Today is Safer Internet Day

February 12, 2008

The BBC reports on what is happening on Safer Internet Day.

Safer Internet Day is being marked around Europe with events to educate children and parents about net dangers.

Themed events will reveal the risks of sharing too much personal data and warn children that their virtual friends may not be who they say they are.

Public events will encourage parents to oversee their children’s online life so they know who they are talking to.

In the UK schools are being encouraged to run assemblies that discuss how children should behave online.

Read more.

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“Mobile devices will deliver a more personal internet” says Intel

January 8, 2008

The BBC reports from CES that Intel see mobile devices as core to the future use of the internet.

Mobile devices will deliver a more personal internet within five years, using chips with the power of today’s desktop PCs, Intel’s head has said.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, Paul Otellini predicted mobile devices could soon “augment reality” by pulling data from the net in real time.

He said the industry was on the verge of creating a “new level of capability and usefulness to the internet”


90% of internet connections are broadband

November 21, 2007

The BBC is reporting that nine out of ten internet connections are broadband connections.

Almost nine out of 10 UK net users are connecting via broadband services, official figures reveal.

Information gathered by National Statistics (ONS) for September show that 88.4% of Britons are choosing to use broadband rather than dial-up.

This means that delivering e-learning content does not need to rely on the assumption that learners are on dial-up.

broadband

With broadband often cheaper than dial-up now, if learners wish to access e-learning from home rather than in college (or in their local library) then more than likely they will be choosing broadband.

Photo source


Improve 3G Connectivity

October 12, 2007

One problem I can foresee for colleges thinking about using 3G technology is the connectivity issues that they may have using multiple 3G devices inside a building.

I noticed this device (mentioned in PCW Magazine) as a potential solution.

Oyster 3G — The home access femtocell

Oyster 3G is the home access femtocell that delivers high-quality 3G spectrum into the home. Because it uses the customer’s broadband it actually adds capacity to your macro network, improving service for everyone in the cell, indoors or out.

Though this technology in theory just makes it easier for 3G devices to connect to a 3G network, I believe you would still be charged your usual 3G data charges.

Nokia N73 mobile phone

I wonder if this or a similar technology could be used to create your own institutional 3G network, so 3G devices could use the JANET connection to connect to the internet via this institutional 3G network rather than pay the data charges.

I suspect though that this would not be possible as the mobile phone operators paid a fortune for the 3G licences and therefore would not want to lose any potential revenue. However I wonder if possible partnerships could be set up? I know that this is what at-Bristol did with Orange with their local mobile phone network.


“Million more UK homes go online”

August 29, 2007

According to recent figures as reported by the BBC, a million more UK homes have now gone online.

The number of UK homes with internet access has gone up by nearly a million over the last year, figures suggest.

Some 15.2m UK households – 61% of homes – now have an internet connection, compared with 54% in 2006, research from National Statistics found.

In total, 84% of web-enabled households said they had a broadband connection, up from 69% in May 2006.

61% of homes now have an internet connection and those 84% have a broadband connection.

For those learners coming from homes without internet, what can they do? Well yes it would be nice if every learner had a broadband internet connection, but it would also be nice if every learner had free transport to college, it would be nice if every learner had all the core texts they needed, it would be nice if every learner didn’t need a part-time job to support their studies, etc…

Colleges don’t provide libraries or teachers at home, so even though a learner may not have access to the internet, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use the internet and web based services (like a VLE) to support and enhance learning.

For those learners who don’t have access to broadband internet, they do have options in terms of access to the internet. Some have mobile phones or other mobiles devices which could be used. Some will be able to access free internet from their local library. Some will be able to access the internet at a relative or a friend. Virtually all will be able to access the internet at college.


Couple of interesting articles, or not…

August 27, 2007

In Friday’s Guardian there were a couple of articles of interest which you may have missed, as they were tucked away in the Back to School section which came with the paper.

Of course the beauty of the internet is that even if you have handed in the paper for recycling already (or months ago if you are reading this in December) you can still access the relevant articles online through Guardian Unlimited.

Or so I thought….

The articles from the Back to School supplement are not available online!

They might be on the pay per view edition, but doesn’t look like the supplement is available as text articles.

Well one article was on social networking and the other on mobile phones, no point in really talking about them as you can’t read them!


Britain enjoying ‘digital boom’

August 23, 2007

From a BBC News article:

The net, mobile phones and MP3 players are revolutionising how Britons spend their time, says Ofcom’s annual report.

It reveals that older media such as TV, radio and even DVDs are being abandoned in favour of more modern technology.

It also shows that women, in some age groups, are the dominant web users and older web users spend more time online than any group.

Among children it showed that web and mobile phone use is growing at the expense of video games.

Some may not believe that DVDs are old technology already! However with places like Tesco selling DVD players for £17 and with the advent of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, downloadable films and the growth of YouTube, we must start to think of them as an old technology.

DVD

I find it interesting that the internet and the web are no longer just the playground for the young male geek, but now that women and older people are starting to use the web and are in some cases the largest group using the web. This does mean that we have real opportunities in education to continue (start) using the web to support and enhance learning.

As for children moving from games to using the web and mobile phones more, does this mean with some in the education sector looking at games for learning, have they missed the boat already and should start loo king at other areas and ignore games?

As for the growth in mp3 players (read iPod) is it time we started in FE to podcast more?

Some things to think about.