Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hi to some readers

Well its lovely to hear about new readers of the blog and give some old one a plug ! First of all my old mate Niel Mayne of Northern College ( e tutor of the year a couple of years ago) has mentioned some of the students on MSc in Multimedia and Education at Huddersfield read my blog !!! A little fact for them I am an ex Huddersfield poly Geography Graduate and the course with its pioneering computer mapping now called GIS set me up on my current path. The fact I also borrowed a BBC micro to write my dissertation on was a revelation to me as a dyslexic students so a huge heads up to Huddersfield !!!
Publish Post
Now to plug someone elese excellent work Susan Waters of Tafe who I think works out of Perth Australia I know is a reader. I had a weird text from Steve's mobile at mlearn from Melbourne in which Susan introduced herself. Susan has just had high praise from James farmer of edublogs in his newsletter about here blog on things blog and web2.0 in general . I quote from James email newsletter

The Edublogger:

Possibly the most useful blog you'll ever visit, and written by multi-Edublog Award nominee Sue Waters, The Edublogger covers everything from giving your blog a makeover to adding photos to your site, playing with widgets and much much more. It's an education!

A seriously useful resource so good on those of you in the Southern and Northern hemisphere or is it just the blogosphere . sadly not even google could yield susans email address so if one of you know it get in touch.

Monday, January 28, 2008

firefox gaining ground

Be warned this reports in french

google can try to translate|en&hl=en&ie=UTF8

aint the internet wonderful !!

ASUS watchout the opposition is coming !!

Well as I say its not about the device stupid !!! I se from engadget that MSI prepping Eee PC competitor with Diamondville inside. Diamondville is a new chipset from intel especially for the ultaportable type devices.

now everybody get ready for loads of people turning up with there own devices !!!

dome projection

Now this is a bit interesting projection onto and inside inflatable dome think planeterium think surround images wacky but interesting .

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Solid state drives not making into consumer conciousness

I might say yey myself. But wired reckons the kinetic hard drives gong to be around for a while. I agree but think solid state drives will become standard for devices were power consumption for that read battery life are an issue and cost isnt !! I know its not a mac air but the asus eeepc ive been using has made appreciatte sold state hardware !! read wired article here

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Friday, January 25, 2008

January edition of Tech news is now available

The newest addition of BectaTechNews is now out if you don't subscribe you should. its free go on download a copy and sign up .

In this edition analysis pieces include: NFC, High definition, Processor futures, portable personalities.

also call for examples of web 2.0 in secondary schools.

Mobile Youth report well worth a read

Mobile Youth
This website and realted publication is really well worth following in you are interested in the developing mobile field.

The official mobileYouth™ report published annually 2001-2008
covering youth lifestyle trends and mobile consumption in 60 countries

The annual report covers 4 main areas .
  1. The Mobilised Youth: Drivers, Challenges & Opportunities
  2. Social Networks & Consumer-Generated Content (CGC)
  3. Marketing & Branding for the Longtail
  4. Mobile, Media and the Youth Market
go on have a look.

Innovative design

This stunning bit of design from Singapore is worth a look. The building is Nanyang Technological University in Singapore Those involved in sustainable building or issues relating to Building Schools or Colleges of the future should look at this visionary bit of design .

Thursday, January 24, 2008

E learning techblog predictions 2008 gives thumbs down for mobile , I disagree!

While reading Tony Karrer's blog (yes I do read other blogs).

I came across a piece on eLearning Technology: Ten Predictions for eLearning in 2008. He is commenting from North America.
I initially picked up on the negative comment about mobile learning.

Prediction #5 => Mobile Learning - Continued Scattered Examples and Disappointment

I not surprisingly disagree. I will dilute it and say that isnt the case in the UK and maybe Europe. His comment on 20% of web access being via mobile devices is good and is going to increase very rapidly over 5 years.

I would like to quote Daniel Applequist of Vodafone who states in "5 years there will one Internet and it will be mobile".

Prediction #9 => Niche Online Discussions
I liked this idea of the growth of more niche online discussion and small targeted online conferences. This whole area is getting so much easier to set up . But the role of specialist facilitators is coming to the for. spend money on the human side not the platform.

those interested in gaming and its use in education and training wont like his comment on serious games.

