Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.

Archive for the ‘ Mobile ’ Category

Mobile technologies in the classroom…
July 5th, 2010

Mobile technologies in the classroom. Well, that is a bit of a misnomer. Mobile technologies should take one out of the classroom of course. I am conducting a presentation on this topic

This year the school at which I teach took delivery of about 120 iPod Touches. They are maintained in these secure cases not unlike a camera bag within foam that was cut to hold 20 of the devices. Teachers can collect the case and then distribute the iPods to the students. They can access the Internet wirelessly. I have observed students using literacy apps. The students sit on stairs, the floor, at desks, anywhere. Inside. Outside. Walls have no meaning. After all, the students are portable.

The school has also obtained two iPads and I have been working with two of our disabled students. Each student has found the iPad to be a worthwhile tool. It is still early days. They have worked with WritePad and Brushes and found the tools accessible. WritePad incorporates hand writing recognition software which I find is quite useful. The iPad is proving to be a remarkable device.

Personally I think the school should sell all the iPod Touches to the students and purchase iPads with the proceeds.

There is much to consider when deploying mobile technologies in teaching and learning. All of the usual suspects apply of course: curriculum integration, suitability, accessibility, staff training, privacy, cost. Then there are the pedagogical considerations… constructivist, situated, collaborative, informal and so on. Read this and this for more ideas.

I have been building a mindmap with some of the ideas that have crossed my mind. I began this mindmap on the MRT between Tiong Bahru and Boon Lay here in Singapore. I used Mindnode on the iPhone. After lunch on Sunday. It was quite easy actually. I emailed to myself and completed it on the Mac. Have a look. I should make it shareable so others can add and subtract. Let me look into that. What do you think?

Mobile Technologies MindMap

This is a work in progress. If you wish to explore more on this topic you may like to consult the excellent references linked to below.

Educause ~ Mobile and Handheld Computing
Educause ~ Cloud Computing
Educause ~ Mobile Learning
New Media Consortium ~ Horizon Reports: 2009 and 2010
Futurelab ~ Mobile technologies and learning
Educause ~ Seven Things You Should Know About…

Cloud Computing
Mobile Apps for Learning
QR Codes
Multi-touch Interfaces
Augmented Reality

November 1st, 2009

Have been reconnecting with people during the last few weeks. Good people. Some of the reconnections have been face to face and others via my personal learning network. It has been an enriching experience.

Some of you may have observed that I have been hovering within Twitter a little more lately. Thanks for the replies and retweets.

Will gradually increase the blogging frequency and consolidate some of the spokes of my social media cycle. During the coming months.

I am just beginning to rebuild my web site. I will make the shift from the old to the new during the next two weeks or so. Part of the process.

My mojo took flight this year. It had been bitten by a black dog. That dog has now bolted after a swift kick and the mojo is settling in, still a little uneasy. Keeps looking out the gate for that damn black dog.

This was out of the blue and something of a surprise. It has been a fight. I lost some of the battles but in the long run I know I will win the campaign. Maybe I did not actually lose the battles, I simply think I did. It was just a part of me that lost the battles. The experience has certainly sorted out the chaff from the grain.

It has been good just lately. I have met members of my personal learning network in person. From Clay Burell, Siva, Kevin Lim & Kenneth Pinto in Singapore through to Steve Madsen. Judy O’Connell and Dean Groom in Sydney. Amazing, simply amazing. This aspect of the personal learning network we should not take for granted.

I am so fortunate and dare I say it, blessed, to meet so many good and supportive people. You all know who you are. Here, away and at school too. Selfless, giving, forgiving, sharing, undestanding and real. Thank you.

The photograph was taken in Xi Meng Ting in Taipei. I was shopping with my lovely wife Shao Ping. When you exit the station this is the first thing you see. People. Real people. Good people. Lots if people. All sorts of people. Thank goodness for people. Thank goodness for you.

PS. Techie stuff : Sent via email from my trusty little iPhone and routed with the help of Posterous to my blog, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. Not bad, eh?

