MultiTasking for Studious Souls: Flashcards, Mobile, & More

If e-mail and IM is giving way to mobile minutes and ‘texting teens’ in your house (er, maybe just mine!) take heart, there are a gazillion NEW mobile uses and start-ups that are watch-worthy.

As this article in Read-Write-Web conveys, and my own mobile media moments gleaned from the Ypulse mashup ascribe, there’s so much shifting to mobile focus it’s hard to keep up. ( is DEFINITELY on MY radar w/real time photo sharing/videos/conversations and the clever tagline, “THIS is why you have a camera phone” Cool tool but equally daunting in misuse potential/privacy plays in the kids’ media sphere)

I’m going to hopscotch into a ‘mashup’ of useful student conversations, as ‘back to school’ articles are already surfacing…From green B2S supplies to collegiate homework helpers like, and smart life strategy skills gleaned from the inspiring sites like the HipHop Chess Federation and 826 National.Org (an exciting nonprofit student writing, tutoring, and publishing org) there’s no question ‘academics pursuits’ are getting a media makeover with informal learning fun.

In fact, our own People Shaping Youth honoree, Danica McKellar, has a brand NEW site and pre-algebra sequel to Math Doesn’t Suck, called “Kiss My Math,” definitely one I’ll be tossing into the ol’ back to school media bin. Heads up reticent mathletes…

Tomorrow 8-08-08, it’s not just the opening of the Olympics, the San Mateo County Fair, and my bro’s 20th anniversary (congrats, Mark & Deb!) it’s also the kickoff of Danica McKellar’s math appearances, on NPR’s Science Friday (here’s last year’s math show) and on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, too…

Danica’s also taking questions on her own site and the Penguin Book publishing blog this week, too…(hear that darling daughter?)

Shaping Youth is using Danica’s Daily Dose of Dharma yoga dvd and her TWO math tips books in a combo-peer homework helper/house party format to pilot a “mind over math” session for middle school girls! I’ll let you know how THAT goes in September…(whew…TOO much goin’ on…!)

Meanwhile, Danica’s blog post today reiterates the recent study of girls being just as good at math as boys that Libby Quaid wrote about for AP a couple weeks ago…

More on that later in a follow-up interview on math, encouraging girls AND BOYS academically and psycho-socially.

Now, about about those mobile apps…

Here are a few I WISH I would’ve seen at the Ypulse mashup…

Mobile Prep: Productivity fans and intense over-achievers can eke out every ounce of downtime in this mobile flashcard offering that debunks the ‘cellphone as toy’ hype, as the Teach42 site sums nicely in this ‘practice makes perfect’ post.

Mobile Prep is “For student exam preparation from SATs to French to law–assessing a vast library including user-generated content. Teachers have signed up to access student performance using feedback features. Publishers have used Mobile Prep to deliver textbook content. Parents prefer paying for features that enhance rather than distract from their children’s education. Students can create and upload content to libraries for sharing or even selling to others.”

Hmn…more UGC collaborative learning, hmn?

Is our entire world going to be wiki-based editables soon?

Seems we could use some media literacy in the platforms or clear demarcation on factual verifications here….But from a lifelong learning standpoint, I’m one of those geeky gals that would enjoy learning ‘new words’ at random on my cellphone in a waiting line…just for fun.

(yes, I subscribe to daily ditties from, a quote a day, and various other arcane factoids)

My days of cramming are long gone, but I can definitely see Mobile Prep’s uses, based on the fact sheet linked to Denise Clark Pope’s Stanford research on Stressed Out Students!

There’s no doubt new media can both help and hinder from a collaborative learning standpoint, as teachers and students battle out turf wars and policy on cellphones in the classroom and parents and kids do the same at home. (coming up soon, tips on media management/cellphone contracts; and what did/didn’t work for me!)

Related Shaping Youth articles? Stressed Out Students’Denise Clark Pope-HeartMath & Facebook study group controversy re: Ryerson Univ./Chris Avenir exam prep/new media use

Next up? Yap. A fun, friendly puppy-sounding name with a Jott-like application…

I haven’t tried it just yet, since my dang ‘BlueTooth Jawbone‘ doesn’t fit snugly against my own ‘jaw bone’ so I can’t put it through the paces properly without the risk of eager-beaver cops ticketing as hands-free phone busters. (anyone in Ca. nailed yet?) –Anyway:

Yap: Tells us that 66% of teens send text messages while driving. (here’s a teen texter on cam who logs in 5000 per month, eek)

Yap instantly sends text messages while talking (voice-to-text translation service for mobile phones).

“Users can say anything they like and Yap will send a text copy to anyone of their contacts.”

Hands free cell laws should help this brand positioning with adults, as this Reuters article describes, “Be Safe, Yap Me!” but reminder: in California, teens can’t text OR chat while driving as I wrote in this piece about Teen Talk=Ticketing

Remember, those Hands Free Laws don’t apply. (Related Shaping Youth articles on transcriptions: Jott is Genius, Jott the Vote embedded links to others like ReQall, Spinvox, Simulscribe etc.)

