Friday, July 30, 2010

Charity text

Well giving by SMS in the UK has become a big thing for example .

 £3.4 million raised for sport relief by text   
All text donations made by the public have benefited from 100% out payments thanks to mobile network operators waiving their usual fees. (when dome mobile industry ! )

Charity text details of the framework can be found on the MDA Charity Text   site basically operators have waived fees and allowed you to donate in units of of £5.00, £10 etc from phone credit .
Basically a brilliant idea nad if the the tax people sort out ability to gift aid as well it could be even better. But for an industry some like to kick I would like to give them a huge thumbs up . Next time you see an appeal reach for the phone and use those thumbs wisely to send a charity text !!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SMS is where its at !!

Great guest spot from Mark Hawkins is the Director of Communications of the Mobile Data Association (MDA),

Text messaging is still the universal lowest common denominator in communication using a phone other than voice .

Great article worth a read and please before all you Apple fan boys and girls and Android types shout at me just look at some of the global stats for SMS .

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How fast is your broadband latest Ofcom research

The UK’s most comprehensive broadband speeds research reveals that the UK’s average actual fixed-line residential broadband speed has increased by over 25 per cent over the past year.

well about time to guys . compare your provider and your actual speeds with figure on page at

 Read the full broadband speeds research report

also some useful links on consumer guide to broadband speeds   and choosing a broadband deal

well worth a look.

G cloud generation 1 hits parts of US

Basically Google apps for government they have won approval under  Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification. US based servers security etc. . Coming to the UK very soon I suspect very worth watching closely . Interestingly the cloud nature could support outsourced /franchised opperations more easily and maybe popular route with current UK administration  .

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

St Marys City School Mobile Learning Technology

If you haven't yet yet picked up on the work by Scott Newcomb and colleagues in Ohio you should.
Scott's school district has taken the great step of allowing every 3rd to 6th grade learner a mobile learning device. In my earlier post I mentioned how the US is catching up fast in the mobile space .
Scott's website is a great place to start if your looking for ideas , acceptable use policies helpful hints. It could save you hours of trawling the web and maybe costly time consuming mistakes. Now I am not saying cloning but look at it take ideas and give them your own twist/flavour . Now I am a fan of working with learner owned device but in primary (and secondary) that can be tricky so Scott's and colleagues approach is one way to proceed. .

But great work by Scott colleagues and his learners needs shouting about .

The strap line to the project of

The 4 C's with MLDs - Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity

alone makes it worth visiting.

go on have a look I am planning on interviewing Scott later in the summer so anyone got any questions leave them as a comment.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Smart Phones improving math scores

I hate to say it but is the US catching up or overtaking the UK in the US of Smart Phones in education. Notable UK success such as Paul Haigh at Notre Damm school in Sheffield to name but one are begining to be matched by trialsd and sometimes big roll out in the US.

Interesting mix of state and commercial mobile phone company funding !!;jsessionid=30541F7591AB5CABDF672228E7CAF284?contentguid=w0S84Tqm&full=true#display

Friday, July 16, 2010

'I'd rather give up my kidney than my phone' and "Step away from the Ipod"

Tale of two articles first from the Guardian.

Slightly surreal headline but worth a read.

75% of all teenagers (and 58% of 12-year-olds) now have a mobile phone. Almost 90% of phone-owning teens send and receive texts, most of them daily. Half send 50 or more texts a day; one in three send 100. In fact, in barely four years, texting has established itself as comfortably "the preferred channel of basic communication between teens and their friends".

Seconldy from Bill Thomson technology correspondent of the BBC Another great headline step away from the Ipod contrasting current statements as mobile phones being legitimate items for student searches .

both very funny but read and reflect a while !! Now where have I put my phone !

How to add Youtube Videos to SlideShare Presentations

Now this has been out a while but just realised from twitter that people hadnt noticed so watch the slideshare(how else) to embed Youtube video into slideshare.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

vision of students today ! Mike Wesch makes one think again

Mike Wesch of Kansas  University  along with Dr. Terry Anderson. Professor & Canada Research Chair in Distance learning my top two academic keynotes has done it again using his and his students medium of choice video. this specific video  is nearly three years old . But still interesting

Great video

A Vision of Students Today

I also love his one on community  college (FE in the UK ). parody of the wesch video  interesting contrast to Kansas state.

A Vision of Community College Students Today

Ipod touches dos and Dont's

Tony Vincent has done this excellent post with the aim of helping people manage classroom or school roll outs of IPod touches all common sense but frankly tremendous advice all in one place . I would add one make the home screen image either number or name of iPod student so if you get confused try to power it up and you recognise the image/device. But great list Tony Cheers.

facebook style like and dislike comes to the real world.

facebook style like and dislike comes to the real world in the form of stickers and staps this sort of amuses me and is blurring of virtual and real  again. US based
4" x 3" Post-it ® Notes

Online whiteboards reviews

take with a pinch of salt but interesting set of reviews of online whiteboard just shows much functionality is now available in this space. Its also going to grow and grow.

have a look at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Microsoft Office Labs

Thanks to David to pointing out this on the Microsoft Office Labs site .

