources and the ability to tie learning resources to smart QR tags has meant that not only can we push content to the learner, but we can also pull responses back from the learner. See link to video below.
  3. The technology is very easy to use and requires little or no training so potential adoption is high among a range of users - both young and old.

Did the technology/s functions/features meet the requirements of your trial? Why?

  1. The functionality of the technology met and exceeded our requirements, notwithstanding that the trial is still in its infancy. We tied the mobile applications to our database back-end. This meant that we could link QR tags to rich media (such as how to grow blueberries) but we could then ask the learner to take a photo and a short video of specific plants in their context and to upload them to our repository using the application. We could also ask them questions about what they had experienced to get their input and feedback - making the system more akin to a learning and assessment application than just a straight QR tagging system.

What the school wanted to do


The kids using the system. (note that we only asked in this video for them to answer questions - not to upload video, audio or images - which is also possible. The reason for this was bandwidth issues. Even though the school had ADSL, it was heavily used which restricted the available bandwidth that we had access to.





Are there any additional functions/features that you would like that the current technology did not have? Why?

  1. There is one enhancement that we will incorporate into the application in the near future and that is the ability to play video full screen on both platforms. One of the issues that we faced was playing video clips (such as youtube or vimeo video clips) but still keeping the application as the driving vehicle rather than pushing out youtube or vimeo directly which means that in some cases, the user has to open the application again. We know that this is possible, but time constraints have pushed this into the next phase of our development.
  2. Another feature that we will look to implement is to be able to detect the operating system and the device the user is using. One of the issues that we face currently is the inability to contextualise the content delivered to the device automatically. We know how to do this, but again, time frames did not permit us to fully explore this functionality. The reason we need to do this, for example, is to be able to determine what video format to deliver to the user. The Ipad and Iphone will not play media that can be played on Android devices in man cases. Another advantage of being able to do this is being able to turn functionality off and on depending on the operating system. If the user has an older operating system (in the case of an Android phone), some of the functionality that relies on the new operating systems can be automatically disabled so that the user experience remains seamless.

Will you continue to use the technology/s? Why?

  1. We will definitely continue to use the technology and we see enormous potential its use in a number of areas. We are encouraged in this by the very positive reaction from those users we showed and trialled the technology. One of the schools involved in the project is looking already at a variety of ways to implement the technology as an ongoing addition to their learning tools.
  2. The technology is scheduled to be included in three new projects to be undertaken by the RTBG. These projects currently have media embargos on them, but details will be released as soon as we are able to.
  3. We are working with the Aged Care industry and particular organisations within that industry who see value in using the technology to support their compliance and in-situe learning requirements, particularly in having support staff being able to access patient and training materials via their mobile platforms by scanning or swiping tags.

Any other applicable details about the evaluation of the technology

Positives

  • The technology is very easy to use and requires effectively no training for the learner.
  • It can be used for almost any type of application where media (video / audio / text) needs to be pushed to a user in a simple, targeted and contextualised manner and feedback or responses are required. Our initial thoughts would be that this would be an effective technology in the learning and compliance contexts.

Negatives

  • Apple tightly controls the publication of applications onto the Itunes store which has positive and negative impacts on the development of applications. The positive is that applications are quality assured but the negative is that it can take time to publish the application particularly if there are issues.
  • The application currently does not support the 3G networks very well and it is better suited to wireless networks.

Suggestions for future developers / users

Our suggestion would be when using QR or RFID tagging that you support the tags with a database back-end. For our project, we modified an existing back-end application to handle the information that is being returned by the tags. This will allow the organisation to capture how the system is being used, by whom and when. We've put a little information about what backed we've used, but for RTO's, for example, it makes a great way of supporting evidence gathering as logins are unique and therefore evidence can be directly linked to assessment activities and the individual.

Some of our back-end screens:


The Dashboard - from here we can manage the system

external image taggingthecloud_management_dashboard.jpg


Managing the Apps - here's where we can create the QR tags.
external image taggingthecloud_tag_manager.jpg

Creating the RFID Tag

external image rfid_management.jpg


Applying the workflows to the Tags (the tag is what triggers the interaction - the workflow manages it)
external image app_manager.jpg


Seeing what tags have been triggered.
external image saved_apps.jpg

Strategies to enable use of the technology

[What strategies were used/developed to enable the use of the applicable technology in your organisation and support your trial. Consider the following questions when writing this section:
- What strategies have you used/developed to support your teaching staff, support staff, learners and other people involved in the trial to use the technology?

