Evolution of the social network

March 29, 2008

BBC Click reports on the evolution of social networking.

Recent reports of social networking’s demise may be slightly premature.

Sure, some users are completely fed up with receiving friends invites, being “bitten”, “poked” and indeed having sheep thrown at them.

And there has been a 5% slowdown in new UK users to the larger social networks, Facebook and MySpace, between December 2007 and January this year.

But Alex Burmaster, an analyst at Nielsen Online which compiled the figures showing the decline, says: “The slow down in social networks is being somewhat exaggerated. It’s a natural form of any growth that we see in the online eco-system.

Evolution of the social network


Photoshop Express

March 28, 2008

Adobe have released an online photo editing app which they have called Photoshop Express.

You shot it — now do something to it. Make it pop. Make it impossible to ignore. Upload, sort, polish, and store up to 2GB of photos. All for free. Resize, tint, distort, and more — add your mark to all your images. Then show them off on Adobe® Photoshop® Express or your Facebook page.

A bit of a warning, this is not an online version of Photoshop. This is an online photo editing application which Adobe have called Photoshop Express.

It reminds me a lot of iPhoto and many Mac users will find it pretty simple and easy to use and very familiar, but obviously Photoshop Express also works on Windows PCs.

Unlike (the real) Photoshop which has a pretty steep learning curve this has a pretty simple interface which works quite well.

Photoshop Express

Certainly worth a look as both an online photo editor but also as an online photo storage tool.


3D GPS

March 27, 2008

Do you have a GPS or satnav and still get lost?

Could it be because the maps on satnavs look like maps rather than the place where you actually are?

Though I think GPS devices have a place in learning and especially mobile learning they do have a requirement that the learners understand maps and the concept of maps and am not sure that all do.

In Korea we are seeing the future of satnav with the map been replaced by a 3D view of the road you are on.

3D GPS

Thinkware announced the launch of its premium navigation device ‘iNAVI K2’ in Korea market, which is equipped with its dynamic electronic map of 3D space representation ‘iNAVI 3D’.

Adopting 8GB SDHC memory card and 256MB of RAM, the iNAVI K2 provides useful information on the 3D environment structure through a 4.8-inch WVGA(800 x 480 resolution) LCD in a photo realistic way.

Of course with initiatives like Google Street View in the US, eventually we may see (in the UK) photo-realistic 3D environments on satnav devices.

This all means for learners that they will find using GPS devices much easier to use for location based learning activities.


Mobile 2.0

March 26, 2008

Interesting presentation on the development of mobile technologies.Mobile 2.0

Thanks to Andy Black for pointing this out.


3G iPhone, well maybe, perhaps…

March 26, 2008

Macrumors reports:

Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney claims to have heard “from sources in Asia” that Apple has placed a 10 million unit order for 3G iPhones, according to an interview by the iPod Observer. This order for 10 million 3G iPhones would reportedly be above and beyond the original 10 million Apple had planned to sell of the initial version of the iPhone in 2008.

Read more.

For me one of the downsides for the iPhone was the lack of 3G, it had EDGE, but for most purposes that can be really too slow. I decided not to get an iPhone as it did not have 3G. So will I get one now when they release the 3G version? Probably not, in the main as though it will have 3G it probably still won’t be able to be used as a 3G modem with a laptop which is another reason why I didn’t go for the iPhone.

3G iPhone, well maybe, perhaps...

Oh and the price as well…


Keeping the mobile out of the classroom, why?

March 25, 2008

Keeping the mobile out of the classroom, why?

Here’s a question.

Does your institution ban mobile phones in the classroom? Does it just ban the use of mobile phones in the classroom? Or does it just ban the inappropriate use of mobile phones in the classroom?

Virtually everyone in the UK has a mobile phone these days, according to statistics there are more mobile phones then people – that I understand I usually carry two and have been known to carry three!

The reason for asking was this blog post and the comments below, about a school in the US which bans mobile phones and even uses metal scanners to detect them.

Students Pay a Price (Literally) for Cell Phone Ban

These students have phones, use them for communication, entertainment and social networking, but don’t use them for learning (as they are banned).

Now I realise like any teacher that a student using a phone inappropriately can disrupt a class and that’s a fair comment, but not a student can use a book to disrupt a class (throwing or dropping it (especially if it’s a big book)) but do we ban books?

A student can disrupt a class with a pencil and paper, do we ban those?

A student can disrupt a class with their voice, do we silence all students?

The key with any great learning process is the relationship between teacher and student, get that right and you are onto a winner.

Disruption happens with that relationship breaks down, not when a phone rings.


Meme: Passion Quilt

March 23, 2008

Well Steve Wheeler over at Learning with ‘E’s has set me up with a chain letter a challenge.

Right. It’s an interesting challenge and looks a little like a chain letter, but here goes. Mike Hasley, of TechWarrior Blog, has laid down a challenge for me and 4 others to add to a collection of photos that represent our passion in teaching/learning. I have to tag it ‘Meme: Passion Quilt’ and post it on a blog, Flickr, FaceBook or some other social networking tool with a brief commentary of why it is a passion for me.

My first thought was to ignore it, as I do not like chain letters and chain blog posts are not much better… however I did go and look at some of the photographs and the commentary.

So I have decided to take part, initially I didn’t know what image to use and then I remembered one I had taken on my mobile phone on my way to a meeting about mobile learning.

Passion Quilt

As I was on my way to the meeting with my pockets filled with a range of mobile devices sitting on the floor in the corridor was a student with an iPod touch watching a video. I asked him nicely and took his photograph.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a real passion for mobile learning and that though when other people mention mobile learning they automatically think about mobile technology, notably mobile computers, specifically Windows Mobile PDAs. For me it is a different philosophy, much more about learning when mobile.

It was walking around different colleges which made me realise that when it came to mobile learning, it wasn’t about getting PDAs running learning content (though I am sure there are scenarios which they would enhance and support learning), but was much more about using the devices our students already have.

So in my own college to see a learner happily using a mobile device in college gave me a real buzz.

As it happens this student was watching something not course related, but the fact that he had this device, was willing to carry it with him and was using it in college, made me realise how important it was to get mobile learning embedded into the college, as it should and will enhance and enrich the learning experience for a wide variety of learners.

I have a real passion for mobile learning and with designing learning scenarios and activities which allow learners to use their mobile devices and this photograph demonstrates to me why this is the direction we should be going along when we start to think about mobile learning.

The next part of this quilt is to challenge five others, well Steve has poached quite a few of the bloggers I know, but not all…

So I lay down the challenge to Lisa Valentine, Andy Black, Lilian, David Sugden and Dave Foord.

Maybe they will also take this challenge, or maybe you will.