Learning on mobile phones
Conversely, their small screens and limited keyboards limit what can be done.
What would a good learning app for a phone look like? It need not be a visual block programming language but could be.
- Authoring would be always on
- Low entry, wide walls and high ceiling
- Would give access to the microphone, speaker, camera, screen and networks (Bluetooth, Wifi and phone)
- If an iPhone, it would give access to the Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Assisted GPS and Digital compass
- It would amplify human thought
The pencil and paper amplify thought. We can create a music score, diagram or text of greater complexity on paper than we can hold in our head. The computer, like pencil and paper, allows us to store and inspect our project. Unlike paper, it also can 'play' our project. TamTam, Record, Etoys and Physics are examples that utilise the computer as a player.
The screen is how we transfer a project of great complexity inside the device to the limited representation which is inside our heads. The eye is well adapted to find a smaller piece of information in a larger project and concentrate our attention on it. Does it have to be the screen? A small screen is a problem.
The iPhone has a resolution of 480-by-320-pixels at 163 ppi , I would need glasses but its not that small a screen for young eyes. TurtleArt has a number of features which adapt it to small screens.
- named stacks of blocks
- collapsible stacks
- zoom in and out
- scrollable canvas
- save and individually restore stacks in trash