Information technology
  1. Each app is simple and has been designed to be visual and intuitive to ensure ease of use and application.
  2. An induction into how to use the apps and access the database backend was also used.

The Development environment
The applications have been built for compatibility with the following standards
      • Network connectivity: Standard 3G or 4G compatible phones that operate on Australian Networks
      • Operating systems: iOS 4 and 5, Tested on Android Gingerbread and Ice-Cream Sandwich
      • Display Resolution: tested on 640x480 pixels. Recommended 400x800 recommended for Android. Compatible with all Apple models in terms of resolution
      • Storage capacity: minimum 2G
      • Camera: No minimum Camera resolution necessary. Up to the user. Application manages photo resolution upload.
      • Runtime Environment: as per Apple and Android specifications
      • Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n
      • Bluetooth: Not required
      • Messaging services: Not required
For more information on standards, see
http://e-standards.flexiblelearning.net.au/technical_standards/mobile_platforms.php

Developing the apps - what you need:
We have kept all our development environment open source. The following authoring environments have been used:
  • For Android: Eclipse was used to author the code. Eclipse is an open source IDE which is freely available for download: http://www.eclipse.org/
  • For Apple: Xcode. Developers can download Xcode for free. Note that there is a $99 charge to register as a developer (as of June 2012).

Database and management system
Our database and management systems were developed in:

Learning strategies

  1. Action learning strategies were used as part of the trial of the apps with for trainers and learners.

Content Creation
  1. Content creation is now viewed holistically within the context of deployment across multiple and varied platforms.
  2. There is a greater emphasis on standards based resources that are as interoperable and compatible as possible. Although this is not always possible, converting media (in particular) to cross platform compatibility formats means an effective and effecient use of resources
  3. Policies and processes reviews have become more important to cater, for example, for the content created by others using the technology (such as when the QR tag requests a user to take a video of what they are doing and it is uploaded by the application to the server.

- Any other useful information/details you discovered/identified about the technology during the trial? ]
  • Apps Store vs Google Play
Apple and Google treat their market places very differently and it is important that a development team appreciate the differences. Google, for example, takes a much more laissez faire approach to developers, allowing more flexibility and individuality in the development of applications. However, this has the ability to let through applications that are unstable or incompatible with the various android operating systems. Apple, on the other hand, have very strict guidelines ( the guidlines are available on the developer website to authenticated developers). This can cause (as the team discovered) a slow down in approval for apps and may result in apps being rejected on various grounds - again, as the team discovered!. However, the app store is less prone to incompatibility issues and unstable applications.

  1. Our first rejection was because the review team could not login to our system - we hadn't given them the username and password so they couldn't test the full functionality. Tip: give Apple all the credentials they need to test.
  2. Our second rejection was because of bug. However, the bug was not in the application, but the back-end that had an error in processing the request - so the app would time out. Apple required us to put a time out feature on the so that it wouldn't wait too long before telling the user that it had failed to establish a connection - rather than just continuously trying.
  3. Our third rejection was due to having links that didn't resolve. We required actual contact and privacy details on our website as Apple DOES NOT accept trial applications. So we had to develop all that.
  4. We're still waiting on Apple with the fourth attempt.

You can find the full set of guidelines here:
https://developer.apple.com/appstore/resources/approval/guidelines.html - note that it requires a login to view these. And... there's a lot of them :-)

  • The back-end
The tagging the cloud applications (both IOS and Android) developed by us are supported by our own database backends. Throughout the wiki we have referred to the apps and the database as the "technology". This back-end support (developed in PHP and MySQL) was developed outside the project but used by us to support the QR tagging through the dissemination and the collection of data from users using the system. By using a database and workflow back-end, we were able to tie the use of QR tags to workflows making the system more intelligent and responsive than ordinary standard QR tagging.
  • Functionality within the apps
We have developed the apps with the following functionality:
  • View Video
  • View images
  • Play audio
  • View text (websites etc.)
  • Take and upload Video
  • Take and upload Audio
  • Take and upload Images
  • Request input from the user
  • GPS sensitivity - a system could trigger the app using GPS functionality (called Zones) so if a user enters / leaves or stays within a zone for a certain period of time, they app does something (like ask them a question)



Barriers to implementing the technology

[What factors/barriers may have impeded on the successful adoption/implementation of the technology/s you have been trialing. Consider the following questions when writing this section:
- What are the impeding factors or barriers? and if there were any factors/barriers, what strategies/resources have you used to overcome these inhibiting factors/barriers for this trial?

