I really enjoyed reading Bill Thompson’s column on the BBC News website this week, where he wonders about how technology will change teaching.
If every student has a powerful network device that plugs them into the network, and work on digitising every book and other forms of knowledge has been successful, then what is the point of teaching “facts”?
He makes the very valid point.
Just as we try to encourage kids today to learn enough mental arithmetic to decide whether to believe the calculator’s answer, so we need those using tomorrow’s vast supercomputers to have a sense of what is going on that will allow them to judge the validity of the answers they get.
Adobe today announced the immediate availability of Adobe AIR, a new platform for building rich internet applications (RIAs) across different platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Adobe AIR enables developers to create RIAs on the desktop using the skills and Web technologies — such as HTML, Ajax, PDF, Adobe Flash and Adobe Flex — they already employ. Applications deployed on Adobe AIR have the advantages of browser-based RIAs, such as speed of development, ease of use, and access from virtually anywhere. Yet they also have the benefits of desktop applications, such as the ability to read/write local files, work with other applications on a user’s computer and maintain local data storage on the desktop.
It’s an interesting variation on applications, some use desk bound applications such as Microsoft Office, whilst others use web based applications such as Google Apps.
It’s looking like Adobe AIR will allow users to have the flexibility of web based applications with the backup of desk bound applications when there is no internet connection (such as on plane).
Elonex who I remember as a manufacturer of high end laptops according to the Times will be releasing a £99 umpc laptop at the Education Show later this month.
…it includes a free word processor and spreadsheet, a free web browser and free e-mail software. It has a 7in screen, a rubbery little keyboard and no CD drive. And it all runs on an ageing chip that was designed before its target audience of seven-year-olds were even born.
For the MoLeNET Podcasting event I decided it might be useful to have a 2GB Micro SD card for my personal LG Viewty mobile phone.
Now I know I can buy one for about £4 from Amazon but I wanted a card for the event and didn’t have the time to wait for Amazon to deliver, so popped to Cribbs Causeway near Bristol on the way home from work to get one.
Now I know that there was no way I was going to get one for £4 off the high street retailers, so I was willing to pay up to about £12 for one, thinking I am getting ripped off, but at least I will have the card in time.
Now what I couldn’t believe was how much some high street retailers can get away with charging.
O2 was the “cheapest” place at £19, but generally most of the other mobile phone stores were charging £30 and one store, Zavvi had the nerve to be charging £40!
Guess who went without and is now going to go to Amazon.
Seems I am not the only one enamoured with Asus’ tiny little linux based UMPC.
The Asus EEE PC perched on my knee combines GNU software with a Linux kernel powered by an Intel Celeron Mobile Processor to produce a very extraordinary little laptop. It weighs less than a kilogram, starts up from cold in about 12 seconds and shuts down in five. It has no internal hard disk and no CD drive. It offers 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a seven-inch display; wireless, dial-out modem and ethernet adaptors are available for networking and internet connections, three USB ports, mini-jack sockets for headphones and microphone, a VGA out, an SD card slot and a built-in webcam. All for about £200 – less than the price of a show, dinner and taxi for two in London’s West End.