Bling it on…

February 18, 2009

I will be the first to admit that I am not a great fan of educational software, not sure why, probably because when I was teaching it was so difficult to book a computer room that when we were in there, the focus was on using office applications to write assignments and prepare presentations or use the web for research. So use scarce computer time for educational games for all my learners was not really an option (for me). The use of learning technologies was more often a way of enhancing and enriching my practice than allowing learners to use the technology.

Today things are different. In my own college we have many more computers, laptop trolleys and we are also purchasing more micro-laptops (UMPCs) for use across the college.

This makes it much easier for practitioners to use educational software and games to enhance and enrich a session.

One game I recently was advised to look at (by Shirley Crawford of Cornwall College) was Bling it on…

Bling it on...

Bling it on is a literacy, language and numeracy game.

The game was designed to hook reluctant offender learners and their families into a ‘first step to learning’ and should appeal to adult learners and their children alike. The subject matter of driving cars was chosen to appeal to male learners/carers in particular. It’s been piloted in prisons initially using the ROWA Learning bus with offender learners and their families.

Find out more and download the game.


G2 Google Phone

February 18, 2009

Vodafone and Google at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona have announced the G2 HTC Magic, the second Google phone.

G2 Google Phone

The BBC reports

A new phone based on Google’s operating system Android has been unveiled by Vodafone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The touchscreen HTC Magic will feature a 3.2 Megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS, but no slide-out keyboard.

The G2 phone does not have a keyboard like the G1, but does feature improvements to the Android operating system which have come from user comments who use the G1.

Actually it’s not called the G2, but the HTC Magic!

Mobile Phone Showcase

February 17, 2009

The BBC reports on the Mobile World Congress.

Almost 50,000 people are expected to visit the world’s biggest mobile phone exhibition, which is getting under way in Barcelona.

The annual Mobile World Congress is the mobile telecoms industry’s grand showcase.

Interesting mobile wireless hotspot mentioned, though this is already possible with some wifi mobile phones (eg Nokia N95) and JoikuSpot.

The digitally literate learner and the appropriation of new technologies and media for education

February 16, 2009

Interesting presentation from Professor John Cook, from his Inaugural Lecture.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #013: To iPhone or not to iPhone that is the question

February 15, 2009

Following a blog post from Lilian Soon and David Sugden receiving his new iPhone; James and David discuss the iPhone and how they both feel about the device.

This is the thirteenth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, To iPhone or not to iPhone that is the question.

Download the podcast in mp3 format: To iPhone or not to iPhone that is the question

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

To iPhone or not to iPhone that is the question

James is joined by  David Sugden.


Since recording this podcast, David has made some additional recordings about the iPhone, and there are some things he is not happy with…

My first Apple – day 1

My first Apple – day 2

iPhone trail – day three

See anything else on David’s Posterous Blog posted after I posted this entry.

How Twitter changed my life…

February 15, 2009

Well not my life…

Nice presentation on why someone uses Twitter.

Thanks to Josie for the link.

Charging… Charging…

February 11, 2009

I was recently asked why I carry so many mobile devices, usually I am carrying a phone (or two), a couple of iPods, a PDA (with Sat Nav) and almost always have a laptop or UMPC with me too.

Why you may ask?

Why indeed, especially as my usual phone, the Nokia N95, is a phone, does SMS, can play music, play video, has GPS and can access the web over 3G or wifi.

The reason is battery life.

Charging... Charging...

If I use my Nokia N95 like that the battery will only last about three hours!

One of the banes of my life is battery life, especially of mobile devices.

If I use my Nokia N95 for anything more than just showing people, it kills the battery. Use the web, it kills the battery. Take images and upload them via Shozu, it kills the battery. Broadcast live video using Qik, it kills the battery. Use JoikuSpot so that I can access the internet from my MacBook Pro and iPod touch, it kills the battery.

The same can be said for other devices I carry, but if I spread the load then I can get through the day without worrying about something running out of charge or not been able to communicate or get information.

Even though battery technology has improved over the years, part of the problem is that the way in which we use technologies has changed as well. Ten years ago my phone was a phone and that was all that it did. Now my phone is much more and can do a lot more, as a result the demand on the battery is much higher than it was back then.

Some people will wallow in nostalgia about their Psion or Palm device which used AA batteries and would last a month. Well that is all very well, but most of those devices had black and white screens, did not do web or e-mail (let alone IM or Twitter), nor did they do audio or video.

So what do I do then?

Well with my laptop I carry a spare battery (this is the reason why I don’t have a MacBook Air (as well as the price)); with my UMPC, the Samsung Q1 I have a powerpack which gives me another nine hours of battery life; I have car chargers in the car for multiple devices and I almost always carry a six way gang to conferences and events!

I was also interested to read this article on MacWorld about a new technology which means I would only need to charge my device once a month!

Mobile computing devices that need charging once a day would need it just once a month, with a new type of chip that uses a thirtieth of the power of conventional chips and is seven times faster by virtue of underlying logic that embraces error in its calculations.

Only issue is that it may take four years to come to market…

So I will need to continue to carry chargers (why do that all have to be different), carry spare batteries and my trusty six way gang.