Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is it me or can Radio 2 be really LOUD in the morning?

I followed my own thread last night and actually chose Radio 2 as my wake up channel this morning and... it worked..... almost. I woke up to the sound, turned the sound back down and spent 20 minutes thinking about getting up.... dohh!
Wednesday 29th July 2009
I attempted to get to work quickly following the awful forecast of a deluge at around 9 am this morning - I missed it it did arrive and to some extent is still with us.
I have been looking forward to today for a while now as Mrs H, myself and friends are off to The Hardwick near Abergavenny this evening for a sort of birthday/wedding anniversary meal ...Mmmmm looks good - check out the menu it looks very good!

Work tech news - there has been a thorough tidy up of our media lab today - see the obligatory video of the result ( from an iphone of course)-

I think that you would agree that the lab is looking pretty cool ( apologies for the slightly fast panning!) and talking of Cool -
Related to my blog from yesterday that little tyke Charlieissocoollike from Youtube is at Comic Con in San Diego ( lucky young pup) and in his you tube vodcast he mentions amongst other things the Tron Legacy ( you see you too can appear trendy!)

Other tech news ..... I thought that this had happened ages ago - the BBC announcement of the merger - Sorry an agreement- between the successful Microsoft and the less than shiny Yahoo which will allow Yahoo's search engine to use Microsoft Bing, with both sides talking up the deal you just know that something is going on behind the scenes - having read Planet Google by Randall Stross I would always be suspicious!
It also sounds as if the long running saga between the BBC and Spinvox over the supposed use of humans in Spinvox's voicemail to text service is still rumbling on - of course it helps that the BBC has one of the most read sites in the world at its disposal to fight this story!!! - be fair BBC!

p.s. To Charlie, Any friend of Mr. S. Fry is a friend of mine :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Note to self !

Choose a music channel for the clock radio for the 6.05 am wake up call. Radio 4 and The Today Programme does not work........the comfy RP Radiio 4 voices and their measured tones just send me back to sleep again.....apologies to Evan Davis, Ed Sturton et al but it doesn't get me jumping out of bed in the morning. Another reason for being sure of its lack of fitness for purpose........ no requests from Mrs H who rises at 7.30 to TURN IT DOWN! Once again Goodnight dear reader, sleep well whichever time zone you presently occupy.

Another day... another.... oooh a new website

Tuesday 28th July
Following the link to Courselab yesterday today we looked at LAMS International's ( Learning And Management Systems) tool for coding our online workshops in order to give them an interesting and easily navigable UI. This exercise will continue with a comparison test over the coming days... if anyone out there knows of anything else ( preferably opensource and free!) do let me know.
The rest of the day went into putting live our new look PD website, web designer Will and edtech expert James having been working on this over the past 3 months ( theming takes so long!) while I worked on finalising our online workshop calendar ( more or less ) for 2010. Here dear reader is a first look at the final product of our labour - it is built within our Moodle installation and should be fully functional including a language switch facility which should allow the linguists amongst you to have the site work in Spanish and French.

Admittedly there is an issue with the translation of the header panel within our Moodle theme .... ideas to assist with this to ......!

It felt good to finally be showing the IB world and beyond our revised site for the first time, this of course is not the end of the story.... we plan a further development which should give us quite a few additional capabilities....and the ability to act as a PD portal before the end of 2009 ( and certainly way ahead of Moodle 2.0!).
Tomorrow all of our school based coordinators will receive an email giving them page and 2010 calendar details.
We are not always working on these groundbreaking events, today for example the 80's ( yes it was 1982! for those not quite old enough there is a link here to a trailer for the 1982 original) hit ( hit perhaps too strong a word!!) film TRON and the possibility of it re emerging as TRON2 ( in 3D) The Tron Legacy in 2010 complete with Mr Jeff Bridges reprising Kevin Flynn as only he could.

Another piece of news which caught my eye this morning while enjoying my cereal prior to the 30 mile run to Cardiff Gate, was news that -
' The BBC has struck a landmark deal with four national newspaper groups to share video news on their websites for the first time.

The deal with Daily Mail & General Trust, Guardian News & Media – which publishes – Telegraph Media Group and Independent News & Media has been described as the latest step in the BBC's partnership plans, in which it will share content, expertise and technology in the name of public service.'

As reported in the guardian online today Tuesday 28th July. This could give a lifeline to those poor struggling online newspaper outlets..... or is it just the dear old Beeb considering its public service remit.... only time will tell.

As they say that ends the news.... good night

Monday, July 27, 2009

Time for a change of emphasis?

