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Graham
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« on: September 07, 2005, 06:06:17 PM »

Ok, I've had a play with a Sony PSP with the new 2.0 system software upgrade that features web-browsing, I haven't given it a total thrashing but it works. It certainly works as well as most handheld computing devices, e.g. those powered by WinMob or PalmOS.

Over 185,000 units have been sold in the UK in the last 4 days alone.

So where does this leave us?

1) A Sony PSP costs less than 180 and every kid wants one
2) More young people have a Sony PSP than a handheld computer (although it's generally targetted at 18-34 year olds)
3) It has total multimedia built in, including DVD quality video playback and audio
4) It has nifty high speed interfaces built in including USB 2 and can connect to a PC
5) It already has an e-book reader
6) It can surf the web and has an HTML 4 compatible browser capability with Wi-Fi



Links:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4205976.stm
http://www.yourpsp.com/psp/psp.html#setlocale=true&section=homepage&locale=en_gb
http://www.i4u.com/article3136.html
http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/07/21/psp/index.php
http://www.bargainpda.com/default.asp?newsID=2614
http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/345/C4591/

One of the key bones of contention about small screen web browsers has been that site developers generally develop for big desktop screens and argue that there are insufficient installed units to justify re-scaling their sites for mobile/handheld devices. Well a mass consumer device like the Sony PSP just totally changes that argument. The question is whether it's worth developing educational material to be delivered via the web for devices such as Sony PSP, WinMob or PalmOS devices with a range of screens in the handheld space which include:

480/320x320 PalmOS
640x480 / 320x240 WinMob
480x272 Sony PSP

Whatever it seems pretty clear that the devices that kids (or adults) may be using to access learning materials in the future are unlikely to be the ones that we might be considering now.

Anybody with thoughts on this?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2005, 06:27:09 PM by Graham » Logged
Graham
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2005, 08:39:15 PM »

According to Gameinforwire.com, Sony have shipped a global 10 million units since launch. Given it's comparatively low price (180) for it's capability (USB, Firewire, DVD video, Internet capability) I wonder if this is what will be in the school bag real soon?



Quote


PSP (PlayStation Portable) Reaches Cumulative Worldwide Shipment of 10 Million Units


Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that the cumulative production shipment of its PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld entertainment player had reached 10 million units worldwide, as of October 21st, 2005. Shipment of 10 million units within 10 months since launch is the fastest penetration speed in the PlayStation platforms introduced in the past. Along with the exciting and extensive lineup of software titles for the year-end/New Years peak selling season, shipment of PSP is steadily growing in Japan, North America and Europe.

Since its launch in Japan in December 2004, North America in March 2005, Southeast Asia in May 2005, and in Europe in September, 2005, PSP has steadily been establishing its place as a new handheld entertainment platform around the world. With its overwhelming presence and impact, unparalleled in handheld systems, PSP has been gaining huge support from a broad range of consumers.

More...


[/size]

I've used the browser and it's pretty good even though there's no Flash. It runs most sites perfectly, including this one.

I'm wondering if it can be harnessed to deliver good learning materials?

Afterall if this is what's in the bag then can't it be embraced?
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James Clay
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2005, 03:09:59 PM »

A slightly belated reply, I totally agree.

The PSP has real potential as an educational device.

The launch price is 180 which means that after 18 months it will be less than 100.

I think a downside is that there is no UMD drives available and therefore you are dependent on Memory Stick for distributing content (as well as wirelessly therough the browser). Though a 1GB Memory Stick is less than 70 to be able to write content to a UMD disk would be better.

James Clay
Western Colleges Consortium
http://www.westerncc.ac.uk/pda/
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jonnyf
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2006, 02:19:52 PM »

We've been experimenting with a PSP in conjunction with our online lessons and it works beautifully. Great value of course; fast, reliable wireless; and display and sound are far better than any standard PDA. The browser appears to handle everything more elegantly than Pocket IE too.
Excellent for multiple choice questions. The only real problem is that text entry is cumbersome and the screen is not touch sensitive (so no handwriting recognition or features of that sort).
Take a look here: http://www.bardaglea.org.uk/testbed/tb-media-images-result.cfm?id_upload=390&PageNum_get_all_images=2&id_subject=16#top
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James Clay
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2006, 04:15:43 PM »

I would agree that the text entry is cumbersome, but no more so than a mobile phone and have you ever seen a student text...
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Graham
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2006, 08:32:27 AM »

Here is a really excellent and thorough summary of the various handheld gaming platforms:

http://www.edn.com/article/CA6298268.html?spacedesc=features
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James Clay
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2006, 10:08:23 AM »

Though there are ways of doing this anyhow, this tool makes it very simple to convert PDFs into images for use on a PSP.

