12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally

July 27, 2007

Web Worker Daily has a nice feature on how to use Facebook for business or in a professional capacity.

Let’s look at 12 ways Facebook can benefit the web worker, particularly those who are home-based. The more connected you are to your co-workers and clients without being intrusive, the better your working relationship.

Read more

I am a relatively recent convert to Facebook (more for discovering the potential of the site then for other reasons, but I have managed to make contact with some old colleagues from at-Bristol which is nice). For me there are quite a few ways in which Facebook can be used both as e-learning professionals but also to support and enhance learning.

JISC Digitisation Conference Presentations

July 22, 2007

The presentations from the JISC Digitisation Conference 2007 are now available from the conference blog. This will be useful as (obviously) I couldn’t attend all the parallel sessions and there were quite a few I wanted to attend.

Growing interest in Second Life, but I don’t get it!

July 22, 2007

Eduserve have published a snapshot of how FE and HE institutions are using Second Life.

It makes for informative reading and it’s interesting how quite a few places are using Second Life for a range of purposes.

I have yet to try Second Life and to be honest I don’t really get Second Life! I am not even sure if I “tried” it then I might see the potential for me.

I do however understand why it could be useful for learning activities. Some staff from Gloucestershire College have indicated how they would like to use a virtual immersive environments such as Second Life and I do see why they want to use them – a virtual court room for law courses is one example.

I can also see the benefits of having a presence in Second Life for marketing purposes, so that people in Second Life can see what you have to offer, though I wonder how many prospective students we have in Second Life that would actually result in student numbers to offset the costs of setting up a marketing activity in Second Life. I would have thought resources could be used more effectively elsewhere, even more so when you consider most of our prospective learners are under sixteen and therefore not “using” Second Life anyhow.

As for meetings and other conference style activities, maybe it is just me (and I am getting old) I would prefer a video of a presentation over an avatar giving a presentation. I don’t mind textual chat either with instant messaging or online forums, I quite like video chat (when it works).

It’s probably just me, I don’t get Second Life, but it is apparent from the Eduserve snapshot that others certainly do and seem to be trying to make the most of it.

User Experience

July 20, 2007

I am attending a very interesting presentation on user experiences. Introduced by Brian Kelly he gave an overview about the tools users use and offered reasons why institutions should not try and replicate these services but integrate and use them instead.

Brian Kelly presenting at the JISC Digitisation Conference, July 2007.

The next two speakers spoke about how the British Library and Newsfilm Online are designing their sites with the end user as the focus.

There were some interesting video clips of how the (currently unavailable) Newsfilm Online website will develop.

Attending a digital images workshop

July 20, 2007

I am currently attending a workshop on digital images at the JISC Digitisation Conference.

It is a technical briefing on capture, conversion and workflow.

Nigel Goldsmith, the TASI Technical Research Officer is talking about images, RAW format, Adobe’s Digital Negative format and JPEG2000.

Outlining many of the problems with JPEG2000 and why it isn’t widely used or supported.

It’s quite interesting.

A few thoughts on the Sony UX1XN

July 20, 2007

I am guessing I had quite high expectations about Sony’s UX1XN. I do like the UMPC format and I also like the Tablet PC edition of Windows XP. So with all the bells and whistles (two cameras, flash hdd, etc) I was really looking forward to getting my hands on it and seeing how it would pan out.

The keyboard is taking some getting use to, it is quite small, and I guess if you use a Treo or similar smartphone you would find it quite familiar. The only other UMPC I have used is the Samsung Q1 and that didn’t have an integral keyboard, but a USB one which you attached and as a result the Q1 was quite bulky (it also had a much larger 7″ screen compared to the 4.5″ UX1 screen). I am suspecting that I may well get a USB (or Bluetooth) keyboard for the UX1 if I am going to do any serious typing on it. What I am missing is the Tablet PC interface, I was under the impression that Tablet PC was an integral part of Vista, but I can’t seem to find the text input that you have under Windows XP (post a comment if you know how I can access it). I quite like using stylus input, but at the moment I don’t seem to be able to do that, however I have only had the UX1 for just over a day so it may just be that I can’t find it yet.

EDIT: I’ve found it! I’ve found the Tablet PC Text input and it works. Excellent. However if I try and use it with the Sony built-in “zoom” function I can blue screen the device, less good.

The camera(s) are also going to get some getting use to. The photographs I tried to take today were very blurred, but I suspect the dark conference room I was in was a large factor in that. The photographs I had taken yesterday were much better.

It is quite nippy though considering the low voltage (hence slow) processor, but I suspect the 1GB of RAM is also helping. One of the issues I had with the Q1 (and the HP TC1100 for that matter) was the lack of RAM. Windows (and Windows Vista especially) needs a lot of RAM.

I do like the form factor and it is a very neat and small laptop. I haven’t had a chance to really try out the battery life (another thing I found that I didn’t like with the Samsung Q1) so it will be interesting to see how that works out in the real world.

Still early days really.

JISC Digitisation Conference Plenary Session Day One

July 19, 2007

elephantHaving attended a really interesting session on Shibboleth and Federated Access, I am currently listening to the plenary about the other parallel sessions.

It is proving to be a useful and interesting conference. What is nice is that the presentations and other reports will be available on the conference blog.

Though the content of the conference is on digitisation and e-content, it is interesting how the focus of much of the conference is on web 2.0 and (unsurprisingly) Google. I suspect that this is down to the focus on end users’ needs rather than coming from an institutional approach.

A lot of talk about elephants as well, of which I seemed to have missed somehow the connection.

The plenary has finished and we are now looking at tomorrow.

Free, unlimited access to two thousand years of images

July 19, 2007

Free, unlimited access to two thousand years of mankind and medicine in pictures made available through Creative Commons Licence

Teachers, students, academics and the public can now download and use images depicting 2,000 years of mankind and medicine for free, thanks this newly launched website from the Wellcome Trust.

There are some really nice images on the website which has many uses for various learning activities. The fact they are freely available makes it great for both practitioners and learners.

Wellcome Images 

A connected conference

July 19, 2007

What is nice about this JISC Conference is the connectivity. There is free wireless access, this means that you can access the websites mentioned in presentations, the conference blog (to read entries on presentations and workshops you missed), e-mail (so less of a pain when you get back to the office), you can blog and micro blog. You can upload photographs to Flickr and view others’ del.icio.us links from the conference.

Of course laptop batteries never last, but at this conference there are power points to plug your laptop in.

There is a conference blog and a conference wiki.

Makes a conference easier to digest and reflect upon.

JISC Digitisation Conference

July 19, 2007

Today I am in Cardiff for the JISC Digitisation Conference. There is a live blog of the event which is going to cover the conference so much better than I ever could!

I am currently listening to Malcolm Read from JISC talking about the background to the programme. He is showing the “infamous” JISC content triangle.

Read more here