Posted via email from Watershed Lite

Blog and site moved to new server
June 28th, 2009

This blog and my main web site has been shifted to a new server by my host ICDSoft. The migration and the upgrade to 10gbyte of server space was free. Excellent service and brilliant support.

As a result of the migration some image links and similar may appear ‘broken’ as the site propagates across the net and dns caches are updated.

If you do spot a persistent broken link please drop me a line or even a direct message via Twitter.

Winter approaching…
May 9th, 2009

Winter approaches. It is an incredible Autumn morning here on the Illawarra coast.  See the little photo below.
Digital storytelling has crossed my mind of late. Recently conducted a workshop on the topic. It was most enjoyable. I had a creative and highly participative group of teachers and academic staff based in Singapore.
Digital storytelling is fine in itself. The term ‘digital’ does not rest well with myself. I tire of prefixing teaching and learning strategies with terms such as ‘digital’, ‘web 2.0′ and the like. At times I have no choice as such terms are required to market my workshops.
Storytelling is simply that. It is irrelevant which tool you apply to tell the story. Paper, paint, voice, keyboards. As long as the story is shared.
If the story can be shared via traditional approaches then why bother with ‘digital’ methods? The key to that question is to ensure that the digital strategy provides an avenue of expression and interaction not possible with the traditional approach. The technology has to make a difference.
Technology affords many possibilities in this regard. Where to begin?
Take good old Audacity, for example. You know, the free open source audio recording and editing software. A single storyteller can create a multitude of characters with some careful editing, selecting and filtering.
I would recommend storyboarding beforehand. Generate characters, a plot and the script, even just in general terms. Once the story is mapped out then the recording can begin.
Audacity allows multiple tracks to be recorded so a variety of characters can be recorded by an individual. Tracks can be named according to character and dialogue.
How to differentiate between the various characters if a single student has recorded the story? Select the track for a particular character and alter the pitch using the appropriate effects filter. Raise the pitch, lower the pitch. A single student can be a burly bouncer, an anxious astronaut, or a vexed vixen.
Plug in more than one student and you could have a virtulal panoply of characters.
You could even have an extraterrestrial in the mix. Record any dialogue. Filter the dialogue using ‘pitch’ and ‘backwards’. There you have it, one alien. Allow the remainder of the dialogue to generate an understanding of the conversation with the alien. Could be an exercise in itself: Codebreaking first contact with an alien species.
Audacity also allows for tracks to be easily shifted backwards and forwards in the timeline affording opportunities for flashbacks, stories to be told backwards, and the juxtaposition of contrasting dialogue.
You can also make use of both channels with some mixing. Play two pieces of dialogue simultaneously and simply ensure one is mixed to the left channel and the other to the right channel. A single student could generate an argument between two different characters.
The characters could come from different times, dimensions, places, planets, universes and states of being. Why interview a person when you could interview a ‘rock’, a ‘leaf’ or an ‘atom’? Give it a voice and let it explain the meaning of life. Personification is a great teaching and learning strategy when peppered with a little dose of Audacity.
Then there is the tool adored by many. Voicethread. It is a pity, dare I say it, that it is web based. Would love to see a software client for the tool that allowed offline storytelling creation that could then uploaded to the web.
Voicethread is nevertheless a useful tool. Take an old photograph. Upload it and invite others to recollect or tell their story. “I was there too…”
Upload a fake photograph to Voicethread courtesy of a little photoshopped magic. Invite analysis and feedback.
Invite your students to generate a storyboard. Paint the story, scan the artwork, upload to Voicethead and have others tell the story. More artwork, more ideas. A Voicethread soap, saga or serial.
Need to go. Lunch and an impending flat battery. More later.

Sent via iPhone through a Posterous wormhole to alternative universes in Twitter, Facebook and the Watershed.

Posted via email from Watershed Lite

Storm off the Illawarra coastline
April 20th, 2009

Shao Ping, Mary and I have gone for a drive to check out the big seas. A decent storm just crossed the coast traveling up from the south east after gathering some intensity on the Pacific.

Sent via iPhone and routed via Posterous to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and my blog, Watershed.

Posted via email from Watershed Lite