There were a number of factors that impacted on the project. Some issues were minor, some more more substantial. We have noted some of these below:
  1. The technology really excels in high bandwidth environments, but low bandwidth environments may experience difficulties if the system is configured to distribute large videos or photos. One of the strategies to cater for this would be to ask users whether they are in a high or low bandwidth context. Depending on the response, alternative media can be presented or requested as a result.
  2. Developing for multiple platforms posed a challenge. What worked on one didn't necessarily translate across to the other platform. One of the issues was in presenting video – the IPhone and Ipad have different video codecs to Android so video that plays on one operating system won’t necessarily play on the other.
  3. Different operating systems also posed a challenge in the Android environment. Google updated operating systems from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich and this created a need to adjust some aspects of the applications. It also makes backwards compatibility problematic as code needs to take account of possible changes to API’s. This is not an issue with the Itunes store as Apple has strict compatibility guidelines.
    For Android, the system was trialled on a HTC Diamond phone (locked to Telstra which meant that the operating system could not be upgraded) and a Samsung Nexus S which has the RFID component.
  4. Time was a barrier. As in all IT projects, time frames moved because of internal and external factors. Some internal factors included longer than expected unit and user testing which identified bugs and issues. These needed to be resolved before trials began. Our advice to any organisation developing applications (mobile or otherwise) is to identify‘ your time frames and then double them (and then double them again just for good measure).
  5. The App Store checking and approval process has also presented issues. Unfortunately, trial apps are not permitted in the store. This has required us to rethink our deployment strategy and forced a move into a production environment. This has had knock on effects in where we host the back end infrastructure. At the time of writing the report, the Ipad and Iphone apps are still in the approval stage in the store. This has meant that for testing purposes, we have had to physically install the applications onto the devices. Our strategy to cater for this potential barrier has been to extend the trial for 2 more months. This will provide the opportunity to better trial the technology in situe and amongst a wider range of devices and learners.
  6. Learner availability was a big barrier. As our cohort is mainly school children, school commitments and holidays presented a significant barrier to trials. As per above, our strategy is to extend the trial.
  7. The RFID technology used in our Samsung Nexus S mobile phone is still in its infancy in terms of its wide deployment across mobile phones. Developing in the mobile platform technology is still in its infancy in terms of e-learning. However, vendors are expecting to release changes in the way they manage the technology in the future. Apple, for example, has been rumoured to be releasing NFC technology in the Iphone 5, so code development into the future may not be the same as it is currently


Additional considerations

  1. This type of technology raises the question of bring your own device. Since QR tagging is focused on mobile devices, and the provision of learning through QR Tagging will a realignment of traditional technology infrastructure thinking. In many organisations, particularly larger ones, technology infrastructure may be provided to the students in the form of computer labs. However, this form of distributed learning resources means that in many instances, students will be responsible for their own technology devices. Where learning resources are located outside the firewall barriers, this is not likely to cause an issue. However, where students are accessing content from within the confines of the organisation, using their own devices, this will have ramifications for how and whether the organisation allows student devices to connect to the network.

- any additional information/details which the trial has identified about the use of the technology to enable learning, which has not been identified above.
  1. One thing to consider when deploying this type of technology is what is going to be done with the media / content that is collected from the users. How is it to be stored and where will it be stored and will users have access to it? Also, will the information be used for assessment purposes and what training will users be needing. What technology support will be given to users in terms of supplying hardware?


Future directions

Provide details on of ‘where to from here’ for your trial and the technology you used:
  1. We see tremendous extensions to the application. There is very little to do for us to embed this technology into our organisation. There are some small adjustments that we will make to the technology (as noted above), but these relate more to the back-end databases than the mobile applications themselves. The trial has helped galvanise for us the great benefits that can come through the use of technology to better engage learners and participants.
  2. We anticipate being able to extend the technology into a variety of other areas of the organisation. In particular, our compliance requirements will be very suited to this technology - being able to ensure that people are inducted correctly for example.

