Monday, 22 September 2008

Friday, 19 September 2008

Social media and corporate mores

Just found this great blog posting about BT's use of social media. I particularly like the notion that: "The extent to which a company adopts user generated tools is bound to become a barometer of company culture for those looking for suitable employment in the future".

Interactive Work space

Can have many uses which allow for student participation in lectures; collaborative work and simulations of the real world - no more squinting at the screen from the top of the lecture theatre! there is lots of potential for this - the customised expense... hmm
Having these in school, make sure the kids master the art of writing first before they move things around by finger! actually encouraging writing through using the finger and having the letter talk back to you once its correct can be great fun so I'm all for it! Those into gaming and pushing buttons do have a more engaging experience as they 'believe' they are doing powerful things and are in control so I can see its appeal...I think it can work well in the learning environment users being interactive rather than passive, making the learning activity more meaningful and therefore more likely to be retained (this has been said before!)

Monday, 15 September 2008

Warning sounded on web's future

The internet needs a way to help people separate rumour from real science, says the creator of the World Wide Web.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Google backs cheap internet for emerging markets

This one's for you Hally and your South African children project. ;-)
A new project will help three billion people around the globe gain access to the internet.
Google and Europe's biggest bank HSBC are to back a plan to help three billion people in Africa and other emerging markets gain access to cheap, high-speed web access

iPod roots traced back to 1970s UK

Apple has admitted that a British man played a part in developing the iconic and extremely profitable iPod, although he has so far received no money for his invention.

Google News blunder triggers airline sell off

United Airlines share price tumbled after Google News recycled a six-year-old story about it going bankrupt.

The mighty powerful media eh!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

the kids are alright

I had a conversation with a couple of students at the JISC Users and Innovation seminar about what they thought the e-aware or e-competent tutor should be about, and what attributes would be appropriate for 21st Century HE. Their top tips included the following - they aren't rocket science, but they are usefully re-stated.
  1. A willingness to take risks and explore new tools and techniques with students - a facilitation role in managing decisions about learning.
  2. A willingness to involve students as mentors in learning, and thereby facilitate sharing and co-operation. This should happen across programmes as well as within modules.
  3. The deployment of interactive technologies and techniques in the curriculum.
  4. Give e-learning tools (e.g. Blackboard) a point.
  5. Be responsive to the students' attitudes and approaches - empower them to use personal tools in the curriculum.
  6. Use social tools that help them personalise their experience and share ideas beyond the programme. We need to pull students in, rather than push them.
  7. Give students responsibility for the development of modules and programmes - give them choices and decisions to make about curriculum content and delivery.
  8. Rather than focusing on telling, focus upon students' active involvement in doing and creating. Trust will help build ownership and engagement. Students doing and creating rather than listening is key!
  9. Make better use of technologies to enable non-contact time activities and tasks.
They also pointed out that institutions need to enable the aggregation of tools and content, in order to give students safe places to share, pull in widgets and play.

a day without Google? Impossible surely?

Rob Dubbin tried a day without Google, although he needed to check one last thing.

He concluded: "I went into this experiment fairly certain that it would require the cursory change of an odd habit or two. I learned that my dependence on Google runs deeper than that, encompassing not only my personal Internet use but the nested dependencies of the people and institutions surrounding me. This is perhaps less a celebration of Google's tenth birthday than it is the harrowing revelation of our tenth anniversary. So goodnight, dear Google -- congratulations, and sweet dreams."

Monday, 8 September 2008

JISC-sponsored Users and Innovation Seminar

So I'm in Leeds, not attending ALT, but instead at a lovely seminar/symposium organised by Lawrie Phipps of the JISC Users and Innovation programme. We're discussing new agendas/directions or maybe themes for U&I in 21st cntury HE. So far, I've been taken by a few ideas:
  1. Bob R's notion of useful or meaningful "teachable moments" struck me as transferable to other moments in time when the impossible became possible. I need to think more about that and institutional maturity for pedagogies or technologies.
  2. Scott, Pat P and Vania D spoke about how we engage students with content aggregators, tags, the wisdom of crowds etc. in order to produce/manufacture agents (virtual, human, intelligent) that might empower the agency of individual students;
  3. how do we/students validate or generate trust in information and communication channels, and what are the implications for practice?In-line with this what are the implications for pedagogic practice that might be about cognitive frameworks that map to technologies?
  4. what is our desired change from any pedagogic/technological innovation?
The only issue for me so far is that there has been lots of talk in the sessions I was in about staff or tools, and not the impact, epecially the affective change, in the students. This is my issue, but I wonder whether we are not yet in the moment with this type of research.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Google's Street View Gets Green Light

