May 31, 2008
So let me guess your college or university has spent thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pounds on computers?
Why not get a bundle of typewriters?
According to a BBC news item, a fair few people are doing just that.
They’re clunky, dirty and can’t access the internet, yet every year thousands of people buy typewriters when they could probably afford a computer. Why?
Well it’s individuals getting typewriters, not colleges!
So would you use a typewriter instead of a computer?
It’s difficult to blog with a typewriter mind you!
May 30, 2008
The JISC and the Guardian jointly published a feature on the digital challenge facing libraries.
Academic libraries are changing faster than at any time in their history. Information technology, online databases, and catalogues and digitised archives have put the library back at the heart of teaching, learning and academic research on campus.
There are some interesting articles in there.
My job role is managing both e-learning (ILT) and the Libraries in my college, something which is happening more often in FE, I know Trafford College has a similar position and another college in the South-West is advertising a similar position soon.
I do believe it is important that the e-learning and learning resources functions within an FE College if not managed by the same person, the relevant managers should be working closely together. Libraries need to embrace the digital challenge not try and fight it.
And before you ask, no, embracing the digital world, does not mean getting rid of all the books!
May 29, 2008
From BBC News
Dell is joining the burgeoning ranks of companies offering cut-down laptops, called netbooks, aimed at the developing world and general consumers.
The laptop was shown by Michael Dell to the editor of website Gizmodo at the All Things Digital Conference.
Dell is the biggest PC maker in the world and the fact that they have entered the market shows how big and how serious this market is to PC makers.
For a lot of consumers this is their second computer, their main computer is a desktop machine which sits at home. The micro-laptop (umpc) format allows them to have a second computer which is very portable. Though similar or slightly more expensive “proper” sized laptops are available, it is the extreme portability of these laptops that are one of the main attractions. The fact it has a proper keyboard is another feature which other UMPCs and portable devices lack and it would seem people like a proper keyboard – even if it is on the small side.
From an e-learning perspective this is a device (format) which I know learners like (from our MoLeNET experiences) and I would suspect that a lot of learners in FE will start buying (or will be bought) these computers. At a price point not much more than a gaming console (or even less) it might be seriously considered as a present for someone attending an FE College.
Also with the growth of student wireless networks in FE, this will allow internet connectivity which turns it from a “dumb” computer to a connected internet device. Even in those institutions without the bandwidth for a student wireless network, those learners may consider getting a 3G USB dongle.
Already I have “caught” a learner in our Library, using an Asus EeePC with a Three 3G USB dongle for learning!
May 28, 2008
When is an UMPC not an UMPC?
When it’s a 10″ UMPC.
Okay before I mentioned how Asus were releasing a new 9″ version of their EeePC, well according to Engadget they are going to release a 10″ version!
As if it weren’t official enough already, the subnote war is on. According to a Computex invitation from ASUS, the outfit is planning to not only showcase the Eee PC 901, but also a brand new variant that will likely go mano a mano with the 10-inch MSI Wind. We quote: “[ASUS] would also like to specially extend an invitation to you to attend the official global launch of the new Eee PC 901 and 1000 series.” There’s no details beyond that right there, but it’s plenty to whet our appetites on the heels of the 10.6-inch Eee PC 1001 evidence we’ve already collected
So would you count this machine as an UMPC? Well strictly no.
Is it a mobile device? In a way yes!
Will people buy it? Most certainly.
May 28, 2008
Alton Towers to “ban PDAs”
More than likely a publicity stunt, but implication that PDAs are only for work stuff.
Obviously I will now need to delete all the learning stuff from mine, as well as the podcasts, the music, the videos, disable the GPS, etc, etc…
May 26, 2008
Some of you may follow me on Twitter (or Jaiku) and will know I flit around the South-West and sometimes further afield.
Looks like there’s a new Twitterer to follow and they’re on Mars.
Nasa are using Twitter (amongst other web tools and sites) to update people on what the Pheonix Mars Lander is doing on Mars.
This to me illustrates another way in which micro-blogging tools can be used to provide information and interesting stuff to learners.
One of the features of Twitter is that the tweets are available as an RSS feed and therefore can be fed into a browser or into a VLE (such as Moodle).