Category Archives: Learning Technology

… no really it has. It’s come up with this fantastic product, the electronic book. It’s so much more than ‘book v1’, it’s interactive. ‘Books v2’ is so much better for the current generation of students. Apple thinks our current generation of students are too stupid to understand words and need pictures and too stupid to understand diagrams, so they need videos. Seriously Apple, is this meant to ‘change education’? The announcement happened while I was at Lotusphere and I saw some tweets from some people I respect in the academic world about Apple ‘reinventing education’. With IBM failing to provide a working wireless network at Lotusphere I’ve only now had a chance to download the iBook Author and view the Apple announcement. Don’t get me wrong, Apple do a lot of good things with education and well designed ibooks will help provide a more engaging experience for many pupils,…

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One of the things I liked about SXSW were the Accelerator sessions where web startups pitched their ideas to a room full of investors, press and the paying public. The winner of News Accelerator was Storify, a website that allows users to curate tweets, photos, videos and web by dragging them into a single stream of information to tell a story. It’s a bit like gathering news headlines in a scrap book. It’s been used during some of the big events of 2011, such as the ‘Arab Spring’ and Worldwide ‘Occupy’ movements as an alternative to the mainstream media. Since SXSW I’ve been using it to curate my own tweets, photos and videos for various topics. Storify ‘stories’ can be embedded on websites, and I’ve included my ‘Gigs of 2011’ story. It’s recently been revised which has improved the reliability of external services. But it still needs quite a bit…

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On Tuesday, I spent a fascinating day at Apple’s EU Education Summit. The summit explored how mobile learning has the potential to act as a transformation agent in European Higher Education. (and in doing so push Apple’s products) The day started well, with Apple providing all delegates with an iPad for the day, fully loaded with educational applications. A nice touch was that Apple had contracted CampusM, a company specialising in educational app development, to develop an iPad application to support the conference. The app provided personalised information such as timetables, attendee lists, maps and presenter bios. It even alerted you of where you needed to be. The day was a mixture of presentations and hands-on sessions from Apple employees, Apple Educational mentors and case studies from European Universities. Almost all the sessions focused on mobile learning, usually with the emphasis on Apple products. The non-Apple presentations started with Theodore…

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There’s going to be a lot of comment on the iPad and it’s capabilities. I thought I’d take a look at it from a ‘Higher Education’ perspective. The ‘tablet’ form factor is ideally suited to education. Ever since Microsoft released the first Tablet PC it’s been clear to many in education that this interface was the answer to many of our needs. Unfortunately, Windows and the applications it runs, has never fulfilled the promise. Maybe Apple can provide us with the answer. The Student Perspective Laptop usage in Universities has been growing exponentially. Most Universities provide students with access to a wide range of internet based systems and resources, such as email, learning environments, e-books, journals, videos, podcasts etc, along with the wireless infrastructure to enable students to use their own laptop throughout campus. So laptop usage at my University has increased significantly over the last few years. My first…

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Sony have released the beta version of their ‘Home’ service and just as I was about to go to bed, an email’s arrived inviting me to join the beta. If you’re not aware, ‘Home‘ is a virtual online environment where you can meet other Playstation users. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of open ‘second life’ type environments. Virtual simulations have many applications and I’ve created them myself, but open environments where the real world is recreated in the virtual, I’ve yet to be convinced have any use. A department at work has built a very big impressive ‘virtual campus’ within ‘Second Life’ and there are a small number of evangelists who believe it’s the ‘future of teaching’. I think at present most academic staff have yet to see any benefits of it (i.e. why do you have to travel in a 3D world to a room…

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