Go on read the blog you may not like all he says but its a view !!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - Toshiba weighs into Macbook Air with slim Portege

I have often said its not about the device and this article hints at it. I am currently blogging from a mac but still use a windows pc and Asus linux machine on a regular basis . The iphone has made other providers of mobile internet devices (MID) raise their game and there is a lot more to come .
Its seems the Mac air very slim laptop but some say lacking in usb port conectivity (I of course am not commenting) has a rival the toshiba r500 very slim very robust laptop with a flash hard drive - Toshiba weighs into Macbook Air with slim Portege

what we users like to see is a bit of competiton I think the tosh maybe cheaper!!

Social networking and its impact and implications for business BBC - Radio 4 - In Business

Interesting programme on the effect social networking is having on business and how some companies are employing it for team building marketing etc .

BBC - Radio 4 - In Business

The Changing Faces of Learning: a 1-day conference on current and emergent learning technologies.

This event at the Learning Lab on 6th February might be worth a look ignore the fact yours truly is speaking.

The learning lab site is worth a look especially now John Traxler is heading it up.

Its part of the build up to Mlearn 2008 in October

More detail on Mlearn below

mLearn was the first conference on Mobile Learning and is widely recognised as one of the most prestigious international conferences in the field. mLearn 2008, hosted by the University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and IT, will take place on the edge of historic and rural Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Important dates for your Diary:

Conference Dates
Tues 7th (pre-conf. Workshops)
Wed 8th to Fri 10th October (mid-afternoon finish)

Submission Dates
Full papers - final date for submission for review is 14 April 2008 midnight GMT
Short papers - final date for submission for review is 28 April 2008 midnight GMT
Posters - final date for submission for review is 28 April 2008 midnight GMT

Monday, January 21, 2008

video blog a first for Andysblackhole

Well if you thought my ramblings as text were bad enough now you can hear and see me scary !!!

Home Access to Technology

This is a request from Department for Children Schools and Families for you to contribute

The Home Access project is seeking to try and overcome some issues of the digital divide in England so if youve got a view contribute !!

This consultation seeks views on the proposed Home Access programme that aims to ensure that every family with 5-19 year old learners in England has access to learning where and when they need it through access to ICT resources and support at home. Documents and info here

You can read it online at

You can even respond online at

Molenet projects read all about it !!!

If you've been following my blog for a while you might know of my enthusiasm for mobile learning. I am lucky enough to be on the expert group for the Molenet project managed by the Learning and Skills Network and funded by the Learning and Skills Council . The team who are really busy have finally produced this document summarising the projects who have successfully won funding you can down load the PDF or order hard copies at the following link

This publication provides an overview of the MoLeNET initiative, the UK's largest and most diverse implementation of mobile learning. The Learning and Skills Council and consortia led by Further Education colleges are together investing well over £7 million in MoLeNET with 32 projects, supported by a Support and Evaluation Programme led by LSN, in This publication provides an overview of the MoLeNET initiative, the UK's largest and most diverse implementation of mobile learning. The Learning and Skills Council and consortia led by Further Education colleges are together investing well over £7 million in MoLeNET with 32 projects, supported by a Support and Evaluation Programme led by LSN.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eye-Fi adds support for Iphoto

Thanks to Rob Englebright for spotting this posting on engadget from Macworld. I actually spotted eye-Fi a sd wireless card to fit in any digital camera that uses a standard sd card as a memory card back in November see original post on my blog at

but as recent Mac user pleased to see theyve added Mac functinality both for safari and firefox browsers for Macs.

Believe it or not, MacWorld does continue ev! en after Jobs has left the building. In as much, Eye-Fi just announced support for Apple's iPhoto as well as the Safari and Firefox browsers when accessing their web-based Eye-Fi Manager. iPhoto support means you can now capture images from your digital camera to your $99 Eye-Fi 2GB SD card and transmit them directly into the photo management software while on your home WiFi network -- right, no hotspot uploading action for you. Considering photos were previously dumped into a folder (or 19 on-line sites), the free update is definitely a step in the right direction. see engadget link here

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

BBC predicts bright future for ultramobile PC's

Well interesting artilce it is looking at key issues facing ultramobile devices
  • battery
  • processing power
  • memory
  • connectvity
article discusses the emerging soutions to them all . But as we in learning know its how you employ the technology to promote learning that matters.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Forget the term EDA or PDA its a MID

Well according to the stuff coming out of the consumer electronics show (CES) in the states.

Interstingly the producer eeepc ASUS has three different offerings in the mobile device market and interestingly a four if you count there internet radio.
Mobile Internet Device

  1. eepc the linux based entry level low format device
  2. R50A UMPC a so called rich media device with connectivity and GPS functinality built in.
  3. P527 Cell (mobile )Phone.
other manufactures are follwing this degree of vertical integration so forget WMD and lookout for MID. Theyve won three awards at CES.

