In reading "Critical Issues in m-Learning: Design models, adoption processes, and future trends" by Crescente & Lee 2011 (sorry, the article is not open-access), I came across the idea of mobile blogging, that is blogging from a mobile device. I don't know why the idea had not occurred to me before, I was surprised that the concept had not really "caught on" such that everyone was doing it.
One of the definitions of mobile learning (the learner-centric definition) involves the use of mobile devices in the classroom. One of the examples often cited is the use of mobile devices to capture learning while students are on a field trip. The students can record interesting aspects of the trip and then use those recordings as part of a multimedia report of their learning. To me, this sounds like a perfect application for mobile blogging.
These ideas go me thinking, so I've launched a personal experiment. I'm going to try out mobile blogging. For my experiment, I define mobile blogging as blogging using my mobile phone. I'm going to try to restrict my mobile blogging to only use my mobile phone, but I will likely record my reflections about mobile blogging here, on my regular blog. I'm not including blogging from the iPad as mobile blogging, as I often use my iPad as a mini-computer, and the blog posts that come from my iPad have the same characteristics as blog posts that come from my desktop computer. In addition, I don't carry my iPad everywhere, but I do typically carry my phone everywhere – so my opportunity to mobile blog will not be limited to where my computer is. That is the point, isn't it?
What is different about mobile blogging? Because I'm blogging from my phone, the posts are necessarily short, but the are also timely – they show what I'm doing or thinking at that particular moment. In many ways, they are similar to microblogging on Twitter, except that I'm not limited to 140 characters, rather I'm limited by how much typing I want to do on my little keyboard, which is a self-emposed limit. Mobile blogging also involves a lot more visual content – in the form of pictures and videos. Now that I'm setup, I can now easily record a quick (10 second) video or take a quick picture and share my thoughts at anytime from anywhere.
I did wonder why more people didn't do it, but then I discovered one of the biggest challenges to mobile blogging – getting a system setup that works. After much experimentation with WordPress and several other websites, I decided to go with Tumblr. The way in which they designed their platform aligns well with how I would use my phone for blogging. If I had an iPhone (I don't but my husband does), all it would take to get started is setting up a Tumblr account and downloading the iPhone app. I've managed to get most of the functionality to work from my Android phone – where I will do most of my posting, since I much prefer Swype text entry to iPhone autocorrect. I'll be writing a follow up post later this week on how I setup my Android phone for Tumblr Mobile Blogging, it certainly had its challenges.
If you want to follow along on my mobile blogging journey, you can view my Tumblr page at http://rjhmo.tumblr.com. If you have a Tumblr account you can follow me. I've also setup the account to automatically Tweet when I update a post, so if you Twitter you can follow me @rjhogue.
If you have an iPhone (or newer iPod Touch with camera), why don't you join me in this experiment? Just sign up for a Tumblr account and give it a try. Let me know your handle, and I'll follow you!