Archive for May 2012

Patient Management Tools Video

Just posted on the Digital Campus blog:

Video demo of the patient management tools currently being used by Health Extension Workers on our project. This video shows the mobile protocols (using ODK), the mobile scorecard and analytics dashboard.

Since my camera broke the other day (I’m waiting for a new one to arrive), I used a flip camera for filming this, unfortunately it doesn’t focus well in close up, so the images of the mobile screen don’t show up well on this video, once my new camera arrives, I’ll refilm the video, to better capture the mobile screen.

Caving in Cantabria

Last weekend I went up to Cantabria with the caving club to do part of Sistema del Gándara, it’s one of the longest caves in Spain with over 105km of passages, so even though we spent the night camping in the cave (34 hours in total), we still only saw a small section of the whole system. On Tuesday we also visited Cueva Mur. Unfortunately my camera broke whilst in Gándara so I don’t have too many photos, but below are the ones I did manage to get. The photos with the cotton wool looking crystals are a type of Aragonite (so I’ve been told) and in Gándara we also got to see a lot of Gypsum Flowers.

HEAT Mobile demo app on Google Play

For info I’ve just published the HEAT demo app up on Google Play for anyone who is interested in having a look.

Couple of notes…

  • This is a work in progress so not everything may work as expected. Any feedback is welcome.
  • To initially log in to the app, you’ll need to create an account on mQuiz. This is because any responses to the self assessment exercises are sent (if you are online) to be stored on mQuiz.
  • The embedded videos won’t be available, the videos aren’t included in the app on Google Play, they’re stored separately on the phone SD card (to keep the apk file size down). Please contact me if you’d like details about the videos we’re using.

Español/English Caving Dictionary

Now that I’ve been caving in Spain a few times (also went canyoning yesterday in Poyatos, Cuenca), I’ve learned quite a lot of the Spanish caving words, so thought I’d share them here in case these are useful for the presumably small group of English speakers who go caving in Spanish speaking countries.

I’m sure there are lots of useful words missing, so please send on any suggestions/amendments. I’ll also add to this list as I learn more.

agua – water
albergue – hostel
anclaje – anchor point
arnés – harness
arnés del pecho – chest harness
bajar – to descend/go down
barranco – canyoning
bloqueador – ascender (general)
bloqueador ventral – chest ascender
bloqueadro de puño – ascender
boca – hole (entrance to cave)
botas de goma – wellies
cabos de anclaje – cowstails (literally ‘anchor cords’)
caída (caer) – fall (to fall)
casco – helmet
comida – food
croll – chest ascender
cuerda – rope
cueva – cave
escalar – to climb
escarpines – neoprene boots
espeleologia – caving
espera – wait
estrecho – narrow
fraccionamientos – re-belay/deviation (?)
frio – cold
guantes – gloves
libre – free (as in I’m off the rope)
liso – smooth
listo – I’m ready
llave – spanner (or key)
llave inglesa – adjustable spanner
luz – light (‘frontal’ is also used for headlight)
maillon – maillon
mojado – wet
mono – oversuit (literally ‘monkey’)
moretón – bruise
murciélago – bat
muro – wall
neopreno – wet suit
nudos – knots
pasamanos – traverse on rope (literally ‘hand rail’?)
pato – Petzl Shunt (literally, pato = duck)
piedras – stones/rocks (also shout this if you drop something!)
pila – battery
plano – flat
polvo – dust/dirt
pozo – pot/hole/well
progresion vertical – single rope technique (SRT)
puño – ascender (literally ‘fist’)
rappel – abseil/rappel
refugio – hut (usually open/free and very basic)
roca – rock
rodillera – knee pad
seco – dry
sima – pothole/cave
subir – to climb/go up
tapas – layer (in the sense of layers if rock, as well as free food with drink)

OpenLearn content on mobiles

Here is a brief overview of how I created the Android application with the HEAT content. It is very much a demo/prototype application, so I’m sure there are many other ways this could be done (maybe in a more generic approach).

I used the plain zip download format of the HEAT modules (eg: – which essentially provides a set of static webpages of all the module content. I noticed a couple of issues with these downloads, for example some had incorrect references to images, and the contents page wasn’t in quite the right order, but no big problems.

I then used the PhoneGap framework to turn this content into an Android application, just applying a revised stylesheet and adding a new header/footer for navigation. Initially I tried working with a whole HEAT module, but we found there was just too much text for anyone to be able to read comfortably, so we cut the content down to just the essential parts (introduction, learning outcomes, summary and SAQs). This was the part that probably took the most time, since it was a manual process to refactor the content in this way.

I’m sure there are ways this could be done in a more generic and less-manual way, perhaps using the OU XML to generate only these specific sections, but I suspect that we will always want to edit the content slightly for mobile devices, especially since we’ll be adding videos and perhaps some audio content too. Using the PhoneGap framework means that we should easily be able to transfer this application over to iPad/Blackberry/Windows Mobile applications with very little effort.

For embedding the videos, I used a PhoneGap extension to allow the embedding of local video content. The videos we’re testing out are from the Global Health Media Project, and are stored on the phone/tablet local SD card. We could include the videos directly in the Android apk package, but this is likely to make the apk quite large, plus we’ve not yet finalised which videos we’d like to embed.

The final part to all this is the interactive self assessment exercises. This is using a web app I have been developing over the last few weeks (mQuiz) and is designed to allow quizzes to be run offline. The quiz can be created then stored as a JSON object and a javascript library is then used to display the quiz to the user. If the user has an active internet connection then their responses are sent back to the mQuiz server, if they are working offline their responses are kept until a connection is available.

So we now have an Android application which can be run completely offline, with all the content, videos and quizzes pre-loaded onto the phone.

All of this is a work in progress, the code is up at: I’m sure there are areas where improvements to this could be made – any suggestions welcome.