Monday, August 24, 2009

Call for Moodle Developers at the IBO

The IBO is looking to expand its online professional development workshops and is now actively looking for developers experienced in the use of Moodle to work with subject matter experts to build these new offerings link or here
We look forward to getting applications for this exciting opportunity.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Save Nabaztag from extinction


I am grateful to Abigail Boak from here in Cardiff for the link to the Save Nabaztag site ( see above) it appears that the word is out and pledges coming in to save the rabbit from extinction - please don't allow this rare breed to go the way of the Dodo pledge!

Remember - A Rabbit is for life not just for Christmas - our Rabbit has a very busy social life as do many others, please do what you can to help.

Sad news from Engadget that OPLY - IB online professional learning's Nabaztag rabbit may be about to become an orphan as his parent company looks to be heading for bankruptcy.
'We always knew that any company courageous enough to take a technology designed to help mega-corps monitor their inventory levels and make it mainstream would face an uphill battle, but we never envisioned Nabaztag caving entirely to the pressure. If a snippet in a recent issue of Les Echos (a French financial paper) is to be believed, the creator of the rabbit-inspired Violet RFID Mirror has filed for bankruptcy, giving any company interested in keeping the brand alive until September 4th to toss out a cash infusion. Not like we're looking at you, Mr. VC, but we're definitely hoping to not be sobbing about this in just under a month. Tick, tock.' Engadget 11/08/09
We all hope that the company can be saved before September 4th for all of the Nabaztag rabitts out there - remember - A rabbit is for life not just for Christmas!


Nabaztag rabbit -good home required

Monday, August 17, 2009

Alas poor G1 Phone.......!

I for one sincerely hope that this news today from engadget is not true!!!! ( see below) Having had my trusty G1 since the first release date back in October 2008 on an 18 month contract, I as other early adopters who believed in the Google dream and as a result turned away from the iPhone still have 9 months of our contracts to run.
Unfortunately T Mobile in the UK unlike O2 have not as yet offered us their loyal supporters a lifeline to the latest Android device as an upgrade as far as I am aware. I would be willing to stay with the slightly chunky Google phone if there is this possibility, otherwise I may well decide to follow the crowd to the promised land of Mr Jobs....... nooooo! ...... please TMobile and Google get your act together and support those of us who decided to give the iPhone a miss.

engadget 17th August 2009
Pioneering T-Mobile G1 owners have been enjoying the spoils of Android 1.5 (or Cupcake, as it's known 'round these parts) for months now, but it looks as if that very treat will be the last taste of confectionery goodness that the smartphone gets. According to Android software engineer Dave Sparks, a time is soon coming when devs "wont be able to fit the latest [Android] release on the G1's internal flash," and yet another engineer has chimed in via Twitter to say that he "can't promise" that any update after 1.5 will fit. For whatever reason, HTC gifted the G1 with an incredibly meager amount of internal flash, and considering that no Android phone will support app storage / loading from a microSD card, there's no way to free up room for Donut, Eclair or Flan.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies

Source - BBC Dot.life blog makes interesting reading when looking at Gartner's 2009 report into the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies quoted below.

'In Gartner's 2009 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report, the company charts what's hot and what's not in the world of technology.

To this aim, they have looked at the maturity of 1,650 technologies and trends in 79 technology, topic and industry areas.

Technologies that are peaking during 2009 include cloud computing, e-books like those from Amazon and Sony and internet TV like Hulu.'

I must say speaking personally that looking into even a statistically robust 'crystal ball' is open to a large error margin - I for one do not see Cloud computing being at the peak of the graph with micro-blogging such as Twitter, Yammer et al as being on the downslope - however dear reader I look forward to your views on this.

'I am a PC' has a new Rival 'Going Google'

For a long while now PC and Mac users have been slugging it out as suppliers of the best OS - see below:



Now Google is going to take the fight to MS Office with its 'Going Google' campaign - look out for more ads taking the fight to Office ( yay!) as Google Apps takes on the world of PC


Thanks to TechFluff.tv via Techcrunch Europe for this snippet of news.

Warning to all Bubbleshare users!!



The warning came from Techcrunch's Michael Arrington on 13th August that Bubbleshare is now posting the message seen below that before the 15th November you should remove all of your photos from the site as it will cease to exist from that date.Personally this will affect two albums with around 30 images which I have already begun to re home on Flickr - Bubbleshare has suffered from not unfamiliar fate of being bought out by successively bigger fish, ending with Disney on April 2009, however I would agree with Techcrunch that part of the reason for this is usage, see below
I guess that this means that web 2.0 apps are being sorted increasingly now by the business ethic, hence we cannot blame the latest owners on Bubbleshare, we all have to take a portion of the burden as we moved on to other photo sharing apps and found those unique facilities of Bubbleshare were not enough to hold our attention. I suppose that there may be a hope that it may re emerge in a different form under the banner of its new owners...... however in the meantime could I urge everyone to take heed of the warning and remove your resources from Bubbleshare.com.

