Category Archives: stuff

How will technology change teaching?

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.

Overall an interesting column, well worth a read.

Adobe AIR

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.

Adobe AIR

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).

The £99 UMPC

The £99 UMPC

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.

Read more at the Times. Elonex’s website. The news has even reached Engadget.

You’re going to charge how much?

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.You're going to charge how much

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!

£40!

How much!

Guess who went without and is now going to go to Amazon.

Stephen Fry talks EeePC

Seems I am not the only one enamoured with Asus’ tiny little linux based UMPC.Stephen Fry talks EeePC

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.

So is Stephen Fry.

Asus Eee PC arrives

I have been wondering how good the Asus Eee PC is. The small linux UMPC is certainly creating waves in the tech world as well as the MoLeNET community.

Asus Eee PC arrives

Lilian (one of the MoLeNET mentors) demonstrated one at the MoLeNET Online Conference last Friday and I was quite intrigued.

So you can imagine my surprise when the one I had ordered arrived today.

It was interesting to see how this small UMPC was going to work out.

It booted up fine and after a minimal setup process was ready to work. Already loaded with internet, office, media and other applications it is ready to go.

I tried a few things such as running a PowerPoint presentation and playing a video file.

It handled the few things I tried with ease.

I still need to try the internet applications, so it will be interesting to see how the Eee PC can be used to access our college VLE and other online services.

New Mobile Browser

There’s a new browser for mobile devices providing a desktop experience on your windows mobile smartphone or PDA. Symbian and other platform editions are on their way.New Mobile Browser

The makers claim that it is the first mobile browser fully compatible with technologies such as asynchronous Javascript and XML (AJAX), Java, and embedded Flash.

Currently it’s a free download for US users only. Update now active in the UK too.

More info at:
http://www.skyfire.com/

From Handheld Learning