Category Archives: coffee

Are you a resident or a visitor?

One of the things we seem to do in the world of e-learning is categorise ourselves and our learners into groups.Are you a resident or a visitor?

One of the key pieces of work on this was from Marc Prensky on Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. Now I was never really very happy about this idea that if you were old (like me, well I am not that old, but it’s sometime now since I first sent e-mail, 1987 I think it was) you were only a  digital immigrant and young people were digital natives.

However when I looked at the students at my college, I couldn’t see this age divide at all. Yes it was true many of the students were very happy and capable with handing digital devices and playing games, but not all.

We had some digital natives that fitted the description, but we also had a fair few that didn’t. There were students who didn’t and in some cases couldn’t use the internet and the web, not because they hadn’t been immersed in a digital world since birth, but because they didn’t want to. Also there are issues with many students in relation to the digital divide; they may play video games, but don’t have access to the web.

I also couldn’t see how myself fitted into this, I may not fit the digital native sterotype, but I knew (well others told me) that I was very much immersed into a digtial world and used the internet in ways in which they couldn’t fathom or understand. Was I merely a digital immigrant?

From my experiences on the web I met many digital natives and quite a few of them were over forty!

So it was quite refreshing to read on Dave White’s blog a post about residents or visitors to the online world. Like a few others, notably Andy Powell and Josie Fraser, I quite like this concept.

There are some who live in an online world and see the internet as part of their everyday life. This I can identify with. It was for example very strange at ALT-C 2008 to meet Kev Hickey, someone I knew very well from Jaiku. Over the last year we had discussed many e-learning issues and shared experiences of applications, but also I had seen his photographs from Blackpool, I knew the names of his dogs, I felt he was someone I would call a friend.

Are you a resident or a visitor?

So it was very weird to actually meet him in person at ALT-C. He is just one of many people I know from online in just my e-learning sphere, better wave to Lisa at this point…

I can quite easily see how that I can be a digtial resident, living part of my life in an online world. I do use the internet a lot and do use a range of online services and applications to make my life easier, to communicate, to share, to drink coffee and to have a bit of fun as well.

Working with many staff in the college (and quite a few students as well) I often find that they are merely visitors, using the online world when it suits them and meets their needs.

I’m reminded of a member of staff at a training session who was quite vocal about being a “technophobe” and didn’t want to use technology in her teaching (note the word teaching and not learning). So basically I ignored her, there were staff there who were interested. As we moved around the room, another member of staff started talking about how she used learning technologies, how she used the VLE and then she remarked on how she used MSN chat to converse with her students at a time and place to suit them. At this point the “technophobe” spoke up and said, “oh I use MSN chat all the time to talk to my daughter in Australia”. For me she is the perfect example of a visitor to the online world, using the technologies when  it suits her needs and ignoring the potential that other tools, services and applications could offer her and importantly her learners.

Having said that, on Josie’s Blog there was a comment from Mike Amos-Simpson which I think is worth repeating.

I think that perhaps when its considered as a ‘world’ it maybe makes too many people feel like aliens!

I agree with Mike that calling it a world could alienate people, but then again so does using the terms like digital native and digital immigrant.

So are you a visitor or a resident? Or do you prefer native and immigrant?

Order your Starbucks by iPhone

Imagine going to Starbucks having already ordered your drink from your iPhone?

Order your Starbucks by iPhone

Engadget reports on an application for the iPhone which allows you to place an order for a drink so it’s ready when you get there.

Quickorder, as you can probably imagine, would enable iPod touch users to swing by their local Starbucks, order up their favorite drink and avoid a good deal of that always questionable human interaction.

Just demonstrates how useful/useless an application for a mobile device can be.

If you can order coffee, there must be ways in which you can use similar technologies for learning.

Using Jaiku (or Twitter) for learning in a coffee shop

I demonstrated Jaiku at ALT-C and then sent a good hour out of session taking to a English Literature lecturer who was very interested in using Jaiku (or Twitter) to enhance a session on discussing a book.

The book was set in a cafe, and he wanted the students to go to a cafe and then post their observations and discuss the book whilst drinking in a cafe.

Using Jaiku (or Twitter) for learning in a coffee shop

Obviously you could do this face to face (difficult in a cafe to find enough chairs) likewise you could use a moodle discussion forum (such as this one), however one of the strengths of using something like Jaiku or Twitter was that the students wouldn’t need a wireless laptop, all they need is a phone capable of SMS and what student doesn’t have a phone these days?

Photo source.

Nice idea, but why McDonalds!

I read with interest (and disappointment) that a certain fast food company is going to offer free wireless in their restaurants. Now they use the word restaurant to describe their establishments, personally I think that breaks the Trade Descriptions Act!

The Register reports:

Proletarian fryhouse McDonald’s has announced it will offer free Wi-Fi in its 1,200 UK burger outlets by the end of the year. The move will make McDonald’s the country’s largest public hotspot provider, and pits it against Starbucks’ pay-as-you-go T-Mobile service for high street internet supremacy.

Now the thought of free wireless is always something that I love the concept of, for example: Caffe Gusto in Bristol (hasten to add only in some of their branches) has (or had) free wireless and if you popped in for a coffee you might only be in there for fifteen or twenty minutes, but enough time so you can quickly check your e-mail, do a Jaiku presence report, check a few websites and so on…

coffee

The problem with something like T-Mobile at Starbucks is that unless you have an account you can only purchase at a minimum a thirty minute slot, or even a full hour. This means you spend probably twice as much as you did on coffee to access the internet, and then you feel like you need to spend the full time in order to get your value for money.

Now the problem I have with that certain place that will offer free wireless is that I don’t like their coffee (is it too hot) and I don’t like their food (way too salty).

Please can other (nice) places start to offer free wireless, I would really appreciate it, please.

A warning to all coffee lovers out there

Found this interesting article on the BBC News website.

Girl overdoses on espresso coffee – A teenager was taken to hospital after overdosing on espresso coffee.

It would appear that she had seven double espresso coffees and as a result had overdosed on caffeine!

A warning to all coffee lovers out there, I know that a lot of teachers and lecturers seem to thrive on coffee, or they can only survive through the average day in FE by drinking coffee.

It would seem that extra caution is needed where I work as we now have Starbucks coffee available in our college cafes and I quite like the off Starbucks espresso now and again .