Winning Product
Eee PC Mobile Internet Device that Makes it Easy to Learn, Easy to Work, and Easy to Play Computer Hardware
R50A UMPC Revolutionary UMPC that Redefines “Mobile” with Full PC and GPS functionality Computer Hardware
P527 Cell Phone Elegant GPS Cell Phone Telephones
ASUS Internet Radio Listen to Worldwide Broadcasts with ASUS Internet Radio Personal Electronics

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Andy in print in publication education business

The article I wrote on "Mobile Learners ,not Mobile Learning" on behalf of Becta has been publshed Ok its not a thesis but it has come out ok especially pleased to get sms refrences and environmental angle in there.
Nice to see a publcation that publishes whole articles on the web. Read article at

Bett 2008 a first for yours trully!! First of many postings

Those powerhouses of pod and vodcasting Radiowaves twisted my arm to do a three way interview with Matt Locke Commissioning editor for Channel 4 Dinendra Haria MINISTRY OF JUSTICE on the future of Technology in Education... .

Well of course Radiowaves used young people to do the lt ! What a suprise they were the stars of the show so go on listen to the podcast and checkout
for more background on voice it campaign go to

Tim Riches of Radiowaves did a great slot at teachmeet2008 on Voice IT !!!

go on be a devil get those headphones out or speakers on.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

teaching mr stacey blog site great stuff

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Teachmeet 08 is go

What a week a bett and now the top gig of the week teachmeet08 its goint to be mad !!! Bring it on !!!

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

English Heritage Launch Our Place Network

Interestingly described by pundits as heritage version of facebook !!

Welcome to the Our Place network!
What is Our Place?

Our Place is for people who work in broadening access to heritage.

It is an online space where you can network with peers, share and be
inspired by project case studies, and discuss the challenges facing you
today. It also contains news, resources and links – everything
you need to know about engaging communities with heritage.

Who is Our Place for?

You may work in the heritage, museums, libraries, archive, arts or
community sectors (to name but a few!); in such fields as community
engagement, outreach, access, audience development, social inclusion or
education. This may be your main role or just something you know you
need to do as part of your job but aren’t quite sure how to go
about it.

As long as you work in or are interested to know more about how you
undertake the vital but often challenging work to broaden access to
heritage, then Our Place is the place for you!

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policy goes web2.0 BarcampUKGovweb

read these links sounds like a really interesting evolution of how those involved with web 2.0 interact with policy makers.

wikipedia link gives a description of barcamp phenomena.

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ASUS 10 inch screen

Now this is interesting
overcomes many of few shortcomings asus 7inch eeepc

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Bett the Madness begins

Well not quite buts its coming Ive been in activity relating to Bett since monday which sadly I cant blog about. But as off 18.00 today I will be on site getting a look round pre show opening tomorrow.

Its going to be fun. Interestingly Steljes I know are focussed on mobile learing the year. RM and ASUS are obviously showing on the eepc and intel continue the mobile theme and of course Apple will do the thing they do best "wow us". Txtools futurelab and sums are there also.

so its going to be fun and chance to meet up with friends.Plus dont forget teachmeet on friday !!!

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Bett the Madness begins

Well not quite buts its coming Ive been in activity relating to Bett since monday which sadly I cant blog about. But as off 18.00 today I will be on site getting a look round pre show opening tomorrow.

Its going to be fun. Interestingly Steljes I know are focussed on mobile learing the year. RM and ASUS are obviously showing on the eepc and intel continue the mobile theme and of course Apple will do the thing they do best "wow us". Txtools futurelab and sums are there also.

so its going to be fun and chance to meet up with friends.Plus dont forget teachmeet on friday !!!

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Things I missed ?? Facebook

Ok I didn't get the facebook thing and now am addicted thanks to Steve Moore of Policy unplugged , Ewan Mcintosh and Lisa Valentine and Cathy Trinder for helping me get it. TYour all barking Mad !!!

Thought for the year these small devices will never catch on !!!

I feel in good company as many major technologies and advances have been missed in the past the classic one being SMS a Stealth technology that grown year on year.

Friend in the area made this year Mike Short whose Blackberry postings are like having for your own highly trained field correspondent who also an expert !!!

The looking forward bit !!