- Any other recommendations for potential future work especially in terms of technical standards?
  1. In our opinion, technical standards need to reflect the context of the device, the bandwidth and the audience. One of the things that this project has highlighted for us is the need for differing standards to be developed / reviewed for different mobile platforms as they display, handle and interpret media and content differently. One of the real powers of the technology is that it can be used to engage learners and participants through the use of rich media that is both provided to and requested from the user. This has significant implications in terms of file sizes, file formats, interoperability across repositories and databases, screen sizes and functionality

Are there any plans to implement/use the technology in other parts of your organisation?

  1. There are plans to use the technology not just in the learning area, but also for compliance. As an organisation, one of the advantages of the technology we see for us, for example, is in forcing people to engage in compliance required processes. For example, we can use the technology to ensure that people have been correctly inducted into a training course, or that occupational health and safety guidelines have been read and understood. We also have plans to use the technology for marketing, providing potential customers with a richer experience from which they can then choose to interact with the organisation.

What area(s) of work would you/your organisation consider needs national support/further work to enable the wider adoption of the technology/s VET?

  1. This technology relies on critical mass. One of the challenges for organisations when using this technology is to produce the content to support it. Once users get used to having rich media on-demand, they will expect more and more of it into the future. This means that organisations will need to find new and innovative was of creating content that supports this technology.

Additional materials


Learner feedback

Provide some qualitative and quantitative information about the response of learners to the trial.
Include positive and negative results/responses. Include facts/figures/comments, which support the outcomes and future directions outlined earlier in the report.
Consider the following points when writing this section:
- What students/staff/teachers said in terms of:
o their confidence in using the technology
o whether they will continue to use the technology beyond this trial

  1. Teachers have indicated that they will use this technology beyond the trial. The ability to provide targeted and contextualised learning through QR and RFID Tagging to the student on mobile platforms that includes video, images and text and provides the ability for the student to respond is a valuable resource for schools and educators. Teachers noted that it's important that connecting physical objects to learning is easy and seamless and having students use their Ipods, Iphones, Ipads and Android devices to connect with the learning provides both familiar technology and ease of use.
  2. It was noted that content development is an issue as school resources are already stretched and implementing QR and RFID tagging will inevitably mean that more time and effort will be required into developing appropriate content.


Resources

Please list (and where possible, attach) the resources used in your trial to enable the use of the technology/s in your trial
Some examples include: ie guidelines, how to guides (text, video, audio etc), policies, staff/client training resources, web links to resources, links to third party resources/websites, references/bibliography of resources etc
The Apps
Mobile Apps for the Android and IOS platforms have been provided as deliverables of this project. These apps are designed to provide a guide for developers of QR and RFID tagging technology to see how we did it and what commands can be used to trigger different functionality on the different phones.
Some things to note:
  • Different Android operating systems may have different functionality or API's, so what works on one, may not work on another.
  • RFID technology in mobile phones is still in its infancy in Australia, so the RFID component is very limited its is usage. The Nexus S has the technology and Apple is roumered to be releasing NFC (Near Field Communication) technology in it's next iteration of the Iphone.
  • The Ipad has no RFID technology.

For the Android App, the code can be viewed / modified with Eclipse. We used developer.android.com and code.google.com/p/zxing

as reference materials
For the Iphone App, the code can be view / modified with XCode. We used developer.apple.com and zbar.sourceforge.net as resources


For more information

For more information, contact
Chris Toselli
GlobalNet ICT Pty Ltd
e-mail: chris.toselli@globalnetict.com
Mob: 0438 687125 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting external image numbers_button_skype_logo.pngFREE 0438 687125end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Strategy contact information


For general enquiries about the National VET E-learning Strategy, please contact:
Secretariat of the Flexible Learning Advisory Group
+61 (0)3 9954 2700 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting external image numbers_button_skype_logo.pngFREE +61 (0)3 9954 2700end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting external image numbers_button_skype_logo.pngFREE +61 (0)3 9954 2700end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Email: flag_enquiries@natese.gov.au Website: flexiblelearning.net.au

New Generation Technologies for Learning
incorporating E-standards for Training
Email: e-standards@flexiblelearning.net.au
Website: e-standards.flexiblelearning.net.au