iPhone and iPod touch Integration

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As a part of the broader mobile learning initiative, the ACU Blogs team has been thinking about integration with mobile devices. Here are a couple details for mobile users.

WPtouch Plugin

One of the essential tools for making ACU Blogs run is a plugin from BraveNewCode making WordPress blogs accessible from iPhones, Android phones, and other mobile devices.

For most users, the mobile version of your class blog should just work, but some users may want access to the WPtouch preferences. Instructors will find WPtouch listed in the Settings menu of the Dashboard. Settings you can change in WPtouch include:

  • the blog title that appears in the mobile interface (for longer class titles)
  • which pages appear in the top menu (remember mobile users won’t see the sidebar)
  • other features like a Links, Photos, or Archives page

Postie Plugin

Another plugin we’re excited about experimenting with is Robert Felty’s Postie. In the first year of the mobile learning initiative, we began looking for ways to make iPhones and iPod touches not only media players but media producers, capable of being more than recipients of content. The common denominator we identified for getting text, links, photos, and media off the device was email.

Postie brings customizable post-by-email capabilities to mobile devices that can be configured in several ways:

  • to receive announcements and updates from the instructor only (default setting)
  • to post exam reviews and notes from one or more teaching assistants
  • to aggregate daily assignments or discussion posts from members of the class, either published immediately or held as drafts for approval

Since email requires no significant training for faculty or students, we’re hopeful that post by email diminishes the learning curve to mobile blogging as well as encourages more regular updates since the communication channel with the class is always at hand.