What is Wikipedia?

May 25, 2010

Common Craft have made another one of their really nice videos, this one on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia Explained By Common Craft.

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Froyo’ing – These are the droids you are looking for…

May 24, 2010

Google last week announced the release of Android 2.2.

Unlike other phones I could mention, even though the update was announced my Google Nexus One said “it was up to date”. You have to wait until the phone provider sends out the update.

In my case that’s Google…

Waiting…

Certainly won’t be waiting as long as Motorola Droid users who had to wait six months for 2.1, but still waiting…

Then on Saturday night I noticed a post on Lifehacker.

Want to try out the neat new stuff in Android 2.2, a.k.a. FroYo, but haven’t lucked into an update notification yet? Follow these instructions to download a 2.2 update, install it, and get Flash up and running.

I downloaded the zip file and following these instructions updated my  Nexus One on Sunday morning.

The first thing I wanted to do was try out the Flash player… specifically I wanted to see how BBC iPlayer would perform. My first site was BBC News and I was very pleased with how the live stream of BBC News worked on the Nexus One.

Very similar experience to the EyeTV App on the iPhone, but obviously streaming from the internet and no need for the Mac to be on. I then tried to watch a programme from the archive, the film Brazil as it happens and… well the site asked if I was old enough! And trying to zoom into the checkbox was not particularly easy. However it did work!

As did Doctor Who!

Android 2.2 does off a little more than just allow you to view Flash on the web.

Android now has Exchange support, this is a feature I have found very useful on the iPhone. Despite what you may think of Exchange, it is a service that many organisations and institutions use, so by having support on Android, it allows for Enterprise deployment of phones like the Nexus One.

You can also now use the Flash when shooting video, great for when there is little or no natural light.

The Nexus One with Android 2.2 can now be used as a portable WiFi hotspot. This is something I have been doing for some time with Joikuspot on the Nokia N95 and was one of the main things I missed from the Nexus One, missing it no longer.

This is also something that is missing from the iPhone and technically it would be able to do it…

The key improvement though of 2.2 is improved performance and I certainly have found my Nexus One to be a little more zippy and faster than before.

I would never recommend bypassing the traditional upgrade process, but when the update does come I would recommend upgrading.


e-Learning Stuff Podcast #048: It’s very warm out there

May 23, 2010

James talks about EdTech 2010, pilots, the iPad, JISC CETIS Mobile Tech Meeting, Android 2.2, Lessig Method and the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Award 2010.

With James Clay.

This is the forty-eighth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, It’s very warm out there

Download the podcast in mp3 format: It’s very warm out there

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Shownotes


100 ways to use a VLE – #48 Embedding an online presentation

May 21, 2010

Death by Powerpoint has almost become a running joke at conferences and in education. Despite that, presentations are a staple of many conferences, courses and learning programmes.

it’s very easy to upload and link to a Powerpoint presentation, but does mean that not only does a learner need to click a link and download a file, but also (usually) needs Powerpoint on their computer. If they don’t then we might send them off to download OpenOffice another step and hurdle.

One service I am using much more now for my presentations is Slideshare. It allows you to upload a presentation and converts it into a Flash slideshow. This can either be viewed on the Slideshare website or can be embedded into a webpage. This means you can embed it into the VLE.

This allows learners to immediately access the presentation, without needing to wait for it to download. With larger presentations this can be a long wait on a slow connection. As Slideshare allows you to navigate to a specific slide, this means that learners who want to look at one slide can more easily than from a whole Powerpoint.

Of course there are a few downsides, the main one is that Slideshare is an open service, so your presentations are public and you may not want that. Though that’s also an advantage in that there are lots of presentations on the site that you can use and embed into the VLE.

Being Flash based this could cause issues if your learners have lots of iPhones and iPads, however Slideshare now provide an iPhone friendly service.

It is very simple to link to Powerpoint files, however using a service like Slideshare allows you to easily embed not just your presentations, but also other presentations from the site, straight into the VLE.


EdTech 2010, some thoughts

May 21, 2010

EdTech 2010 has now finished and I have left Athlone. I opened the conference with my keynote, entitled Cultural Shifts.

The keynote looked at the importance of culture and changing culture if we are to not just embed the use of learning technologies, but create a culture that embraces new technologies and pedagogies, rather than resist them.

The feedback I got was that it went down well with the delegates at the conference and created a buzz and conversations throughout the conference.

It was my first time to EdTech and I enjoyed the conference.

I have found that attending learning technology conferences always provide something new and interesting to take away. Even if the conference is based on a different sector or in a different country, there are lessons that have been learnt that we can learn from. Despite the differences the issues and challenges we face in different countries and different sectors, what we know and what we learn is more often than not transferable and easily adapted to our own institutions and learners.

There were some really useful and interesting presentations and talks and I hope to blog about them later.


Cultural Shifts Keynote

May 21, 2010

Here are the slides from my EdTech 2010 Keynote.

I hope to be able to link to the recording later.


Cultural Shifts

May 20, 2010

This morning I delivered my keynote at EdTech 2010.

It went down very well and I hope to have the Slideshare and video up soon. It appears to be taking a very long time for Slideshare to convert my presentation, might need to convert it myself first to PowerPoint from Keynote before uploading.

I am enjoying EdTEch 2010, lots of useful presentations and discussions. Making some useful contacts and found some great resources; such as these bricklaying videos.