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Normal Mobile Phones for Learning in Schools?

I know that a great many educators in this region are looking at mobile devices including PDAs and even mobile phones as learning devices. I recently read this posting to a list which I felt compelled to copy here so that teachers are at least aware that such work is taking place and is possible.ex mobile phone!

Many mobile phones can run software that can decode Datamatrix barcodes using the camera built into the phone.  The fancy Nokia N95 has the software already installed in it, but it is available for download for other Nokia models and also many other models of phone.

Datamatrix codes are popping up on some products and posters around the place and contain information such as URLs, phone numbers, or address details for businesses, etc.  Some people are putting them on business cards for example so that the recipient could capture the phone number straight into their phone.

Here is an example of a code http://classroomnetwork.googlepages.com/profiledatamatrix.png/profiledatamatrix-full;init:.png so you can see what they look like.  This one contains a message from the creator of the code.

You may have seen similar barcodes printed with the franking information on some envelopes.  You can decode one on an envelope and find it contains the numbers that are most likely account info for the sender’s Australia Post account (don’t worry these digits are also printed on the envelope, you are not seeing any info that should be hidden)  This barcode would just make it easier for machines to read the info.

An example of where these codes are being used out and about is http://www.semapedia.org/ From their site:” Our goal is to connect the virtual and physical world by bringing the right information from the internet to the relevant place in physical space.   To accomplish this, we invite you to create Semapedia-Tags which are in fact cellphone-readable physical hyperlinks. You can create such Tags easily yourself by choosing and pasting a Wikipedia URL into the form above. Once created, you put the Tags up at their according physical location. You just hyperlinked your world! Others can now use their cellphone to ‘click’ your Tag and access the information you provided them. ”
For example, you put one of these codes on a sign at a landmark and it contains a link to the relevant Wikipedia page.

I was thinking that incorporating these codes with GeoCaching would be fun.  At particular Lat & Long coordinates you could place one of these codes that when decoded gives either a clue for finding the next coordinates or could give the actual coordinates for the next waypoint.

Here are some more links to Datamatrix generators http://mobilecodes.nokia.com/index.htm (This one has some software for Nokia phones)  http://www.idautomation.com/java/dmservlet.html (This is another free code generator)

Another use for mobile phones… I think that Scratch has Java software for use on mobile phones too.  Scratch has been discussed extensively here too.

Let me know if you decode the Datamatrix code!

Photo: ex mobile phone! by besto-Baker

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