Buzz’d: “Your city. Real time.”

A mobile-social lifestyle platform asking “what’s going on around me right now?”—

Brings together “up-to the minute nightlife reviews and integrated social networking features to keep you and your friends connected and plugged into the hottest Buzz wherever you are.”

Gosh, where was that whole rate/connect/peer thing when I was a teen in Waikiki, before I paid the cover charge to find out whether the dancing was any good?!

Oh yah, they didn’t HAVE cellphones back then. (insert pleistocene-era roar)

Related Shaping Youth articles: Jangl phone anonymity; speaking about GPS location-based mobile/social e.g., transforming your phone into a mobile compass for friend-finding & the GPS safety issues for younger kids…with Dodgeball, Twig/Benefon, etc.

(p.s. Trend-trackers: see Loopt Brings Yelp Reviews to 3GiPhone)

Slifter: “Mobile local product search tool”—goods/promos while out-and-about, and shared finds/features which could be a boon to shop-hopping teen tribes (i.e. “hey, it’s cheaper at so & so, just found it at blahdeeblah, press send to all…”

Related S.Y. article: MizPee Mobile Mapping: Where to Go On the Go (local potty portal comparing what’s local/nearby/convenient/clean, only Slifter’s all about retail/shopping)

Oomble: A web view into your phone that presumably cuts the cord from phone to computer to go wireless. If that means I can ditch all that music/photo synching, losing cords on travel trips then I’m in.

If you can truly drag-n-drop what you want on your phone and presto, it’s there, that’s a nice at a glance format. (e.g. lugging fresh baby photos to grandmas house with a click, loading tunes for the vacation, whatever) Simpler the better I say.

Publishers can rapidly create mobile content storefronts, and this bears watching big time in the youth market. Mobile entrepreneurs Eric Allen (formerly of FunMobility, now VP at XLR8 Mobile) Raj Singh, (GotoMobile) and others are advising Oomble.

Okay…mobile mania is making my head hurt…Time to go OFF THE GRID and UNPLUG again soon.

Countdown to Colorado? T-minus 3…Will try to ‘advance post’ and then ‘let it go’…

Related Resources

What’s Next in the Youth Mobile Space (Ypulse)

Harvesting Kids’ Eyeballs: Free Mobile For Ad Viewers, Blyk! (Shaping Youth)

Confessions of a virgin Meebo User at Ypulse (Shaping Youth)

Cellphone is Mom Avoidance for Teens: (CNET)

In the Stores: Smart Phones & Data Plans: (NGT)

Popularity of Buying Digital Goods Via Mobile Phone, Set to Soar: (Tech Digest/Europe)

p.s. And for those of you that can decipher my wacky notes from YPulse, here’s the mobile mashup from my Meebo/chatting while watching experience…

Unintelligble notes/unedited from my Ypulse session:

YPulse: 8000 readers everyday; two new channels: Allison Decker, new editor YPulse books
Official chatroom sponsor: Meebo, back channel; Bill Carter: Partner, FUSE:

Youth media showcase…Make it affordable for nonprofit exhibitors: pro-bono showcase/display tables: 826 Valencia: local author David Eggers supports pre-programs svcs, specialized tutoring, creative writing; Ypulse picks 4 to sponsor/subsidize

826 Valencia, News and culture magazine,, BAVC, Bay Area Video Coalition, Girls for a Change

2005 and Contra Advertising ’94; 25 years in FMCG mktg, publishing, media and adv, telecom; Curiosity & questioning the obvious, simple ideas, passion for excellence, being present in this moment…tba.

What is Blyk? CNBC…Biz News…quid pro quo; trading minutes for marketing, 43 momen 23 texts; free mobile ph. Svc., 150K members; 29% avg. response rate…Users respond, win-win; “Google organizes the internet for free…”

Ad serves: Shift from negative feelings to good feelings, engagement; (funny/meebo comments, “feels so ‘98’ anony Meebo names: Backrow sitter:, backrow squatter, multitasking mama (me) 21 people in chat room currently; ‘fun to answer’

Blyk: Mobile internet access to content is barrier, cost, perceived value minimal, irrelevant.

67% response rate; Promoting Nick Hornby’s new book, drive awareness of URL, voice clip sneak peek,

29% will add feedback; what should I talk about?

Time the msgs sent? Profile yourself better? Not ‘put up with want to have’…

Direct response and/or click through response? 10s of 1000s….