I unusually have been thinking a lot this week before blogging Staring down the barrel of BETT next week. My busiest week of the year.

Then along came a comment from IslayIan to my previous post

"Here's to excitement and the future.
Now how do we get the majority of teachers to 'get it?"

Few thoughts

  1. learners are changing kids aren't at heart but they way they learn and consume information I think is .
  2. Parents/carers whatever the age are becoming more comfortable with technology be that with
    1. Internet shopping
    2. Gaming the Wii Nintendo effect
    3. Digital photography
    4. The ipod MP3 phenomena
    5. The whole phone phenomena, SMS,camera phones

How to get teachers to get it.

The kit bit (wake up guys and girls its here or arriving soon.

Robust networks and kit well I reckon if your not obsessed with the latest shiniest we are there and the like ASUSEeePc numerous media rich laptops,umpc's are getting us closer

The blogging learners as creators of content as well consumers it's a mixed economy stupid !!

The whole MP3 podcasting thing thanks to £6.00 MP3 players and the Ipods be it nano's touches or Iphones of this world

Plus those other so called gadgets

The creativity bit

Yes learners produce and consume rubbish in the media scape but they also produce stunning stuff!! But with intervention of teachers ( to Make Derek Robertson of Learning and Teaching Scotland smile) teachers learners can work together to co create co construct and co-review great material to help scaffold and enhance their learning .

Teachers need space to practice and comfort in support for what they are doing

The curriculum might need to change but for obvious reasons I leave you to make your own mind up.

Stop worrying

The world is changing and in many respects the best people to help us oldies get our heads round it are learners themselves .

How to you broadcast share good practise and appraise failure that's the challenge . The challenge is now one of creativity I think the the access to technology at a basic level is nw a utility that staff can expect learners demand and be warned parents are going to start asking searching questions if its not available.

Hang on cutting edge learning in 2008 is going to be :-
1) Mobile to a point of being pervasive .
2) Context and location aware
3) Device seamless or even agnostic
4) Collaborative and contextual while allowing individuals multiple persona

So strap in its going to be exciting .As a geographer the whole location aware thing is going to be awesome

This might be wrong but as you all know what matters is not what you predict but what you miss !

Complet rubbish or do you have alternative views t you want to post and BTW adding Islayians blog to my blogroll

Friday, January 04, 2008

Looking forward looking back! The looking back bit!!

Well it's that time of year and along with my usual thoughts on what's coming I might for once reflect on what's past.
Last year things I hinted at

  • Mobile went massive. The story of
    • Devices IPhone, Ipod Touch, Asus Eeepc, Remtechs Umpc 650 and others, smartphones.
    • Peripherals battery powered projectors microvisions mobile phone projectors Wi-Fi memory cards fro digital cameras
    • Connectivity education deals by the 3,Cloud,Vodafone T-mobile mobile internet providers all in the area of education and 02 and as for Bluetooth well its here
    • Software mobile apps for Shozu , Facebook Gmail and Google Android and open handset alliance
    • SMS 1 billion texts a week in the UK and growing its not going away
  • Software went
    • Social
      • Facebook I didn't get till late on and now its part of my routine and I use instead of email and parallel to my blog
      • Microsoft 2007 has a great blogging from word function
      • Flock a Firefox derivative that integrates face Facebook and other social apps in the browsing experience
    • Browser web based
      • Gmail growth continued
      • Google presenter hit the streets (watch this one)
      • Scribefire became more functional for you keen bloggers
      • Tool bar additions kept coming
      • The whole Iphone,Ipod touch software integration raised the bar again
    • Geographical aware
      • GPS tagging of mobile device pictures became common and integration with packages like Google earth possible for mere mortals
    • Integrated

The key point about the Mlearning part of the mobile revolution is it has started to leave the pilot stage and enter the shipping lanes. The stealth technology has crept up on the mainstream across all fronts and mainstream is now integrating with the mobile or it is vice versa.

"Quote of the year Daniel Applequist of Vodafone in five years there will be one internet and it will be mobile!!" Future Mobile November 2007


  • Information went push not visit based
    • RSS Based beyond email is one of my mantra's
    • Google alerts and other feed notifiers became standard tools for me

What a great year and next year looks even more exciting

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Google UK Schools site and Royal Geographical Society offer Google Earth training events

Nice to see google offerring some resources for UK educators havent had a chance to appraise resoorces but worth a look

Intersting the Royal Geographical scopiety are offerring free courses in using google earth in Geography teaching Link here