Monday, 28 June 2010

New Image New Device

I have been remiss with blog posts. I suspect I am addicted to twitter.My new school year resolution is make my Blog writing more regular.

We have been identifying a new device for the incoming S1. The reason this is required is that Samsung are no longer making the Q1 UMPC.

We tried several devices and types of device before settling on the Dell 2100 Netbook.

The reason we went for this was the robustness of this device as its specifically designed for the education market. We also went for the optional touch screen to keep the maximum usability for what we have already developed.

So the next question was which apps should we install in the image.

Here this list:

PS Heading Text indicates a folder setup in the Start Menu


File Viewers:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Notepad ++


FTP Software:


Core FTP - glow

Google Software:

Google Earth

Google Sketch-Up with tutorials.

Picasa 3 with templates

Microsoft Software:

Office 2007 & OneNote

Auto Collage 2008

Multimedia Software:


Clickview Player-win7 version downloaded.

DivX 7

Labtec Webcam - Driver we have works, but you must manually tell windows to install the driver from the:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Labtec\WebCamWebInstall\Drivers\x32 Folder.

Comic Life

Real Player Alternative

QuickTime - glow

Java - glow

Media Player Classic

Stop Motion Animator

VLC Media Player

Audacity incl. MP3 & ffmpeg.

Photo Story 3

Windows Movie Maker - Live movie maker.

Timershot-needed when we have SMA?



Jet Audio Basic- version 8 and above ONLY

Digital Viewer for Digital Microscopes

Free Natural Reader/ Scottish Heather Voice - new version downloaded.

Microsoft Digital Literacy IT Course- most current.


InkArt- replaced with art rage 2 starter edition - use "Loading" brush setting to adjust when the brush runs out of ink. (100% = takes ages to run out).



Auslogics Disk Defrag

Spybot S&D

Ccleaner Slim

Maths Software:


Student Graphing Calculator


Music Software:

Listen Hear v4.0-cd rom

LMMS new version 4.6


Tablet PC Music Composition Tool - replaced by songsmith.



Simulation Software:

Phun-beta 5.28 downloaded.

Physics Illustrator for Tablet PC - use 2010 compiled version.

West Point Bridge Designer 2007 -downloaded.


Language Software:

Power Language French


Maths Software:

Tarsia 2.0


Uncategorized Programs

(Not a start menu category name):


Hot Potatoes

Mozilla Firefox ( and extensions).

Flash Player - glow

Shockwave - glow

Image Resizer (Microsoft)

Taskbar Magnifier (Microsoft)-works and installs in 7.

Sophos Antivirus -if it cant be used on win7 we have an open source alternative ready to go.

Learning Essentials - still version 2 for office 2007.

Stitched Up -cd rom.


What have we missed? What should we have added?

Monday, 24 May 2010

TeachMeet hits its fourth birthday: Coming of Age

Edu2020: Ian Stuart & Andy Wallis 

TeachMeet is entering its fifth year and the unconference for teachers, by teachers has helped hundreds - maybe thousands, in fact - to try out something new, alter the way they already teach and learn, join a community of innovative educators or completely transform their way of working.
The hope was that the model would spread. It has, but as those who have created and helped pull TeachMeet together over the past four years, we want to see it spread further, deeper and with increasing quality of input from practitioners. This post outlines how we think we might manage this.
This is the beginnings of a conversation with those who care about TeachMeet. Add your views in the form of any blog post or comment or tweet - tag it #tmfuture
What are the goals of TeachMeet?
TeachMeet was originally designed to:

  • Take thinking away from the formal, often commercialised conference floor, and provide a safe place for anyone to pitch their practice
  • Provide a forum for more teachers to talk about real learning happening in real places, than one-hour conference seminar slots allow
  • Showcase emerging practice that we could all aim to undertake; sales pitches not allowed
  • Be all about the Teach, with only a nod towards tech that paved the way for new practice.
  • Provoke new ways of sharing our stories: PowerPoint was banned. We wanted people to tell stories in ways that challenged them, and the audience
  • Empower the audience to critique, ask questions and probe, all online, through SMS or, later, Twitter.

