Friday, August 17, 2007

Blogging while mobile

On my mobile via gmail posting to my blog . Hardly elegant but
relatively easy. On hols till end of august. Will post occasionally if
I see anything of note.

Andy Black

"Where Technology and Pragmatism Meet"
"refero est network ( humanus vel electronic ) iam quis question."
The answer is the network (human or electronic) now what's the question?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Techshare Expo 2007 4-5 October

Techshare Expo 2007
- The biggest ever European exhibition on access to the information
society by people with disabilities
- Free entry for all, pre-registration now open
- Runs 4-5 October 2007 at award-winning London venue
- Please promote to your public networks

British rail passengers to get free Wi-Fi ride

Rail passengers on the London-to-Scotland east coast main line will get free Wi-Fi as part of National Express' 1.4 billion-pound ($2.8 billion) winning bid to run the franchise.

great news for rail travellers now the rest of the train companies how about it !!!

ICT Conference -The Essential Skills for the 21st Century

If your interested in the area of ICT as a skill for life this event maybe of interest.
Organised by NIACE
Wednesday 7 November 2007

Venue: East Midlands Conference Centre, University Park, Nottingham


In order to successfully participate in 21st century society requires individuals to be competent and confident users of information and communication technology (ICT). ICT has changed the way we work, learn and live our lives. Over 90% of all new jobs require ICT skills and the growth in government and commercial online services means that people who are unable to use them are increasingly at a disadvantage.

Employers require employees with ever improving levels of ICT skills and knowledge therefore 20 million employees will need to continuously enhance their skills. Almost 17 million adults do not use the Internet and are at risk of serious social and economic disadvantage.

At the moment there are many new initiatives and developments underway that make it important to be aware of the main trends in assisting people to develop their ICT skills. Some of the new developments are:

* ICT as a Skill for Life
* ICT Functional Skills
* ICT Diploma
* the relationship between ICT and other skills for life
* vendor standards
* ITQ.

The main aims of the event are to:

* understand the ICT needs of the country
* gain an understanding of the main developments within ICT users
* gain an understanding of the relationships between the different

Objectives of the event

Participants will gain an understanding of:

* the new ICT User Skills developments (e.g. MyGuide - how to
reach the millions of people who do not use the Internet)
* the relationship between initiatives such as ICT Skills for
Life, ICT Functional Skills and ICT Diploma
* the relationship between ICT and the other skills for life.

This event will be of particular interest to:

* ICT teachers, tutors and trainers
* Managers with responsibility for ICT User Skills delivery.
* Arrival and registration is at 9:30am for a 10:00am start. The event will end at 4:00pm.

For further details and to reserve a place, look up:

Enquiries to Gurjit Kaur on 0116 204 2833; e-mail:

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Beginner's Guide to Web 2.0 Tools for Business

What an interesting title ofr an artilce web 2.00 for business. Maybe the world is on the move. A bit of subversion in the business secotr whats next !!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sustainable Schools:Are we building schools for the future?

No view expressed but regular readers may like to read digest and form your own view.

New research report on 1:1 access to mobile learning devices

More of emerging evidence Re Mobile devices in Education in the formal sector

New research report on 1:1 access to mobile learning devices

The University of Bristol is conducting research into the impact of 1:1 access to mobile learning devices at KS2 and KS4. Five schools, which are part of the Learning2Go or Hand-e-Learning projects, are being investigated.

This Development and Research project is using mixed methods to evaluate impact in terms of learners’ learning skills, attendance, behaviour and attainment. It will also review the success of the implementation and sustainability of the schools’ PDA initiatives and provide examples of emerging good pedagogic practice.

The final reports from the project will be available in Winter 2008.

The Summer 2007 Interim Report is available at: Emerging recommendations include:

Implementation – policy

  • The initial implementation of mobile projects is logistically challenging.
  • The open negotiation of contracts of acceptable and responsible use with learners and parents can be very useful in clarifying issues and building mutual trust.
  • Then learners expect devices to be used, they are more likely to bring them to school every day and keep them charged. When all pupils in a class have their devices with them, the learning benefits are optimised.
  • Teachers need to play an integral role in choosing software and content to ensure that it is relevant to learners’ needs. They are then more likely use the devices.
  • Where possible, all relevant staff – especially teaching assistants, ICT co-ordinators and teachers – should be provided with mobile devices.
Implementation – technical
  • It is beneficial to ensure reliable wireless connectivity.
  • It is useful to consider systems for dealing with breakages and temporary loss of use of devices. This may involve planning for temporary loan stock.
  • Systems for storage of and access to work need to be developed. Teachers and learners need to access digital work to provide and receive feedback.
  • Consideration can usefully be given to possible software solutions to teachers’ issues around observing process, tracking progress and formative assessment.
Professional development of teachers
  • Teachers benefit from having time to explore what the devices can do before integrating their use into planned learning.
  • Using mobile devices is likely to increase learner autonomy. Teachers need to ensure that learners are able to evaluate resources, think critically and reflect.
  • It is important to consider the ways in which mobile devices are integrated with other (ICT and traditional) tools in learning at home and at school.