Podcast thanks


A big thank you to those who have been enjoying the recent AAODS Concert podcast at The Podfather podcast. All of those visitors have helped with podcast stats hurtling the Podfather to number 4 in the Educational Technology section of Podomatic - once again thank you.The blog and podcast have been quiet because from Wednesday 12th to Friday 14th of this week the online workshop team from the IBO have been enjoying a packed 3 day training on Moodle Course Creation ( 2 days) and Administration (1 day) at the elegant Park Plaza in the centre of Cardiff, with the excellent Ray Lawrence from How To Moodle. The training from this experienced Moodle trainer, provider and partner I must say is second to none an well worth the investment of time and funding for any organisation who may be coming to grips with the use of Moodle in their organisation.
Thank you very much to Ray and Jan from HTM, the staff at The Park Plaza ( and also staff from Ha Ha, Tiger Tiger and La Tasca for their hospitality).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

11th August 2009 Tech news

1. Techcrunch
Some random news from TechCrunch today - I have been suggesting privately for some time that Twitter ( no don't yawn I know Twitter can do that to people!!!) should have the ability to capture and display threaded conversations - I personally hate the disjointed conversations that you end up trying to keep track of ( it does keep you tweeting perhaps well beyond the time you had planned. It is good to hear that Joshua Shachter ( the creator of the well know social aggregator - Delicious) has launched a service called tiny thread and this next part is music to my ears ( and eyes for that matter)



Below is an example of a recent thread to give you an idea of how this will work


2. Engadget
Sad news from Engadget that OPLY - IB online professional learning's Nabaztag rabbit may be about to become an orphan as his parent company looks to be heading for bankruptcy.
'We always knew that any company courageous enough to take a technology designed to help mega-corps monitor their inventory levels and make it mainstream would face an uphill battle, but we never envisioned Nabaztag caving entirely to the pressure. If a snippet in a recent issue of Les Echos (a French financial paper) is to be believed, the creator of the rabbit-inspired Violet RFID Mirror has filed for bankruptcy, giving any company interested in keeping the brand alive until September 4th to toss out a cash infusion. Not like we're looking at you, Mr. VC, but we're definitely hoping to not be sobbing about this in just under a month. Tick, tock.' Engadget 11/08/09
We all hope that the company can be saved before September 4th for all of the Nabaztag rabitts out there - remember - A rabbit is for life not just for Christmas!


Nabaztag rabbit -good home required

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Eclectic..... mmm ( or just the signs of a lack of focus?)

I had an hour to fill during a brisk walk today and found on the iPod a podcast of the perfect length, which happened to fill the walk with colour and humour - it was Stephen Fry's recent presentation to the iTunes festival, (27th July)where he explains in his own inimitable style his thoughts on the history and issues of copyright and file sharing in relation to music, tv and film... it is a must listen I do encourage you to give it a whirl and see what you think.
My other pick for today is yet another fab video from the staff pick section at Vimeo called 'WEEK in R.A.B. by Marko Butrakovic in which he manages in a marvellous evocation of summer to get some near 3D images see for yourself below.

WEEK.in.RAB from Marko Butrakovic on Vimeo.

Once again apologies for the strange juxtaposition of these tech gems.

Mr Barrett on Educatioanl Multitouch Desks

The excellent Mr Tom Barrett Assitant Head of Priestic Primary, Nottingham has for some time now been involved with the Tech Enhanced Learning Team at Durham University who have been working on the educational use of multitouch computer screens. In his most recent post on 8th August Tom updates us on the progress that has been made with these devices.

The idea of a multitouch screen - or rather as Tom has found from the Durham team, the use of linked multitouch screens where pupils can share their work across screens certainly looks impressive and will certainly take computing/ICT in UK primary schools away from purely practice of keyboard skills. The chance to use this technology to push the boundaries of what is possible is certainly exciting for the techie amongst us ( count me in this group!) .... however I can see as Tom no doubt does the problems with going down the route of increasing the tech in the classroom with more and more expensive stuff. Schools in the straightened financial times we are in will find these devices increasingly difficult to budget for.
My other major worry is that of the 'interactive whiteboard experience' where many schools and local authorities in the UK adopted a policy of purchasing these in large numbers and placing them in classrooms with in the early stages little thought of how to train teachers on their effective use..... in fact in these early days I doubt if many had even thought about this issue, and just saw the shiny tech at shows like BETT and went with the hype.

In my time in the classroom I have seen them in rooms where they were unused ( and with one of the IWB's in my previous school I had to fight hard to even get into the room ( turned into a music room ) and actually turn it on, when I did after it being in place for 3 years of course it didn't work properly, or those placed in rooms which were classrooms and then had a change of use to in our case a Library, which had to be timetabled for use..... result oddly enough I believe it was only me and my class that ever turned it on in my final 2 years in the school ( I had to walk my 27 Y3's down a long school corridor past 7 classrooms to become interactive!. Where they were in classrooms many staff had not wanted them and simply used the board as they would an ordinary whiteboard, I believe that the term 'interactive' was only used in the UK where many were anything but interactive...... used for teacher instruction the 21st Century equivalent of 'chalk and talk'. I hope that much more thought will be given to how these new 'tables' will actually be used in the classroom, and to that end I look forward to the result of the research work that Tom has been asked to undertake, I also hope that this reaches the wide audience it needs to, as Tom is a much respected teacher practitioner and thinker about the use of technology in the classroom - look out for more on Tom's blog ICT in my Classroom.

