Tag Archives: Instagram

Prof Stephen Heppell #BbTLC2014

“I make, therefore I learn”

Earlier this year I worked with Sue Beckingham and Chrissi Nerantzi (and others) on the BYOD4L (Bring Your Own Device for/4 Learning) short course. From this exposure to social learning  and from the shared experience in helping Sue and Chrissi run the course I was privileged to be invited  to work with them again. This time on a special edition of the online Lifewide Magazine – Issue 10 (June 2014): ‘Lifewide Learning in a World of Personal Technologies and Social Media’.

Looking back over the work on BYOD4L, my recent changes in circumstances, and my approach to the role I’m in, I was asked to write about something about the challenges of being creative (or not) in a role that doesn’t always require creative working or operation.

  • Due to the reflective nature of the post, that I am thinking and working towards being a better ‘learning technologist’, this forms the 13th part to my series of ‘what is a Learning Technologist?’

Here is my article, also available on the Lifewide Magazine website and associated PDF download (page 34):

“I make, therefore I learn”, by David Hopkins

As a Learning Technologist I tend to make or create things. Everyday I write emails, attend meetings, take notes, support staff, advise colleagues, demonstrate systems, deliver workshops, etc. .. and that’s the ‘required’ stuff that an employer would see as my role. Continue reading

The Ultimate iPhone Photographer’s Lens Kit

Review: iPhone Photography Kit

I like the ever-present ability of using my phone to take photos when I’m out and about, whether it’s for family and friends, to post to Instagram, or to capture opportunities at a conference or event I’m at. I wish, however, I had more options when it came to taking different photo styles and/or zooms. This is why I looked around at the different kits available for my iPhone, and decided to make use of the offer from the Cult Of Mac website for the ‘Ultimate iPhone Photography Lens Kit’.

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#BYOD4L Day 3: Curating, preserving, and adding value

Day three of the Bring Your Own Device for Learning #BYOD4L learning ‘architecture’ (I’m trying out some other terms for the course / module) was all about our curation of digital content.

Firstly, and before we get into the Twitter chat from last night .. curation can be defined as “maintaining, preserving and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle.” (Digital Curation Centre).

The storify archive from the tweet chat last night is already available (thanks Sue and Chrissi again) and include some great chat and interesting questions on curation, including: Continue reading

Reading: “Using Social Media for Asynchronous Collaboration within Collaborative Networks”

InstagramFrom my weekly email digest from Academia.edu I was made aware of the following paper by Nick Sturkenboom, Ehsan Baha, Yuan Lu, and Gabriele Tempesta: “Using Social Media for Asynchronous Collaboration within Collaborative Networks”.

“Societal challenges of today (e.g. aging) are complex and often require systemic solutions to be addressed. To address these challenges, various expertise and knowledge are required; in this sense, collaborative network projects have a lot of potential in offering a systemic solution. Design workshops (synchronous collaboration) are often used to achieve progress in such projects. In this paper we introduce asynchronous collaboration, which can occur anytime, anywhere through the use of social media. We have probed Instagram as a ‘ready-made’ social media platform within two collaborative network project case studies. This was done to experiment with asynchronous collaboration and knowledge sharing in addition to design workshops. Both cases were evaluated through focus groups that indicated how social media has the potential to enable actors to cross-field boundaries, inspire each other, and in this way enrich the design process within asynchronous collaboration. Our contribution with this work is two-fold: on the one hand, we aim to inspire and show how collaborative network projects can benefit from asynchronous collaboration in addition to synchronous collaboration. On the other hand, we hope to contribute to the creation of specific social media platforms as tools for supporting asynchronous collaboration within collaborative networks.”

What piqued my interest here was the use of an established (if you can call a social network that’s been around for only 2 years ‘established’) social network from which to run and maintain asynchronous collaboration. Continue reading


Reflection on the ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC, Wk.2 #edcmooc

EDCMOOCOn to the second of the five weeks Coursera / University of Edinburgh MOOC: ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’. This week is centred around looking to the future, the “future-focused visions of technology and education” whilst building on the previous utopian/dystopian ‘discourse’.

Having to watch, and comment/analyse, films introduced as “evocative and sometimes disturbing visions of what the future of information technology might hold” is always going to get your attention.

“Who is set to benefit from the personal, constant attentions of information technology, and who might lose out?”

Isn’t this the question we ask, in one form or another, each time Apple releases a new device? Isn’t this what causes the backlash each and every time Facebook changes it’s privacy policy? Isn’t this the current question educators around the world are asking since to the rise of the MOOC and it’s much lauded ‘saviour’ of Universities?

  • How is education being visualised in “A Day Made of Glass”? You could argue that most of these ‘tools’ are already available in one form or another in society and that schools already do most of what is shown here – maybe not exactly as shown, but some of it: smart boards, NearPod App (teacher presents to student device), tablets, etc. What is shown isn’t as far fetched as you may think, it’s just the way in which it is presented rather than what is presented that is different. How the technology is used outside of the classroom is more ‘futuristic’ and is where you could argue its worth – should children be given space (in or outside) that is free from technology, free for them to experience the world as it is and not through some sanitised technology that reveals the real world through a camera lens?
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Foldify App

‘Foldify’ App (#foldify)

Foldify AppFoldify (iPad): I can’t remember how or where I found out about this app but it is one of the best one’s I’ve ever bought/downloaded. It’s a simple idea – use one of the pre-defined blank templates of a 3D shape and draw on the explanded, unfolded, version to design your very printed 3D figurine. Through it’s simple and intuitive interface budding artists (and big kids alike!) can create and share their own unique paper figure creations.