Over the years, these 'rules' have altered, leading to some great innovations, others less so. The answer to "What is a TeachMeet?" has become a myriad of meanings, some pretty far off the original goals. We need to help and support people to organise, run and contribute to events that build on previous ones. We need to make TeachMeet as accessible to newbies as it was in 2005. We need TeachMeet to once more find its focus.
Supporting the "infectiousness" of TeachMeets

Organising TeachMeets should not be easy. Taking part in them should be. But more support is needed for organisers:

  • Sponsorship is hard if there's no bank account into which funds can be sent
  • Without sponsorship, any event over 30 people becomes tricky to organise while also giving people a special night of learning, the time, space and mood that gets people over their self-conscious selves
  • Paying for refreshments and venues is impossible if there's no organisation to pay them the precise sum.
  • The best TeachMeets provide social space, social activity, entertaining MCs, good refreshments, good online coverage and some form of online 'conclusion' - this needs coordinating by the organiser(s), but it's not a skill everyone will have the first time around.
  • We've got a superb opportunity to curate the best bits from all these TeachMeets that are happening weekly - this needs a degree of oversight.

A means to make TeachMeet more sustainable, easier to use for sponsors and organisers, and have the ability to do something spectacular
TeachMeet is owned by the community that shape it - but there needs to be a body to manage sponsorship and sponsors, and provide support for new organisers so that they maintain the TeachMeet goals. We assume that if someone is organising a 'TeachMeet' they would like to emulate the success of those popular early TeachMeets, and better-supported national conference ones (e.g. SLF and BETT).
What would support from the TeachMeet body look like?
  • Seeking of sponsorship all year round - including ways and means to get your message to as many teachers as possible
  • Brokerage of sponsorship - i.e. one place sponsors and those seeking sponsorship can come together, in a transparent manner
  • Recommendation of onsite support (good venues at discounted rates/free, A/V, event organisation [for bigger venues], catering etc)
  • Suggestions for various formats that have worked in the past
  • Mentoring from previous TeachMeet leaders including on-the-night help
  • Featuring of content and promotion of the event in a timely manner on an aggregated, higher profile TeachMeet site
  • A group calendar so that events can be seen by geography and date
  • Promotion of TeachMeet through international and national events, using contacts of existing TeachMeeters
  • In-event publicity (e.g. if you plan an event at a regional ICT day or national event, then we can help broker paper materials for insertion into packs etc)

But, above all, TeachMeet is reaching a point of saturation in the UK - things are going really well in terms of enthusing teachers about their own learning. We have a great opportunity to carry over a small proportion of the sponsorship and contributions towards creating a TeachMeet culture in countries where teacher professional development in this way is still blocked by barriers physical, financial or cultural. This is just one idea, harboured for a long time but unable to realise in the current setup.
This body can take the form of:
  • A Limited company (with a Director and shareholders)
  • A Charitable Limited Company, with a board of directors and voting rights for fellow 'shareholders' (we could work out some way of people being 'awarded' shares based on [non-financial] involvement?)
  • A Social Enterprise, perhaps formed as a Limited Company (see more information on what this means and how it might work (pdf))
  • A Charity (this feels like a lot more red tape to pull through and perhaps not entirely necessary)

As we take things forward we invite you to contribute your ideas and thoughts to make things work smoothly. We want you to comment, probe and make your own suggestions before the end of June, using the tag #tmfuture

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Top Ten Films

Andy Wallis, of Islay High and Scottish Screen fame, has been encouraging me to list my top ten films of the decade.

I must admit I am not a huge fan of one thing over another. I tend to think these fav lists are really difficult. They tend to be transient and depend on mood.

I see it as something that guys to do which I don’t. The example from ‘High Fidelity’ by Nick Hornby. Of the constant making of the top 5’s

So I have struggled.

Struggled to get it down to 10 that is. An example is the remarkable project that was the Lord of The Rings Trilogy.

They were a great drama and stories, they were a remarkable body of work and were all released in the beginning of the decade. I would quite happily sit down and watch these and feel that they deserve a place in my favs but not 3 valuable places.

So here is a collection of some of my fav films of the decade Which ones I like more than others moves according to my mood and company……. in chronological order:

- Ghost World

- City of God

- The Pianist

- Whale Rider

- Kill Bill

- The Machinist

- The Constant Gardner

- Goodnight and good luck

- The Bourne Ultimatum

- Let the right one in

- The Dark Knight

I have a whole list of films which could be above, Touching the void for example but its ok because the list will change tomorrow

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