Are you a resident or a visitor?

September 30, 2008

One of the things we seem to do in the world of e-learning is categorise ourselves and our learners into groups.Are you a resident or a visitor?

One of the key pieces of work on this was from Marc Prensky on Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. Now I was never really very happy about this idea that if you were old (like me, well I am not that old, but it’s sometime now since I first sent e-mail, 1987 I think it was) you were only a  digital immigrant and young people were digital natives.

However when I looked at the students at my college, I couldn’t see this age divide at all. Yes it was true many of the students were very happy and capable with handing digital devices and playing games, but not all.

We had some digital natives that fitted the description, but we also had a fair few that didn’t. There were students who didn’t and in some cases couldn’t use the internet and the web, not because they hadn’t been immersed in a digital world since birth, but because they didn’t want to. Also there are issues with many students in relation to the digital divide; they may play video games, but don’t have access to the web.

I also couldn’t see how myself fitted into this, I may not fit the digital native sterotype, but I knew (well others told me) that I was very much immersed into a digtial world and used the internet in ways in which they couldn’t fathom or understand. Was I merely a digital immigrant?

From my experiences on the web I met many digital natives and quite a few of them were over forty!

So it was quite refreshing to read on Dave White’s blog a post about residents or visitors to the online world. Like a few others, notably Andy Powell and Josie Fraser, I quite like this concept.

There are some who live in an online world and see the internet as part of their everyday life. This I can identify with. It was for example very strange at ALT-C 2008 to meet Kev Hickey, someone I knew very well from Jaiku. Over the last year we had discussed many e-learning issues and shared experiences of applications, but also I had seen his photographs from Blackpool, I knew the names of his dogs, I felt he was someone I would call a friend.

Are you a resident or a visitor?

So it was very weird to actually meet him in person at ALT-C. He is just one of many people I know from online in just my e-learning sphere, better wave to Lisa at this point…

I can quite easily see how that I can be a digtial resident, living part of my life in an online world. I do use the internet a lot and do use a range of online services and applications to make my life easier, to communicate, to share, to drink coffee and to have a bit of fun as well.

Working with many staff in the college (and quite a few students as well) I often find that they are merely visitors, using the online world when it suits them and meets their needs.

I’m reminded of a member of staff at a training session who was quite vocal about being a “technophobe” and didn’t want to use technology in her teaching (note the word teaching and not learning). So basically I ignored her, there were staff there who were interested. As we moved around the room, another member of staff started talking about how she used learning technologies, how she used the VLE and then she remarked on how she used MSN chat to converse with her students at a time and place to suit them. At this point the “technophobe” spoke up and said, “oh I use MSN chat all the time to talk to my daughter in Australia”. For me she is the perfect example of a visitor to the online world, using the technologies when  it suits her needs and ignoring the potential that other tools, services and applications could offer her and importantly her learners.

Having said that, on Josie’s Blog there was a comment from Mike Amos-Simpson which I think is worth repeating.

I think that perhaps when its considered as a ‘world’ it maybe makes too many people feel like aliens!

I agree with Mike that calling it a world could alienate people, but then again so does using the terms like digital native and digital immigrant.

So are you a visitor or a resident? Or do you prefer native and immigrant?


Says it all really…

September 29, 2008

Introduced to a funky little Twitter tool today called Tweet 3D.Says it all really...

So entered my Twitter username and, well this video says it all really!


UN communications chief predicts four billion mobile phone subs by year’s end

September 28, 2008

UN communications chief predicts four billion mobile phone subs by year's end

Engadget reports on the growing increase in mobile phone ownership across the world.

…the United Nations communications chief has boldly predicted that half of planet Earth’s population will be hooked on some sort of mobile phone before 2009 dawns.

Though how many of those subscriptions will include unlimited data I suspect will be very small and I suspect an even smaller number of those phone users will be using them for learning.


Learning in a digital age – are we prepared?

September 28, 2008

Learning in a digital age – are we prepared?

4-7th November 2008

Register now for the third international JISC online conference. This important conference for practitioners and managers embedding e-learning into their practice focuses on the tension between the tried and tested and the wholly innovative. e-Learning may now have established a foothold in learning and teaching, but are the demands of delivering the curriculum restricting its innovative potential? How can we plan to ensure the best possible e-enhancement of learning in the future?