The Information Commissioner's Office has given the go ahead on Google's Street View mapping service. The service which takes pictures of streets and uploads them to online maps was heavily criticised by privacy campaigners. However, the Information Commissioner said that it was 'satisfied' that Google had put in place safeguards to avoid any risks to the privacy and or the safety of individuals. This article serves to remind the FE and HE sector on the importance of privacy rights afforded to individuals. Full details on this news story can be accessed here:

[Excerpt from JISC Legal Information Service]

New CLA HE Licence for e-Books and e-Journals

From 1 August, the new Copyright Licensing Agency Comprehensive HE licence will provide HE institutions with extended rights for the use of digital material. The new licence includes photocopying, scanning, and for the
first time, copying from e-books and e-journals. This enhanced licence means that HEI’s can make use of their paper and digital holdings for teaching.

Further details can be found on the CLA website at -

[Excerpt from JISC Legal Information Service]

Report on Harmful Content on the Internet and Video Games

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee published its report investigating harmful content on the internet on 22 July 2008. Although the main aim was to consider the dangers posed to children, the results are of equal interest to FE/HE institutions starting to make use of Web 2.0 technologies in particular, such as social networking. The ability of mobile network operators to monitor and control access and occasions on which they may choose to do so is discussed, along with cyber-bullying and mechanisms for making a complaint. The full report is available on the select committee website at:

[Excerpt from JISC Legal Information Service]

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Realtime Generation Report 2008

Some thoughts from Suki on the Logicalis Realtime Generation Report 2008:
"I’m wondering as to whether digital identities established elsewhere pre HE in their social group – they may be less inclination to develop another digital identity at university unless it is part of their course. I do believe that social networking site will remain ‘social’ and will not worked ‘mashed up’ with a system perceived for learning. I think we can learn from the social from the flexibility that it gives for feedback and support and access to other plug-in systems that we use as an institution. Scaling online institution communities targeted at programme levels (peer-to-peer) may have some scope for building networks and engagement.

"It’s obvious that the degree of technology experienced pre HE will affect and determine university choice and we need to keep an eye on trends at secondary schools/colleges. These students are only young!!! I can understand how many are not sure what they expect from a university technology wise as they may not even know what a university may have to offer! There should be should a study done for mature students and international students so that comparisons can be made on the digital experience."

Monday, 1 September 2008

London set to become mobile internet capital of the world

An interesting article in the Independent yesterday about mobile internet. In particular the theme of active mobile browsing alongside the need for content managers or producers to rethink their approach for mobile technologies grabbed me.

2008 survey of Technology Enhanced Learning For Higher Education in the UK

The 2008 UCISA survey of Technology Enhanced Learning For Higher Education in the UK is now out. Its key findings can be seen on pp. 7-8, but those which interest me most include:
  1. "the rise to prominence of e-learning strategies", which stands as a rider to the growing use of the term technology-enhanced learning;
  2. "Post-92 institutions have larger Education Development Units (EDUs) with greater numbers of academically-oriented support staff. Pre-92 institutions appear to provide more support locally suggesting a more devolved provision" - so we stand-out as unusual in the post-92 sector, with a very small, devolved team aspiring to empower staff to engage with new tools and approaches;
  3. "there is a vastly reduced range of VLEs and similar systems in use since 2005... The tools that have increased significantly in usage are those for podcasting, e-portfolios, assessment, blogs and wikis";
  4. reward and recognition are issues for everyone; and
  5. "support, streaming media, mobile computing, podcasting and Web 2.0" are the new matters arising for HEIs.