Tuesday 30 October 2007

OneNote by Jing

Thank you to Andrew Brown for pointing me to Jing.

I used this to create a quick screencast of the basic use of OneNote.

Update: The screencast embed is proving to be uncooperative so I have replaced it with a link


Wednesday 24 October 2007

What the Wiki!

Over the last 3 weeks I have been helping develop the beginnings of a Wiki based around the use of the Samsung Q1 UMPC in Education. This is growing quickly but it need more people involved even if its to ask about what different people are doing with the technology.


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Monday 22 October 2007

Sorry I have been quiet but........

its not because I have been on holiday (which I have been), its not because I have been chilling at home (which I have been). I really should blame Graham Martin-Brown from handheld Learning_B6B2008.jpg.

Why is it his fault? Well one of the last actions of the conference was an excellent prize draw. Lots of great prizes were given out to those people who stayed to 5pm on a Friday. The prizes went from Apple Ipods, Samsung Q1Ultra and camera's were amongst the prizes but the best was the Nintendo Wii sport, which I won. Digital Katie immediately started sending hate texts which should have been in green text colour.

I have never been particularly interested in console's or computer games. The occasional game of solitaire or Hexic Deluxe but I have never considered buying a games console.

But myself and Caroline, my wife, are hooked. We have been playing everyday. We have been testing our fitness, Caroline's Wii age is Granny level older than me (She made me change that), I am below my actually age. In fact we are so hooked that we have ordered another controller.

I had been considering giving this to the school but.............. NO WAY! They might be able to borrow it but only if I get the first go on the big screen in the Gym.

I now believe that Derek Robertson does have the best job in the world! http://ltsblogs.org.uk/consolarium/

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Revolution? Reformation

I have come to the conclusion that we are in the middle of a Revolution. This is not a surprise or even a radical statement,  lots of people think that but I am thinking of a particular type of revolution. A Reformation.

The Reformation was thought to have started with Martin Luther's 95 Thesis. In a very simplistic way it was the removal of knowledge/power from the existing holders and freeing it to the people who had the skills to access it. Bibles printed so that it could be read by those who could read.

So if we are are freeing knowledge from the high priests of knowledge, much to their annoyance and fear, then what would our 95 thesis of today be?

1. All have the right to connectivity with equality?????


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Just do it

Its been a very busy term. I am only just beginning to realise how stressed I have been (Sorry to those around me). Since getting back home on Saturday morning from the HHL Conference I have done a lot of sleeping. Its the mid term holiday here in Scotland this week. Myself and Caroline decided not go anywhere but stay at home and enjoy where we live. I am starting to feel like my old self again. I am now starting to reflect on what we are doing in Islay High.

I am not sure if its because we have been working towards this for a, relatively, long time but I am constantly surprised by the reaction of people who hear what we are doing. Even people who have been involved in technology in Education are surprised. In fact as I talked to all the amazing people at the conference. I felt like I was telling them something they already know and I would pull back. Preaching to the converted I suppose. Its only during the conversation that I would expand on what we are doing and they would be visibly surprised and I would then be surprised by that reaction. The question I now have is why are they surprised?

The evidence which I have heard and read both at the conference and long before that has shown that use of technology in education is a very positive thing. In fact technology has always been adopted into education, so long as its appropriate. After all pencil and paper is just another technology. My S1 learn a definition of technology as being 'Anything made by humans to solve a problem'.

I see what we are doing has a 'normal' next step in the use of technology. Pupils moving from paper technology to electronic technology. Pupils accessing the materials they need to achieve what they need to achieve while being guided/mentored by peers or staff. I still think think that use of the appropriate 'tool' is a vital part of learning. One of the most important tools is the human relationships.

One question that everyone asks is,'How do you get teachers onside?'. This is the point in which I am most proud of our little school. Never has anyone said what we are doing is the wrong thing. They have questioned, quite rightly, aspects or processes but never the why. The staff in Islay have taken on the task of rethinking the way they teach and the way technology impacts on that and then simply gotten on with it. Admittedly they knew it was coming and could not ignore it but have turned up for voluntary 'drop in' training sessions and asked about How can I use it.

I suppose the point I am trying to make here is that technology has already moved and continues to move on at a huge pace. Teachers know it. Parents know it. Now the whole community needs to move on.

To quote my own paper to the HHL Conference,'Just do it!'

Monday 15 October 2007

Hand Held Learning 07

Its been a busy week.

I was in Bristol last weekend becoming the proud God Parent to Ewan.

I was then in London from Wednesday to friday at the Hand Held Learning Conf.

This is the largest Hand held Learning/Mobile education Conference in the world.

I am not particularly experienced in how conferences work and get a bit confused between a Plenary and Keynotes, workshops and breakouts. Also I have never written a paper to speak a conference before.

Mine was ......... "short and to the point", Graham Brown-Martin, Organiser. When I read the rest (Large PDF Download) I could see what he meant.

I was the last speaker. My topic was, 'Drop the Pilot'. To see and hear it go here. I was not particularly happy with my presentation. I was thrown by a technical hitch at the beginning and felt I never really got into the talk.

 The conference was excellent. I met so many people who were passionate about putting learning technology into the hands of the learners. I heard about the growing amount of evidence that what we are doing on Islay is the right thing. I had loads of verbal feedback and some amazing chats with so many inspirational people.

On the Thursday I was also very kindly invited to the Final awards of the Channel Network Awards at the London Hilton. Lanway, our supplier, had been nominated for their work with us. We didn't win but the scale of the event was enough to make me realise that the work we are doing is catching attention in various industries.

Monday 1 October 2007

Teething Problems

Its been a busy couple of weeks. I have mopped up the last of the pupils who were off and needed training.

I have spent my own subjects periods getting S1 and S2 up to speed with using the technology (More about this later). I have been going round individual faculties talking bout best ways of using the UMPC's and identifying any problems.

Something which has come up was that we didn't have enough Access Points in one part of the school.

This meant that when Maths, English and History classes were all signing onto the network, the network in that part of the school ground to a halt. It also caused some of the UMPC's to fail to complete their login scripts. Causing one of our network drives not to show. Three extra access points later and things have calmed down, but we are still occasionally  getting a lost network drive.

I have identified Network Drive Manager as a possible solution to lost network drives.

Does anyone have anyone have another solution? Preferably free