Keynote speakers are Professor Gilly Salmon, University of Leicester, on transforming curriculum design through technology and Professor Rose Luckin, London Knowledge Lab, on the relationship between learners, their tutors and institutions. The closing keynote is being delivered by John Davitt, writer, broadcaster and education technology specialist.

The conference has two themes each running over two days and will also include guided tours in Second Life facilitated by the JISC Emerge team. During the reading weeks, the two weeks prior to the conference, there will be orientation sessions for delegates new to Second Life. We are pleased to have James Clay, mobile-learning enthusiast, as the conference blogger. Some sessions will make use of the Elluminate real-time web conferencing system.

Finally, the e-Learning Showcase will provide a shop window on innovative work from JISC e-Learning projects and services and social events include a virtual fashion show.

Details of the programme are available at www.jisc.ac.uk/elpconference08.

Delegates from further and higher education and from overseas are welcome to take part. The conference takes place in an asynchronous virtual environment which can be accessed wherever and whenever is convenient to you. Book now. The fee is £50 per delegate


Web Search Strategies in Plain English

September 27, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Video: Web Search Strategies in Plain…", posted with vodpod


Tweetwheel

September 26, 2008

I do the Twitter.

One of the things about Twitter is the interconnections between different people on Twitter. Tweetwheel allows you to show who follows who via a very nice graphical wheel.

View my “proper” interactive Tweetwheel here. It was interesting for me to find out that though I follow a fair few people, they rarely follow the same people I follow. There is some interconnectivity, but not as much as I thought.


iPhone Developer University Program

September 24, 2008

Apple has announced an interesting development for US Universities, the iPhone Developer University Program.

The iPhone Developer University Program is a free program designed for higher education institutions looking to introduce curriculum for developing iPhone or iPod touch applications. The University Program provides a wealth of development resources, sophisticated tools for testing and debugging, and the ability to share applications within the same development team. Institutions can also submit applications for distribution in the App Store.

Alas this is not a program(me) to develop learning applications for the iPhone, but merely a programme to teach students how to develop applications.


Becta, they say yes to open source…

September 23, 2008

Though getting a large amount of criticism from various sources (including this list), the Becta Software for Educational Institutions Framework (SEIF) was never about banning software, but about getting a framework in place to allow schools to “purchase” software avoiding many of the problems and pitfalls that may arise from a school going it alone.

The problem that many found with the SEIF was that it favoured proprietary software vendors and discriminated against open source.

The Sirius Corporation revealed yesterday that it was among 12 software suppliers to have been awarded places on the £80m Software for Educational Institutions Framework (SEIF) agreement.

This means that schools that wish to use linux, Open Office, Moodle, etc… now have a framework which allows them to use the software more easily.

The Register on the story.

Sirius press release.

Are any colleges out there looking at open source alternatives beyond Moodle?Becta, they say yes to open source...


Google phone to be on sale in UK in time for Christmas…

September 23, 2008

I did say in my previous post.

I wonder how long it will be before it comes to the UK.

Well according to the BBC it will be in the UK in time for Christmas on T-Mobile.

The T-Mobile G1 handset will be available in the UK in time for Christmas.

The first device to run the search giant’s operating system will feature a touch screen as well as a Qwerty keyboard.

It will be available for free on T-Mobile tariffs of over £40 a month and includes unlimited net browsing.

Other features include a three megapixel camera, a ‘one click’ contextual search and a browser that users can zoom in on by tapping the screen.

I think it has potential, but is it going to match the iPhone?

I don’t think it will have the buzz that the iPhone had. However the applications that the Google Phone could have and the way that they are installed on the phone means that it may have more potential as a learning device than the iPhone.Google phone to be on sale in UK in time for Christmas...


Google unveils phone

September 23, 2008

Well it’s out there now.

Google unveils phone

Google unveiled their phone, it will be from (in the USA) T-Mobile and is made by HTC.

Google unveils phone

Not much to look at is it?

The key with this phone, is don’t look at the phone, look at the operating system.

Images from Engadget who attended the event and who say:

We finally, finally got our mitts all over the very first Android device, the T-Mobile G1 — hanging out in the crowd, waiting for the official announce, naturally — and so far we like what we see. The phone is surprisingly thinner than we thought it would be, and it feels pretty solid in your hand (though they’ve opted for an almost all plastic device, no metal here). The keyboard seems usable and reasonably well thought-out, and the slider action is like butter, with a nice little swoop for good effect.

I wonder how long it will be before it comes to the UK.

Think of the potential of learners being able to use Google Docs whilst on the move.