I still believe in making the technology 'invisible' in everyday classroom use and believe that IWB's and the next generation will if we are not very careful put the emphasis back on the visible technology

Saturday, August 08, 2009

AAODS concert - Millennium Centre 8th August 2009



On a genuinely warm and sunny summers day a loyal band of supporters from Abergavenny took the 35 mile journey down to the copper domed Millenium Centre to listen to Abergavenny Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society's afternoon concert in the centre foyer - and were justly rewarded. The location in the foyer accounts for the less than perfect acoustic and the noises off in this recording. The recording made using my trusty iPod with its plug in mic. The concert excellently shows off the individual and combined skill of the dedicated songsmiths from AAODS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AAODS http://members.lycos.co.uk/AAODS/history.htm as they gave snippets from past and future shows - coming soon will be Fiddler on the Roof, but we hear excerpts from My Fair Lady and most impressive of all the Juniors from the 2008 - Les Miserables which was the triumph of the season with many youngsters in their teenage years fulfilling promise shown through their formative years with the society. We were also entertained with some Abba hits from Mama Mia.



All in all the concert was a triumph of dedication, musicality and most of all enjoyment.

Thank you to all from an avid fan.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Brave Bloggers Beware!

The use of new web tools really comes into its own in areas of conflict, as was been seen by the Baghdad Blogger during the first gulf war and more recently protests in Nepal, China and Iran. I think that the world owes these brave individuals a debt of gratitude for their bravery in exposing human rights violations.
It is often the authorities in many of these repressive regimes who react by attempting to turn off the tap, causing mayhem ( and also showing up their reactionary pedigree). A new example is that reported today by the BBC in its Technology News.

'A blogger who was targeted in a co-ordinated attack against websites such as Facebook and Twitter has told the BBC he blames Russia for the assault.
The pro-Georgian blogger, known as Cyxymu, said he had been targeted for "telling the truth about the Russian-Georgian war" in his writings.
The attack caused a blackout of Twitter for about two hours on Thursday.'


The truth will out and new technology makes it more not less likely, it has become impossible to stop.

The tab debate

Not quite a done deal yet as you can see, and certainly nor ready to relaese to the world quite yet - tweeks and styling using the magival Drupal are still required - however at present the tabs are on ...... the left as you can see below :-)


Mobile Podcast 7th August 2009

It was such a lovely morning in Wales, and I had been spurred into an early morning breakfast blog post about the significance of today's date. This prompted me to consider the nature of 'A Blogger' it is an interesting question to ponder and certainly kept me entertained on the journey to work, I hoipe that you enjoy it, please feel free to respond.... remember comments are the life blood of a blog ( many thanks AK for being top commenter)

Perfect Day.... and a Friday!!!!

Following the previous post I couldn't resist this memory from the use of Lou Reed's Perfect Day by the BBC for a promotion!

Perfect Day

In the words of Lou Reed 'It's such a perfect day' well almost for those with a mathemattical bent. For those in the western part of the globe where it hasn't passed 1pm yet! If you have a digital time piece watch out at 12.34 and 56 seconds today - 12.34 56s 7.8.9 (09 actually but close) this worked perfectly 19 years ago in 1990, which of course will be repeated in 81 years ..... for most of us this will be a little too long to wait!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

6th August 2009

It has finally arrived - 6th August 2009, this time last year Debbie and I were in New York enjoying our 25th wedding anniversary and Deb's (special birthday). Here we are a year on..... not in New York but at home on a working day..... however we will be visiting the Boonta Too Thai Restaurant this evening with the rest of close family for a celebratory meal, for our 26th anniversary - which this year just happens to coincide with my 52nd birthday this year - this means as the mathematically inclined will see that I have been married for exactly half of my life!!! Now that is really scary.
However they say you are only as young as you feel ( or something along those lines!), how old do I feel ......... mmmmm now that would be telling?

What I would like to say is a very big thank you to Debbie for actually putting up with me for so long, while at the same time being mother to the best 3 daughters that anyone could have ( even the one who left the freezer door open last night defrosting much of the contents!!!!) .

You see there is such a thing as a real life in addition to a second life :-)

I must go now and get myself decent for our meal........ good day dear reader.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Readers observations required

My colleagues and I have been amongst other things working hard to test a new portal site for our online workshops and I would like to have my readers opinions regarding which front page layout works best. I will keep my thoughts to myself until I have had your responses.
Version 1



Version 2

It is now over to you to give me the feedback that will help us as we move towards the final version of our site which we hope to release in early September. The site incidentally is being built using Drupal, which is an excellent and very easy to use website building format to use, its other advantage is that it is very easy to quickly build complex and rich sites.

Good luck I look forward to hearing your views.

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