Allison Mooney: Next Great Thing/Fleischmann Hillard; What’s next in the mobile space: mobile panel

30 million photos: tiny pics
Socialight: location-based svc…

NGT youth will fuel trend to mainstream

Mei Lin: tweens/teens 20s—Social media’s big, IM/chat, choice is key, kids give out MySpace pages instead of phone numbers; 20s–use it for dating; mobile chatrooms; reseller and merchant program? Fee-paying svcs, evolving from chat to employee…

Radar: camera phone unfulfilled promise of connected camera; tested teens: “show us what you do w/your phone,” etc. then they kept in touch, influencer program, college campuses; radar friends; invite parents on…BUT kids are in control of what they’re sharing, block mom and dad from one photo vs. other, parents installing MMS; etc.

Stephen: tweens/teens pushing parents; only way they want to engage multimedia messages; earn exclusive items that you can only get on mobile, online ‘experience’ iphone, 80+ penetration as entertainment device not comm.. device;

Mig33; complement of diff activities, vs. small set of people close friends…

Data is a must; SMS only get you so far…Michael says “partially agree; address book is mobile, mine it diff. ways engage deeper w/content; —dip in and out of mobile experience”

Mei Lin: usability key, attn. span short, skew older male/24+

Data expensive: price barrier; advertising; rich content targeted engaging model;

Industry Trend: all you can eat plans: $99, Virgin Mobile, lower end segments/$5/mo. Then, $1 day; metro handsets…data included…environs changing, UK, carriers all you can eat plans, access easier;

Late: short code: (e.g. text what’s open late, list comes to you; Sprint open/ATT-Verizon less open, 2008 watershed moment for ease of location based services…

“.mobi” domain –User agent detection, rely on service to serve you right content…recognizes mobile browser…

Carrier deck placement? New product to mkt/sales cycle; get the product via early adopter communicationss, then traction offdeck vs. carriers…traffic generated; Disney premium content impt., integrated w/units all;

NY/London: Michael-social light;

Less use of mobiles? Vanessa…social media vs. cell…social netwkg behavior here to stay; full tv/vid…network holding back, long form shows, etc.

Mobile gaming: Disney: free WAP/premium: JAVA, addictive; brandslapping, 2 min., figure t out, crossplatform, casual gaming, social side, leader boards, challenge friends, beat scores, FB direction…

Racetrack, wrapping games to expand market, games that fall off a carrier deck, ad stripe them, jargon

Meebo does about 5 billion IM per mo? C&R research, founder of modern day focus groups Jacqueline Lane: VP Teen eyes…

12B or 1AB =wannabe…constant state of flux; securing themselves a place in the crowd
1500/mo. Teen…

78-80/90-94; Gen Y,
90-95 Gen Z, or iGen, NetGen; 40 million overall youth under 18 today..

6 to 18…13 year old in 8th vs. 9th, very diff. K-3 6-9, 4-8 9/10-13/14, HS bal…

Cellphone 84% tweens;
Tweens 61% day;
Social networks: 28vs. 60+
Friends; 70 tweens, 66 teens;
TV: tween 2.1 vs. 3.4 wkend (# of hrs.)
Teen 2.1 vs. 3.1

Multi-tasking; 53% tween homework, 62% teens;
Cell: 53% of tweens & 84% teens cell; boys forced; girls begging for it…nag factor…
10-12/diff. wash/lost; texting 71%, camera still, 57 games, tween
Camera still 78 teen, camera 48…upload to FB
Consoles/gaming systems; social: another thing to do…top 3 but NOT often a favorite

What’s Next in The Mobile Youth Space?/YPulse Recap

Teens and tweens like to have choices in how they communicate, seamlessly moving between texting, instant messaging, chatting, and talking. They also like communicating online, and in the near future we might be handing out MySpace URLS instead of telephone numbers.”

“Tweens and teens are teaching their parents text message so they don’t have to talk over the cell phone to keep in touch. Instead of answering (or, more realistically, not answering) a call from home, teens can keep the communication channels open by texting. The tween audience specifically pushes their parents to use mobile regularly, because that’s the only way they truly want to communicate with them (while this might be true, don’t give us the flak – these are panelists words, not ours!). Mobile technology is playing with the impulse of picture-taking and translating it to sharing between family and friends. Through new photo-sharing sites like Radar, kids invite parents to go on to share experiences.”

–Ypulse blog out-take



  1. Thanks for your interesting post – i found your unedited notes particularly good.

    As an aside I joined the recently started “Mobile Youth Network” last week and thought you might be interested in also joining… it’s a business network for professionals in the mobile, youth, marketing, branding and advertising space.

    Check it out

  2. Whoa…I can’t believe you could make heads or tails of ’em…I’m terribly flattered! 🙂

    (I almost didn’t post it…you’ve inspired me to add my next panel of notes then, on the other stuff! Much more to come…from publishing to interviews and a great movie documentary called American Teen) Thanks for the comment…Will check the link, best, Amy

  3. Awesome article. I just found your blog and wished to tell you that I have really appreciated reading your blogs. Anyhow I’ll be following your feed and I am hoping you write again soon.

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