Monday, April 22, 2013

How to store the entire Wikipedia (well almost) inside your Smartphone or Tablet

How would you like to have the entire Wikipedia text inside your android smartphone? What do you say to that? I'd say "Information is POWER!".

Never mind that it's fully text-only with not a single image in sight. Imagine reading two million articles on famous persons, history, technology, etc. on Wikipedia, but totally, get this, OFFLINE. Access the articles, anytime, anywhere, without WiFi.

Welcome to BitMagic Technologies LLP's Wiki Encyclopedia Offline-Free app!

We're talking here about a whopping 3.58 Gigabytes of download data for your cherished smartphone or tablet. Zounds! A long wait indeed, depending on your Internet speed, but it's well worth the wait.

In fact, I can't wait for the day when a smartphone or tablet has the storage capacity exceeding 250 Gigabytes - which is how much storage space a full version of an offline Wikipedia, containing text and images, will take up.

Einstein would have been proud of you!

2 million articles at your fingertips.

My one gripe is that the app doesn't allow text-to-speech capability. So my Ivona Amy or Nicole TTS Engine can't read the text while I'm driving or ironing my shirt. Maybe in the next update then.

A smartphone is too smart and expensive a device to use it just to play games. Life is too precious to while the time away with all kinds of distractions on your smartphone. Want to be a winner at Jeopardy? Why not enlargen your world and knowledge by browsing 20 Wikipedia offline articles a day? It'll only take you 273 years to finish the two million articles of 2013 Wikipedia! So why not Wikipedia-fy your smartphone and tablet today? You won't regret it.

Happy Wikipedia-ing
Frankie Kam

Incidentally, my first blog post on was entitled "How to fit the entire Wikipedia inside your laptop" was in May 2010. How times have changed. Amazing.

Moodle 1.9 Custom Corners Theme for mobile devices by Yedidia Klein

Here's a quick question. How many Moodle 1.9.x themes do you know of that are specially designed for mobile devices? Forgive my ignorance, but I only know of one - Isreali Yedidia Klein's theme named "custom_corners_mobile". You can read about it here.

It is a modified JQuery version of the "custom_corners" theme for Moodle 1.9. You can download Yedidia's theme from here. After you have downloaded, extracted and ftp'ed the theme to your Moodle site, you can then add these lines to your config.php:

//Mobile Detection and theming
if (ismobile())

After this, you can then browse your Moodle site via your mobile device.

Do you know of any other themes for Moodle 1.9 that cater for mobile devices? Please share in the comments section below.

Happy Moodling
Frankie Kam

Saturday, April 13, 2013

"Persuasive Learning Objects and Technologies" and Moodle

In short, a persuasive learning object is a SCORM-compliant learning object that encourages and motivates the learner during the learning process. It is adaptive to a user's responses and in my own words, nudges the learner along the path of achieving the learning outcomes of the LO (Learning Object).
Europlot is one of the organisations helming this European collaborative effort. And guess what, PLOTs can be embedded inside a Moodle course.

One of their projects involves teaching Hebrew and Greek Bible texts.

Has anyone heard of this?

Some useful links:

(Moodle login with Guest access)

(PlotLearner viewer download links)

(PlotLearner video tutorial download link)

(Europlot's blog page)

Progress Report

Papers and Publications
The consortium members will publish academic papers about their work in EuroPLOT and will disseminate results through the academic channels of conferences and journals. Several such papers have already been published:
N.Winther-Nielsen (2011). The Parker Excavations and the PLOT story. Presentation at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. 13.April 2011.

E.Herber (2011). Persuasive Learning Design. Wissengemeinschaften Fachtagung (DelFI) 2011, Dresden, 7.Sept. 2011. Poster.

S.B.Gram-Hansen, H.Schaerfe, J.Dinesen (2011). Towards a Context Oriented Approach to Ethical Evaluation of Interactive Technologies. Interact 2011. Paper and Poster.

E.Guest, S.Golonka (2011). ULM Revisited: A semantic framework that incorporates syntax and informatino theory. Societas Linguistica Europeana (SLE 2011), Longrono, Spain. Presentation.

T.Boyle, N.Winther-Nielsen, C.Tøndering, N.Bergman, J.Metsämuuronen, H.Yliopisto, D.Lundsgaard Skovenborg (2011). Persuasive Learning for the Hebrew Bible. Society of Biblical
Literature (SBL) International Meeting, London, 6.July 2011.

N.Winther-Nielsen (2011). Computer-assisted language learning from the Hebrew Bible. SBL Annual Meeting, San Francisco.

N.Winther-Nielsen (2012). Databases for research, training and teaching. Lorentz Colloquium on Biblical Scholarship and Humanities Computing. 12.Feb. 2012

The EuroPLOT consortium members are using the opportunity to present the approach in EuroPLOT to a wider community. For example, the poster presentation of EuroPLOT at the


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Richard Turere didn't take the problem lion down!

Today's post has got  almost nothing to do with Moodle. But it's got everything to do with innovation.


Lion kills Masai cow, Masai kills lion. Boy wants to save cows ...  ends up saving cows and lions. Richard, one day when you fly up there in the sky, you'll be able to spot the lions and their offspring that you've saved.

Now why can't Malaysian teenagers, instead of squandering their time on their smartphones, be more like Richard?  He tinkered and applied technology, and has ended up saving his nation's wildlife and lifestock.
What did I learn from this? Necessity is the mother of innovation! Kudos to 13-year old Richard Turere! What a genius.



When faced with a clear and present danger, he didn't take the situation 'lion' down. Pun intended. Just don't have me drawn and quoted.

Frankie Kam

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