iPad experiment

March 26, 2011


Like the fanboy that I am, last night I queued for just over 2 hours to pick up a shiny new iPad 2, 32 GB, Wi-Fi model. I had never owned an iPad before and the feature bumps and quicker processor in the second incarnation of the device managed to persuade me to part with my cash.

So why am I putting this rather un-interesting news on a degree blog? Well, many people are calling the iPad a post-pc device, inferring that the device is like the next version of the personal computer to be used by the masses. Being an ICT teacher by trade, I obviously am wanting to get in on the action and see the devices application in the workplace / classroom. What I am proposing to do is to spend as much time on the iPad as I can and detach from my laptop. Is this possible with the current feature set and notable limitations of the device? That’s what I want to find out. Are the limitations of the device actually a new framework for using a device like this? These are all things I want to look into.

Now, I might be absolutely mad doing this now at the stage where there is only about a month to go until the work based major project is handed in, but that fits in nicely with the experiment, can I finish my work based major project on an iPad? That will be something to tell the grandkids…

The experiment has already begun, I am writing this post on the aforementioned device and I have already noticed how quickly I can type and also just how few mistakes I make on this keyboard!

So here we go, into the unknown, but the very exciting!


BETT 2010

January 17, 2010

This year I was lucky enough to exhibit at the BETT (British Educational Training and Technology) Show. BETT is an annual trade show in the United Kingdom that showcases the use of information technology in education. Founded in 1985, it has expanded to fill both the National and Grand Halls at the Olympia exhibition centre in London, England. BETT celebrated its 25th anniversary at the 2009 show.

This year I took two students to podcast the event for one of my academies wholesale partners; Misco.co.uk The aim was to bring students to the show and report from it using technology to transfer their findings. The themes were:


International Day

Interviews with technology providers that produce language software and hardware to facilitate language learning in a 21st century style.

Future Learning Spaces

Looking at how classrooms have evolved and where they are going in the future with regards to how technology is driving engagement in the classroom.


SEN (Special Educational Needs)

Interviews with visitors from around the world on how technology facilitates inclusion of SEN students in the modern curriculum.

Playful Learning

An exclusive interview with Professor Stephen Heppell discussing how ‘playful learning’ is the next big thing in education and how technology drives engagement in a ‘playful’ environment.


BETT 2010 Award Winners

Interviews with a select number of 2010 winners of various awards to see how the title affects their businesses.

Misco Stand

An afternoon spent at the Misco.co.uk stand interviewing exhibitors about the technology on show and showcasing its application in the education sector.

This event helped the students understand the power of technology in education, interview skills, podcast planning, podcast production, teamwork and of course bartering for freebies!

The tables turned for a brief hour or two on Thursday afternoon, when both Kathryn and Marcus were interviewed by Hexus about the impact podcasting was having on their learning and how it was being used commercially at the BETT show.

The event was enjoyed by all involved and this is clear by the quality of materials produced. A repository of the coverage can be found at http://web.me.com/umisco where the final collection can be viewed.

We thank Misco.co.uk for the opportunity and look forward to even more exciting events in the future!


Basic principals of my study

March 8, 2009

Here is a bit of an off-beat post to outline the components that I am so thankful for and could not imagine doing my studying / researching / learning without. First up its the underpinning element:

This is the framework on which I do 90% of my work (the other 10% is my learning journal which is a blue lined book, nothing special.) I have been involved in the IT industry for a while and without (hopefully) sounding like a bit of a bandwagon tag-along, Mac OS X has really facilitated the work I have produced so far with its simplistic file management, redundancy and time machine.

I suppose the enclosure for the previous (and all to follow) would be my fantastic laptop the MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 15″ The best laptop I have ever had. It keeps on surprising me with most things, could not recommend a brand/model as much as this!

This little gem would have to be the secondary framework. Doing a research / distance learning degree would be rather difficult without web access and Firefox allows me to access all I need to on the web with the ability to support plugins such as Zotero.

The common room / lecture theatre / tutorial space and everything else, FirstClass is the University. It brings the Cohort together to engage in a communal learning environment and also allows students to connect with other cohorts, past and present.

Another Apple product now, still not a fan-boy, iWork 09. I have only been using it really in Semester 2, really to try it out. I have had all versions previous to 09 (through site license) but never really ran with it. 09 has really been a saviour for me, alleviating the need for buggy, slow, putrid Office:mac 2008 that I am only using for my reference page for each module as it has interoperability with Zotero, a feature iWork has yet to support.

Oh, now my favourite, Spotify is a service like iTunes that provides all music in its database (around 2-3 million) for free, streaming and instant. See my previous post to see the love!

I suppose this would be another component of the mix. Zotero is a FANTASTIC premise, but not fully developed in my opinion, head over to their website to read all about it and see how it can help you.

Oh come on, not everything is good with hiher education, this is how the descrepancies are dealt with!

What could you not do without???


October 16, 2008

I have been a mac user for about 5 years casually and have been using a Mac as my main system for about 4 months. I have always preferred them, but never taken the full leap. For some of my IOCT module i have had to use Windows (through VMWare) and it has really made me realise. If i had to go back to windows as my sole computing experience, i think i would have to throw myself under a train!

I think the pic below sums it up fairly accuratley;

If anyone is on the fence with this one, BUY MAC!!! you wont regret it. They have just refreshed their MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, beautiful machines!

What system do you use?

The conventional approach?

October 1, 2008

I feel i am well into this now and starting to draft my first essay for my IOCT module. Throughout the course you are always encouraged to use alternative media to convey the deliverable of a particular topic, but I would like to include a fair few essays in my portfolio. I know essays are all a bit old school, but I seem to get a good feeling about them. I rarely get the chance to apply essay techniques, so this something I am keen to do.

I write this blog entry using wordpress for iPhone from a very remote location. Gotta love technology really havent you!!!