I guess that throughout the lifespan of a blog, its direction alters, at first subtly meaning that over time the end point is far away from where it began. This blog began way back in 2006 as an outlet for my thoughts, at that time as a classroom practitioner.
However over the past few months as my memory of being that, 'a classroom practitioner' using new web tools when they appeared and trying them out on my pupils has been fading fast. I now find myself in the cut and thrust of a educational business but not 'at the whiteboard face' somewhat removed, and as such I have lost the raison d'etre that I began with, and believe that it is time for a change of purpose to this blog.
That is not to say that I will not return to the classroom, as I find myself increasingly missing the collaborations that I was previously making with classes and teachers all over the world. It is a distinct possibility - all I need is to find schools or LEA's which recognise a 21st century technologist as a teaching position ( if there is anyone out there listening..... there may be a recruit waiting ), until then things go on following the new path.
'You can take the boy out of school.... but not school out of the boy!!!'

The new direction will be to make this blog much more of a daily journal of thoughts/projects and tech ideas that occur naturally throughout the day.

Monday 27th July 2009
Today was a good case in point, Monday morning following a long weekend I was in work at 7.50am and spent the morning registering teachers onto our online workshops that are coming up from August to October this year.
Mid morning myself and colleagues were looking for a few viable images for our new look online PD page which will hopefully appear here tomorrow. In the afternoon I suggested to a colleague that we investigate software that will enable us to build courses which can then be uploaded to Moodle we came up with a few - free downloadable courselab being one of these. Having downloaded the software we will have a play to see how well it might suit our needs.
More tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The need to change the DNA of teaching

Teachers need to create a new pedagogical DNA in order to prepare their pupils for the world yet to come.....? Discuss.
This very much follows the Daniel Pink's opening keynote of the IB America's Conference in Quebec last week 'A New Mind for a New World'

In his excellent and inspiring presentation Dan extolled the teaching profession not to attempt to prepare today's youth for the jobs of the past, and to encourage our pupils to become 'multi's' able to cope with the choices and challenges that will face them throughout their working lives.

Even as a pretty hard-boiled web head I believe that we need to ensure most of all that what we teach our pupils is relevant and that more tech is not always the answer, rigour and academic endeavour will enable us to help produce those multi's, the addition of well used i.e. technically invisible tech will enable us to add a dimension which will help to equip our pupils for the 21st Century.
As teachers and educators our need to is subtly allow our teaching DNA to embrace the 'brave new world'. However I still firmly believe that to do this the technology must become invisible in the classroom, allowing it to just be the way you work - in the DNA.
I know that towards the end of my time in the classroom the technology we used in the classroom became the way we worked blogs ( Classblogmeister and blogger) and podcasting as far as I was concerned were just additional tools to enable my pupils to write and present their work orally.... the tech (laptop, camera's, video, audio etc)I hope just became invisible.

There is another issue which also arises from Dan Pink's presentation, we still appear to think that we teachers are in the best position to advise pupils about the world of work.... however if you ask many entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin or Steve Jobs, my guess would be that they trod their own 'new' path and while I realise of course that this can't be true for the rest of us however a quick look at Karl Fisch's seminal work 'Did You Know; Shift Happens - Globalization; Information Age'from 2007 would surely show us that we cannot possibly know now the skill set that the coming generations will need .... apart from the ability to be multi's.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vimeo does it again! (wow!)

Kuroshio Sea - 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world - shot on 5dmk2 from Jon Rawlinson on Vimeo.

The video sharing site Vimeo has done it again, and have had posted this spectacular video of The World's 2nd largest deep sea tank in Okinawa, Japan ( be warned you will need a pretty high spec machine to do this video true justice in HD!)
YOU MUST VIEW IT FULL SCREEN - it will blow your mind :-)

Podcasting/podcatching for the beginner NECC 2009

Check out ISTE Vision for a whole host of goodies from ISTE.

Podcasting! Everybody seems to be doing it. If you've been afraid to jump into the podcasting waters, join us and learn how! - Larry Anderson, National Center for Technology Planning with Anna Adam, Lucy Gray, Helen Mowers, Craig Nansen and Julene Reed Monday, 6/29/2009, 8:30am 9:30am WWCC Ballroom C

Educating the Mobile Learner ( NECC 2009)

(irst it was one pencil per child. Then it was one book per child. Now, one mobile computer per child. Learn how to leverage this fundamental, global change in K-12. - Elliot Soloway, University of Michigan with Cathleen Norris Tuesday, 6/30/2009, 12:30pm 1:30pm WWCC Ballroom B)
Thank you to Julie Lindsay (@julielindsay) for the heads up on this fantastic presentation from NECC in Washington DC 30/06/09

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