A few months ago I was trying to decide on whether to spend £100 on an Apple TV or £30 on a Google Chromecast. I opted for the cheaper, newer, untried, unknown Chromecast.
Here are my thoughts, so far … it’s not there yet, but it has potential.
It is easy to set up and easy to use. Simply plug it into an HDMI slot on the back or your TV. If’ you’ve a USB port on the TV too then use this for power, if not you’ll have another cable trailing on the floor to a plug. Follow the short, simple instructions to set Chromecast up on your wifi, either through your laptop or iPad browser, and that’s it. It took about 3 minutes in all and then I was away.
This morning I saw an innocent tweet from my pal David Walker (@drdjwalker) about the concept of an ‘App Swap Breakfast’. Needless to say it got me thinking …
It’s quite simple – friends, colleagues, interested individuals, etc. meet at a set time & place and showcase their favourite App of the moment.
So, here’s a call for Leicester friends and interested individuals – do you want to set one up and try it out? Shall we try and engage this on a frequent basis … every month, and if so where? There’s plenty of space.
Common interests (teaching / learning / scholarship / institutional / subject / revision / reference / entertainment / etc.)
A data projector
A wall or screen on which to project
The concept / idea put forward by Fiona MacNeill, from an idea on LifeHacker website, the AppSwap idea has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License meaning anyone can share and redistribute the materials, and adapt, remix, or transform / build upon them but with appropriate credit is given and that any new work is also provided under a Creative Commons license.
Anyone interested is trying to get a Leicester App Swap Breakfast working? If you are interested (or have a particular reason why not) then please reply below or tweet with the hashtag #AppSwapLeic. If there’s enough interest perhaps we can try it out?
IBM have released five videos – “In the future, everything will learn” detailing their belief in where technology will take us in the next five years. In ‘The classroom will learn you’ IBM believe that the “classroom of the future will learn about each individual student over the course of their education, helping them master the skills that match their goals.” Something that is echoed (or mirrored) in the 2014 NMC Horizon Report also announced earlier this week, where ‘learner analytics’ are highlighted as a key trend (in the mid-range / 3 to 5 year context) and under the heading ‘important developments’ in Higher Education (time-to-adoption of one year or less). Continue reading →
Tagged as a report “exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers” the Innovating Pedagogy 2013 from the Open University is intended for teachers, policy makers, academics and anyone interested in how education may change over the next ten years.
The 2013 report highlights, for the coming 10 years according to timescale and impact:
This article by Julie Tausend on the EdTech Magazine website – Distraction or Opportunity? A Guide to Embracing Technology in the Classroom – asks the question as to whether classroom technology, or the BYOD mentality, can be harmful or an opportunity to learning. It argues that it can (as I would agree) but specifies the limitations to this approach, on which I think we’d all agree:
“Engaged students use the opportunity to make additions and annotations, to downloaded slides or to transcribe the lecture using word-processing programs. The problem, of course, is that not every student is that engaged.”
One element of the article, however, I would disagree with, and this is:
“One downside of technology in the classroom is that it’s more difficult to get students’ to turn away from their computers to participate in discussion. Technology is not always a distraction in the classroom, but hiding behind computer screens can lead to minimal interaction with professors during lectures. If you want dynamic discussion and interaction with students, ask them to close their laptops.”
Instead of asking them to close their laptops or put their tablet away … Continue reading →
If, like me, you like the effects and impact the RSA Animate videos have – taking a speech or audio recording and making an animated film of the important elements (like Sir Ken Ronbinson’s talk) – then you’ll love VideoScribe.
“Create engaging content for your lessons without being a designer or being an animator whizz. It’s simple. Inspire young imaginations, facilitate learning and help your messaging ‘stick’ in their minds.”
Here is the demonstration video from Sparkol, see what you think.
Is anyone using this? I wanted to try it out but balked at the £16 per month / £119 + VAT per year cost (how long does the free trial last?). I can see it being really good at animating a podcast or recorded lecture, much like the RSA Animate videos, and maybe bringing tutorials or seminar session recordings to life … but how much time would it take? Could students use the Institution license to produce work as part of a project or assignment?
“How will new mobile phones, technology such as Google Glass – the wearable gadget that searches for whatever we look at – and social networks like Facebook and Twitter influence our searches? Should we be concerned that sensitive personal information is being filtered through a small number of companies?”
“The future of search could have more of an effect on us than we think.”
Google have released this video in an attempt to try and show how their Google Glass will work. Obviously we’re talking about technology that will rely heavily on good network signal, which is always very dicey whenever I need one to check emails, calendar, directions, etc. when I’m 0ut-and-about. With the right development of technology and backing software (apps?) this could be utilised in classroom environments to enhance learning materials and the ability for students to create and share their own experiences, all based around a chosen topic, subject, purpose?
What do you think – is there scope and future for this? As a wearer of glasses already I don’t relish the idea of trying to wear two pairs at the same time, but if it is something that could retro fitted to my existing frames … could be good!