Mac news Andy to buy Mac Mini!!

Now I learnt computing on an apple IIe 25 years ago. But am this close to buying on of the new revamped Mac Mini's

theyve made it duo core ,faster , four usb ports firewire,wireless. I bet also it will seamless sync with Iphone in near future!!!


Mlearn melbourne 2007 ;Making the connection

OK I cant go but youve got to follow this sign up for the newsletter updates at least

I wish Caryl Oliver conference chair and colleagues a good one !! Caryl has done some great stuff with FE type learners. Great also to see a UK company doing the sms
side of the conference.

I love Five Quick Strategies to ease into using mobiles for learning
  • Think of mobiles as mini-computers: call them by a new name!
  • Think of mobiles as tools to share, not just for individuals
  • Think of learning, as well as social applications
  • Focus on creation, rather than consumption
  • Develop etiquette for mobiles with students
so go one register for the newsletter better still get there. Sell the Mac, the pet or whatever but get there !

Sunday, August 05, 2007

First Iphone now the gphone or is it goophone !!!

Now is this start of a war of devices and approaches and if so will Microsoft follow with a hardware tie in.

Reports suggest that the web giant is developing a series of"GPhones", centred on its mobile services, such as search, e-mail and maps.

In a statement, Google said it was working with carriers, phone makers and content providers to "bring its services to users everywhere".

I use google mail on my phone and google mobile search would I buy a gphone I might but lets see what's the offer .

Is this hardware software tie in by the likes of Apple and possibly google a new stage in development and a revolution or just a temporary blip !!

Whats your view .

Thursday, August 02, 2007

BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft tries free office suite

BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft tries free office suite: "Microsoft tries free office suite"

now who would have imagined this under pressure from google docs,Zoho,open office interestingly not web based so installed locally with ads appearing. how long before online office !!!!

Designing human centred technologies for the developing world

Interesting area of work technology in the developing or the forgotten world !!! so if your out there got any work to showcase get that submission in because the deadlines been extended. Is developed world thinking technology transferable and is it sustainable any help to the vast bulk of the population ????

link at
Workshop: Designing human centered technologies for the
developing world: HCI but not as we know it. Tue, 4 Sept. 2007 at the
HCI 2007 conference, Lancaster, UK

huge investments being made in ICT for development (ICT4D) and
education (e.g. "$100 laptop," UN programmes etc.) and high
expectations being raised, it is critical to ensure that ICT
developments are in fact usable, useful, appropriate and well adapted
to the communities and contexts in which they are intended to be used.
This requires well designed solutions, which in turn requires
appropriate human-centred design methods. However, it is unclear that
methods largely developed for and with users in the developed world
will prove appropriate in the developing world. This workshop aims to
bring together interested parties and strengthen the User-centred
design for development (UCS4D) community, as well as contribute to the
body of knowledge about designing for and with communities in the
developing world.


  • Share experiences of Human Centred Design in the developing world;
  • Identify key issues and patterns;
  • Explore new, alternative and modified methods for human centred and participatory design of Development Technologies;
  • Develop new partnerships - particularly international partnerships;
  • Disseminate learning from this workshop through online and and offline publication; and
  • Strengthen the HCI in Development Technology community.
Its part of the main HCI 2007 conference link to that is here

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Technology robust and fit for purpose


As you know I did the Dunwich Dynamo at the weekend and thought long and hard which technology to take to record it.

My Canon EOS 500 digital camera got rejected (too heavy)

so I took the following:

  1. Apple nano (my wifes) with a belkin voice recorder attached for a podcast recorder.
  2. Sony cybershot 3.2MP digtal camera
  3. Nokia 6234 phone
so I used the

nano once at the start.
Camera at the start outside a pub (15 miles in) at the mid point (64 odd miles) got three shots in before condensation of the village hall fogged it up.
The phone to ring my wife fifteen miles and an hour from the end . plus 4 or 5 texts along the way .

so why didn't I use it more "The weather it poured down" The camera didn't work well because I didn't take a case and it got cold and was a focus point for condensation when I got it out at the mid point. The nano wasn't robust enough in the wet and I could be bothered .

The phone work but wasn't ideal to use in the dark.

so one device to all those jobs would I have used it more would a ruggedised version of devices made it more useful. I don't know but it does suggest technology wont get used if its not easy and reliable

Point-to-point Wi-Fi brings internet to all

Point-to-point Wi-Fi brings internet to all

thanks to Seb Schmoller and his hugely influential fortnightly mailing list for this . Link in my sidebar go on subscribe !!!

I have been interested in this area for a while and was heartened to see the reference to mesh technology see my earlier blog post

this article is refreshing because it talks of communities taking control and wifi mesh technology coming of age.

Link to Seb's posting

Link to text of new scientist article

I disagree it will happen at least in europe and the North American in a lot less than 10 years.

another article re mesh technology can be found here