I tried it with a Ferl newsletter, and it worked surprisingly well, it was readable and easy to scroll.

PDF 2 PSP is a simple Mac tool for converting PDF documents and print outs into JPEG images suitable for displaying on the Sony PSP handheld game console. This allows you to download e-books, game manuals, album liners, etcetera to your PSP. Once they're on your PSP, you can read them anywhere - on the bus, at your desk, or on your couch.



Because of the extensive PDF support built right into OS X, any document you can print can be stored as a PDF and converted and downloaded to your PSP.

You can also use the tool to convert PDFs to images for use with other devices which can view images (such as iPods or portable video players).

http://pdf2psp.sourceforge.net/
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Petra
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2006, 03:06:47 PM »

I would have liked trying out a PSP, but unfortunately my daughter preferred to wish a Game Boy Micro, which is definitely a gaming device.

Reading through these very interesting comments I learn that at most a PSP can be used as a reading and training device for educational content, whether it is stored or accessed form the web. But from the educational point of view I miss the individual activity of a learner - using imagination and creativity. Can you write/visualise your own ideas directly?

Even if there are sound educational benefits, would students accept that their personal gaming device is used for "real" learning? Probably it is nessessary to think about the integration of so called gaming technology because authorities are not prepared to provide students with personal devices - whether they are notebooks, PDAs or future developments. But gaming technologies vary so much that it is unrealistic to assume that all classmates will have the same. How can a teacher manage a bunch of different devices with varying operating systems?

Nevertheless it's always worth trying and studying the outcomes.
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James Clay
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2006, 08:30:24 AM »

Reading through these very interesting comments I learn that at most a PSP can be used as a reading and training device for educational content, whether it is stored or accessed form the web. But from the educational point of view I miss the individual activity of a learner - using imagination and creativity. Can you write/visualise your own ideas directly?

The web browser with interactive web content would allow a learner to visualise their own ideas.

Learning content (aka games) would also allow this, but they would be a lot more difficult to write.

But the student could always use pen and paper to help them visualise their ideas based on the content on the PSP.

A simple scenario, watch a video clip on your PSP, then write a poem or a short story on how the video clip made you feel.

A PSP can be used to support a learning experience, not provide the total experience.

Even if there are sound educational benefits, would students accept that their personal gaming device is used for "real" learning? Probably it is nessessary to think about the integration of so called gaming technology because authorities are not prepared to provide students with personal devices - whether they are notebooks, PDAs or future developments.

I don't think the PSP is an educational device, however you hit the nail on the head, these are devices which students have and are not ones which we provide. We certaionly should be seeing how we can take advantage of this kind of device.

I quite like the aspect of the blurring of leisure and learning through the same device as the learner will see learning as something integral to their life and not as something separate.

But gaming technologies vary so much that it is unrealistic to assume that all classmates will have the same. How can a teacher manage a bunch of different devices with varying operating systems?

Most portable devices will *play* the same content.

If you had a PowerPoint presentation and delivered it to your students.

Some would be able to use it as they had a computer with Microsoft Office installed.

Some would be abel to use it as they had a PDA which could convert PowerPoint into a portable format.

However if you saved the presentation as a series of JPGs  then users who had no access would then be able to view the slides on a variety of devices, including their mobile phones, iPods, PSPs, PVRs, even digital cameras as well as PDAs and PCs. Even some TV devices have memory slots allowing you to play digital images on the television.

Most devices have a common set of file formats which they can play, and I would recommend using these where possible.

I use Keynote on the Mac and this allows me to save the presentation as a Quicktime Movie which can then be saved or conveted quickly and easily into various formats for use on multiple devices. PowerPoint for the Mac can do the same thing.

