Steve Shafer is the the Library Director at Athabasca University in Alberta, and his presentation is one of the few here at Internet Librarian that specifically mention distance education, so of course I had to attend and blog that one for y'all. Steve started with some background on Athabasca, but then eventually got in to the fun stuff, which are some of the mobile technologies they're playing with. Or more correctly, the ways they're trying to deliver materials from their Digital Reading Room (DRR) to mobile devices. The demo he showed was delivering files directly from this site to a Dell Pocket PC. I asked him if he'd send me the demos (they were windows media files, I believe) and he said he would, so once I get those I'll update this post so you can see too.
Next he showed a couple of different ways they're experimenting with delivering mp3 files of reserve readings to the same mobile devices. One of them uses something called Talkative to convert typed or scanned text into an mp3 file that can then be played and/or delivered via an RSS feed. There are of course copyright issues to work out - they're starting with files to be delivered to students with special needs, but hope to be able to offer the technology for students to convert files on their own rather than offer it as a library service...
Finally he showed a working demo of tutorials delivered to a photo iPod - I don't think they've had time to do the same thing to the new video iPod. Again he said he'd share the demos with us :-)
None of this is actually in production yet, but I find that you've gotta play with a lot of ideas before one will prove to be viable, so good for them!
Update: Steve's talk can be heard here (36 minute mp3). There's a little bit of hiss, but hey, not bad from the back of the room, which is the only place wireless was available! (no, it didn't take a wireless connection to record this, that's just where I was sitting).