This report is intended to help staff of UK education institutions, involved in the development of content, gain an understanding of the emerging approaches to delivering services and content for mobile devices using the Web.
This report looks at the growth of mobile and the state of the Web while giving an overview of approaches to delivering content and services optimised for the mobile environment. This includes approaches to Web design for responsive sites, leveraging access to device functions and capabilities, as well as the use of Web technologies to build mobile applications.
You can find the recording of the webinar session plus related downloads here. Below I’ve embedded just the slides. They are nearly all pictures so you really do need to play the recording :)
The report was written by Mark Power (one of my colleagues at JISC CETIS) and is the latest output provided by the JISC Observatory, a JISC-funded initiative provided by the Innovation Support Centre at UKOLN and CETIS. As described on the JISC Observatory Web site, the Observatory aims “to systematise the way in which the JISC anticipates and responds to projected future trends and scenarios in the context of the use of technology in Higher & Further Education in the UK”.
During the webinar we had some good questions raised, particularly about authentication of mobile web applications. There have been several different approaches to this – oAuth 2.0 is quite common, e.g. for Facebook applications; however sites such as Twitter are still using oAuth 1.0. Some sites have circumvented the authentication issue by supplying personalized data but without including anything that identifies the user (e.g. put users timetables at specific URLs including tokens and issue to users, but the actual JSON/XML/iCal data doesn’t say anything about whose timetable it is). A bigger question was how to integrate mobile websites and web apps with the Shibboleth infrastructure in place at many universities, which currently requires a lot of redirects.
As well as Delivering Web to Mobile there were sessions on the Edukapp education web apps store, the Widgat widget authoring tool, and the JISC Distributed VLE programme. You can find out more on Christina’s blog or check out the recording.