Content on portable devices is not perfect, but compared to having no content, having some content must be better than that.
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Sim
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 05:15:08 PM »

Hi,
I agree that it could present a challenge when students are working with different technology.
There's a game that was suggested in the Speaking and Listening strand of the National Literacy Strategy that could help. It's called Jigsaw, and the idea is that you pose a question, and each group investigates a different aspect, in a different way. One person from each group then goes forward as a spokesperson and passes on what they found out. You keep going until hopefully everyone has had a change to be a spokesperson, and theoretically all the information has been shared!
Got it? Don't worry I realise it sounds a bit complicated!! So here's an example:
Detective Question: What was life like in Ancient Egypt?
Thought shower- class come up with 6 topics.
Group 1 use a PSP to investgate e.g.pyramids, passing it round so the can investigate different questions.
Group 2 use a handheld PDA...hieroglyphics
Group 3....books....mummies
Group 4...real artefacts....fashions
etc
After a set time (depending on age of students) ambassadors are sent to next group and so on.
This sort of arrangement would allow a variety of technology to be used. Outcomes could be recorded using an MP3 player/digital recorder and added to a class concept map e.g. 2Connect.

You could maybe have a day when students could bring in their devices, and if you use flexible grouping the total number of devices wouldn't be crucial.
Just an idea anyway, I'd be interested to hear what you think....!
Grace
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Grace
Petra
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2006, 08:17:44 PM »

A PSP can be used to support a learning experience, not provide the total experience. ........ We certainly should be seeing how we can take advantage of this kind of device.
I quite like the aspect of the blurring of leisure and learning through the same device as the learner will see learning as something integral to their life and not as something separate.
I agree that these devices support a learning experience as many other pieces of technology do. And you are right with the blurring of leisure and learning, but nevertheless studying is very often very laborious and not always fun. But most of us associate free time with entertainment.
Sim's presentation of the Jigsaw game is an interesting integration of a variety of technology into a project. I can imagine a group of secondary or tertiary students who are very technology literate. For younger students I see not only organizational challenges but a lot of device instructions beforehand. Not all kids know how to manage their highly sophisticated gadgets.
I would say that more than half of young mobile phoners (<30 years) do not know all features of their device and use less than one third of the features. Is my assumption realistic?
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James Clay
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2006, 04:38:54 PM »

I would say your assumption is realistic.

It is important that support is given regardless of the technology used.

I do come to this from a post 16 perspective, however some of the most innovative uses of handheld learning I have seen has been with primary school children and disadvantaged female adult learners.
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James Clay
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2006, 10:23:39 AM »

Interestingly the next release of the PSP may come with 8GB of onboard storage...

Quote
According to market sources, Sony plans to release a version of its PSP (PlayStation Portable) using NAND flash from Samsung Electronics in the second half of this year.

The PSP will feature 8GB of NAND flash, the sources stated.

Although recent reports stated that Sony would opt not to use NAND flash in the next version of its PSP, and would instead use a microdrive, the sources indicated that Sony was stalling to negotiate better pricing from Samsung.


link

This gives it even more potential to be a device for learning in terms of how much content it can hold.
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Mark van 't Hooft
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2006, 04:53:30 PM »

Note that the Nintendo DS also has web capabilities now, using the Opera browser:

http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2006/02/15/

and the thread by Graham /community/forum/index.php?topic=428.msg1398#msg1398

Again, I don't think it's necessarily the device that matters, but what you do with it.

As an aside, HI-CE developed educational content for the GameBoy a few years ago, mostly drill and kill though:

http://www.gameboy.hice-dev.org/games.htm
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Mark van 't Hooft
Researcher/Tech Specialist
Kent State University
Research Center for Educational Technology
Kent, OH
USA
SUMS_Online
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2007, 11:52:53 AM »

Hi,

We just released the full set of our maths resources (animated games and activities for age 5 through 14) for the PSP. You don't get the mouse control accuracy of the PDA touch screen but for kids used to playing games it takes only a minute to adjust.

It is a fantastic platform Cool. If you have not tried it out, now is the time to do so.

Regards

David
SUMS Online
www.sums.co.uk
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