Through it discovered a range of useful tools add ones

 pptPlex for PowerPoint.
It   uses Plex technology to give you the power to zoom in and out of slide sections and move directly between slides that are not sequential in your presentation. Watch the videos below to see how pptPlex can help you organize and present information in a non-linear fashion. Test drive pptPlex and wow your audience with your next presentation. Its a free add on for Office get it at

The Forgotten Attachment Detector (FAD)

Great name does just that actually guys so does Gmail and Thunderbird 3
Discover how FAD can help you avoid the risk of a forgotten email attachment, saving you time and embarrassment!Play Video
Watch Video
but worth a look

Speed Launch a short cut to anywhere
Very neat drag any file into speed launch bulls eye area tag and any time you want it go to the bulls eye and click on the name you gave it it appears . Very cool!
View Slide Show

Thats a bit rich ;-)

Well I am a huge Gmail user and have embedded skype and twitter names into the signature as well as my blog but uptil now its been plain text. Well those clever chaps at google have now allowed you to embed rich text so hyperlinks,colours,emboldened italics etc . It also allows multiple signatures for email email address associated with your account. Yet another sign Gmail is heading head long into the business and institutional area,
. Well done chaps !!

How to Test Drive Google Android on Your PC Without Buying a Phone

Nice android emulator you can download to your PC. Android is top of my OS watch list . The devices such as Dell Streak,HTCDesire and exciting TI "Blaze" are taking or going to take a big market share .
Thanks to John for the tip !

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mobile Technologies in Lifelong Learning Motill

Lifelong learning linked to mobile . A lot of research in Mobile has been in the area of formal learning and findings have been mixed. . But the area of informal learning and mobile has been under researched and you dont have to be guru to realise mobile has made huge impacts here . This project has looked at policy implication in area of Life Long Learning of mobile technologies four partners
Worth a look at this overview below

Introdution to the MOTILL project (PDF)

worth visiting project website at

Monday, July 12, 2010

DIY Android Apps

A emigration one tool but I predict that simple drag and drop app greation tools will be with us all by the 1st quarter of next year.

App inventor is the first ? Google App Inventor but remember its the idea that makes the killer app but useful in teaching me thinks interesting they used learners as tester as well as coders.

Have look at the video

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Thick fingers no think thick buttons instead

Now I love the hero as an android phone but will acknowledge hands down as will others like @jamesclay the onscreen keyboard isnt great. The iphone does win there but I have been trying out the thickbuttons apps from the android market place. This changes the size of the keyboard buttons according to your previously typed words or by words its predicts spelling of. It takes a little while to get used to but I definitely like it . Worth having a look and of course its free!

ThickButtons: finger text input for touchsreen smartphones

Sunday, July 04, 2010


The N-Quire project arose out of the personal Inquiry project involving Nottingham University and the Open University .

Involved developing a approach of scripted enquiry learning working with 11-14 year olds to carry out Scientific explorations . They approach linked classrooms, school environment ,homes and local area supported by mobile technologies shared spaces .
They used 4 pieces of "mobile Kit"

  • asus eepc
  • garmin GPS
  • digital camera
  • date logger and sensors

The project developed a web or locally loaded computer toolkit (authored in drupal).
Learners looked at
  • organic v non organic food looking at storage, and other issues. Including letting food decompose in learners mum fridges
  • The effect of noise and disturbance on wild bird feed habits around schools
  • fitness activity 
Interesting projects involving working with learners from Nottingham and Milton Keynes schools

the project has a web presence

scripted enquiry tool can be used online or downloaded and hosted locally . The project is looking at future work using integrated devices for data collection ie Iphone Android phones

Friday, July 02, 2010

Libretto W100

Is it a tablet is a pad is it a book. The new dual screen libretto by Toshiba showcased by engadget cant work out how to use it guys well use your imagination I can . the lower screen keyboard different language set up symbol set up for specialist users . The obvious games platform potential and the potential for integrating gps with maps on one screen satellite photo on other etc . the potential for graphics use in education is obvious to me and the touch pad is obvious in this area.

Proof of concept maybe but to be honest its got legs the price tag is an issue . The old libretto back in the 90's wasn't cheap but neither was the other ultra compacts like the Sony mini viao at the time.

so good to see Toshiba; leading innovation and not just sitting back on its current product range .

video from engadget worth a look

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Around The World In 80 Days with QR Codes

Now I and others talk of augmented books well this is an interesting take with each page have a QR code to take readers to areas to discuss the book look at interactive maps and basically follow the journey

Front and back cover of book with QR Codes

video is worth listening to though I don't agree with all of it.

GPS "Global Poetry System"

Thanks to my London based culture  correspondent @terriK for spotting this on the Southbank in London . The global poetry system gets users to record poetry geoegraphically tag it and up load . A simple but brilliant use of the technology

"Global Poetry System is a Southbank Centre project to explore and map the poetry of the world. It’s based on the idea that poetry is all around us, from gravestones to graffiti, from birthday cards to blogs, in the landscape and in our memories. GPS invites you to take a fresh look at where you are and find the poetry that inspires you. Photograph it, video it, audio record it or write it down - tell the world where it is on the map."
info at

the map is worth a look to at

video explains a bit about it.

Global Poetry System
Personally I think its brilliant and one I think you could integrate with other technologies like QR codes .