Down the road…

June 16, 2009


Over the next two days I am attending the JISC Regional Support Centre South West Summer Conference 2009 which is just down the road for me in Rookery Manor in Somerset, just South of Weston-super-Mare.

I am presenting (with David Sugden) a keynote tomorrow morning and running a workshop later on in the day.

This afternoon I am on an expert panel which will be interesting as I have no idea about what we will be asked!

Today’s keynote is from Derek Law who is going to be running the JISC Services Management company which goes live in August.

Was quite interesting, now onto the workshops.


All Together Now Video

June 13, 2009

Back in March I attended the All Together Now event at Channel 4. At the time they made a video. Guess who is on it right near the beginning!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “All Together Now Video“, posted with vodpod

iPhone 3GS

June 12, 2009

Apple have announced a new version of the iPhone, the iPhone 3GS


Now incorporates

  • 3MP camera with better optics and autofocus
  • video recording
  • digital compass
  • voice control
  • faster 3G
  • faster hardware

Find out more or take the Guided Tour.

So is it worth upgrading?

Well considering the cost of upgrading, probably not! Moving from the Edge iPhone 2G to the iPhone 3G was less of an issue for many O2 customers, they won’t get the same kind of deal upgrading to the iPhone 3GS.

So what about if you don’t have an iPhone, is what was a really good phone even better now with the 3GS?

In the past I have mentioned why I did not get an iPhone when it first came out.

So do I have the obvious choice, Apple’s iPhone? No, partly as when it came out it did not meet my needs, no tethering, no 3G, no applications. Even the 3G model has some limitations, in the main the poor quality camera and lack of tethering. With the Nokia N95 I can use it as a 3G modem or as a wireless hotspot, likewise the 5MP camera does make it quite capable of taking decent photographs.

The iPhone 3GS now meets some of those needs.

You will be able to use it as a tethered modem (well if you buy into the right O2 plan). The camera in the 3GS is now much better, 3MP, auto-focus, macro mode and able to take video too! Still not as good as the Nokia N95 camera, but good enough and better than what was in the 3G phone. I suspect that with the 3GS we will see a JoikuSpot type application very soon that will enable you to use the 3GS as a wireless access point.

I do think that the voice control and digital compass now add features that students with special needs may find useful in helping them become independent learners and also gain more independence in the community.

Overall I do like the new iPhone 3GS, I think it is a great phone to get, but if you already have an iPhone 3G then you probably can live without the extra functionality and just upgrade to the free iPhone 3.0 software.

Keeping ahead of the game…

June 11, 2009

Doing the rounds on Twitter today has been quite a few people talking about the Next Generation Learning video from Becta.

Some people have posted the video to their blogs, Steve Wheeler for example, Andy Oliver is another.

So am I going to post the video?


I already have!

Nearly a month ago, on the 12th May!

So if you want to keep ahead of the game and find out what is happening check back more often.

A guide to RSS

June 10, 2009

Very nice guide to RSS.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #023: To blog, or not to blog, that is the question

June 7, 2009

Do you blog, do you read blogs, do you use blogging to support learning, are blogs dead?

This is the twenty-third e-Learning Stuff Podcast, To blog, or not to blog, that is the question.

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

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

James is joined by Kev Hickey and David Sugden.


A battery life of days…

June 6, 2009

Though I do think netbooks have a future (even if Intel don’t) however what computer do I carry around with me to meetings, events and conferences?

My MacBook Pro!

So is it just that I prefer OS X over Linux and Windows?

Well not really, I do like OS X, but do like Xandros and Windows 7.

The main reason I don’t carry a netbook, is the battery life.

Now it is getting better than it was, but the three cell batteries most of the netbooks I have only last an hour or two, which isn’t good enough for a long train journey or a conference.

This is also an issue with learners having netbooks, they arrive at college at 9 am and most will be there until 4 or 5 pm. What’s the point of carrying a netbook, if well before lunch the battery has run out? Most colleges I am aware of, don’t allow non-college devices to be plugged in, so unless you have an enlightened institution with a sensible “personal applicance” policy, they won’t be able to charge up their netbook during the day.

So was quite pleased to hear from the Computex trade show via the BBC that:

some manufacturers are convinced cheap, low power computers with days of battery life are the future…

The new Tegra system has a lot of potential

Nvidia boss Jen-Hsun Huang claimed a Tegra system could play HD video for 10 hours, compared to 3 hours for a netbook powered by Intel’s rival Atom CPU, and an astonishing 25 days of MP3 playback, compared to 5 hours for current netbooks.

The key to embedding and transforming learning through the use of mobile technologies is dependent on many factors, decent battery life is certainly in there.

These new chips could make a difference.