Disclaimer: I have received this unit from Hill & Knowlton, LG’s communications agency for evaluation purposes. In no way was my being given the phone dependent upon me reviewing it – in a positive way or otherwise. I have decided to review it for the benefit of those in the edtech community and those seeking more information before it is released in the UK in early February 2007. See the LG Shine blog for more information.
Part 1 – Details
The LG KE970, also known as the ‘Shine’ is the
update to the extremely popular LG Chocolate mobile phone. is a new release in the same ‘Black Label’ range as the popular LG Chocolate mobile phone. It is my intention in this review to provide as much information as possible to those interested in device, but also (and perhaps more importantly) to look at ways such mobile communication devices can be used in teaching and learning situations.
First of all, for the impatient, here are the specs of the evaluation unit:
|Dimensions:||94 x 51 x 14 mm|
|Standby Time:||3 Days|
|Talk Time:||3 Hours|
|Band (in MHZ):||GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900|
|Data Standards:||GSM, GPRS, 3G|
|Screen:||240 x 320 (262,144 colours)|
|Extras:||Video, Flash, MP3|
|Internet:||3G (EV-DO),HTML Browser, POP3/SMTP Mail|
|Ringtones:||Polyphonic (64 tone) or MP3|
|Messaging:||SMS, EMS, MMS, E-Mail|
|Connectivity:||Bluetooth, USB, Serial (RS232)|
|Additional Info:||Image Editor|
Click here for the photo album of photos I have taken of the LG Shine KE970
Having received the LG Shine yesterday without manuals or documentation I am still figuring out some of its features. However, I have successfully managed so far to:
- Download a working USB driver (choose the one for the
U800U400) to transfer files under Windows XP
- Connect the LG Shine to my Macbook (shows up as external hard drive, recognised as a camera by iPhoto)
- Pair it via Bluetooth with my Macbook (can access Internet through it,
sync Address bookand send files to Macbook)
- Set a moving background (Flash-based, files included)
- Transfer ringtones
- Transfer video (3GPP supported, DivX and Xvid definitely not – unsure about other codecs)
More information, although in Korean(!) at the LG CYON website (which is what it’s known as over there – interestingly the headphones on my evaluation model has this printed on them)
Part 2 – Applications for Teaching & Learning
Given the popularity of the LG Chocolate in my current school, it’s fair to say that it’s successor – and mobile phones like it – will become fairly ubiquitous within the next year or so. Unfortunately, my school is like most in western education in that mobile phones are pretty much banned. They’re allowed to be used as MP3 players at break and lunch, but apart from that they’re expected to be switched off and be put out of sight in students’ bags.
I think this is a shame, and not only that, rather short-sighted. Although students could in fact do more if they were given a PDA or Smartphone, the capabilities of the mobile phones they are likely to buy (such as the LG Shine) are great enough for them to be used as bona fide learning tools. One such application springs instantly to mind. I’ve just transferred some images I took using the 2-megapixel camera on the phone to my Macbook using Bluetooth. This was straightforward and quick. The pictures are of good quality and there are as many, if not more, options regarding the picture settings as there were on my first digital camera (also a 2-megapixel model). Students could take pictures of their work, video performances, use the voice recorder functions to take part in interviews, plays, re-enactments and the like and then transfer these via Bluetooth to the teacher’s laptop. I can imagine the situation where at the start of the lesson I ask students to get their mobile phones out and I say, “Please Bluetooth me your homework” 🙂
In addition, the screen is large enough, bright enough, and the GPRS speeds fast enough, to read the mobile version of my learning.mrbelshaw.co.uk blog. This, along with the fact that the email inbox sits right next to the text message inbox on the ‘messages’ screen means that students have the option of emailing me for help and advice no matter where they are. Even if they are round at a friend’s house doing their homework and have no access to a computer, with devices such as the LG Shine they can visit my blog, remind themselves of the homework, and email me with any questions. As the phone can also store documents, in the future (given a better keyboard/method of data entry) they could do their homework on the device and then send it straight to me.
At the end of the day, learning is all about relationships and communication. In the 21st century we as educators need to explore 21st century ways of communicating with our students. Schools are now 24 hour places, whether we like it or not. We need to embrace the opportunities presented to us through mobile devices such as the one above and start using them to inspire, motivate and encourage students to learn to the best of their ability.