“Draw, create, print and fold beautiful 3D figures with Foldify. You don’t need drawing skills, Foldify has tons of free content to create amazing, high quality figures!”

Foldify (£1.49): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/foldify/id527118971

Watch this video for an introduction on what it does and how it works … it’s really what touchscreen devices were made for!

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FOTE12 - Future of Technology in Education

Future of Technology in Education #fote12

FOTE12 - Future of Technology in Education

So, we’re at that time of year again when we can start planning the trip to London for the ULCC ‘Future of Technology in Education’ conference. As with the last couple of years I’ve attended the tickets are released in two batches of 150 tickets, and the first batch this year was snapped up in a matter of hours (at least 50 in the first 20 minutes!).

So far the speakers who I am looking forward to are, and why:

  • Nicola Whitton – “What is the Future of Digital Games and Learning?” I’ve been reading a little of her book (it helps to share an office with her co-author Alex Moseley) so I’m interested in her talk because of the aspect of where game-based learning and simulation-based learning are going in education.
  • John Townsend – In his role at Liverpool John Moores University John has “responsibility for the development and support of information and technology services and associated strategies, tools and technologies” so is well placed to provide insight into how technology can be maximised (or not?) in the changing education sector.
  • Yousuf Khan – I’m sure that the deployment of over 2000 iPads at the Hult International Business School couldn’t have been an easy process, so I’m hoping Yousuf can provide insight into how this was done, why they did it, and how they expect to improve on what they’ve learned.
  • Anirban Saha – While there isn’t any information on Anirban’s talk at the moment I can’t help but be impressed on what Anirban ‘could’ be talking about considering his title at Nokia is “Head of Social Innovation & Intelligence”. This should be good!
  • Cailean Hargrave – As the Further Education Business Development Manager for IBM the potential to hear about innovation in both software and hardware. In his profile, posted last year, Cailean is interested in “immersive technological environments, affording tailored educational pathways for learner success, entrepreneurial access and education for young adults”, I just hope his talk isn’t another product placement session and he provides some real insight into what is possible with the technology available.
  • 140 Challenge – not 140 characters, but 140 seconds, and this is the chancefor students to share their “views, thoughts and expectations about technology in education and education itself.” Excellent!

What are you looking forward to from this years FOTE event? Anyone or anything in particular?

For those interested here are a few Instagram photos that were posted last year (see all of them on the Ink361 website):

#fote11 - Eyes down

#fote11 - Senate House


I’ll be collating the Instagram photos in the Ink361 album for the #fote12 hashtag again this year: http://ink361.com/#/tag/fote12

So, I’ll be seeing you there again in October. If you see me please come and say ‘hello’, and don’t be offended if I stick a camera in your face and ask a question or two … it’s my job for the day to record speaker and delegate views for the FOTE website, so be nice. If you can’t be nice, be honest!

MarbleCam - Logo

MarbleCam App

MarbleCam - LogoMarbleCam (iPad, iPhone, iPod): If , like me, you love the portability of your gadgets and take loads of photos as you’re out and about with family, friends, work colleagues (capture sneaky snaps of them drinking or dropping something?), or at a conferences or training events, then this is something worth looking over – MarbleCam. Use existing snaps or take them fresh through the app it applies a ‘marble’ type filter to the photo to give it the “water droplet” look.

“MarbleCam takes pictures that look as if you had focused on a glass marble with a macro lens.
The beautiful harmony of the scene appearing upside down within the marble and the blurred background make it look like you took your photo with a real marble or a soratama lens.”

MarbleCam (free): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/marblecam/id524289568

It an easy to use and easy to configure app which can provide some good images once you get used to it. Of course, as with all these photo manipulation apps, the output is only as good as the input, but it can still produce some good results with even the most ‘dubious’ of photo scenes.

If you’re going to use this then it’s best to practice, not all photos will work well, especially ones with people in it, so it’s best ot learn how to take a photo for this app to get the best from the app.

Note – it’s free, hence the ads on screen. Not nice but after a while they can be easily ignored, just ‘zone out’.

In-built sharing means the usual selection of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, whilst the ‘other’ option will allow you access to other installed apps that are recognised for further editing options. Well worth investigating this, if for no other reason than to see how good you can be.

There are some good before/after pictures on this review of the App on the Sandra Hale Blog.

Even better – why not mix your camera apps together and use the different features and functions to make some truly personal and inspiring images? The above MarbleCam photo was based on a flower I took in my garden recently, which was then processed through Instagram.

How LinkedIn works

As a follow up to the presentation I made at last weeks Plymouth Enhanced Learning Conference (PELeCON) with Sue Beckingham this infographic is worth a couple of minutes to look over.

[Click to view full Infographic]

Some interesting figures from the graphic:

  • Europe accounts for over 34 million members (6 million in the UK alone) and India 11 million.
  • 2011:  4.2 billion searches on the LinkedIn platform.
  • LinkedIn now has over 2,116 employees (up from 500 in 2010).
  • The fastest growing demographics are students and recent college graduates.
  • Revenues for 2011 reached $522 million.
  • 75 of the Fortune 100 use LinkedIn for “corporate hiring solution”.

If we can give our students an edge when they apply for the same jobs as others by helping them use social networks, like LinkedIn, professionally and effectively then the student looks good, and so does the Institution they are coming from. What do you think?

What are you doing with your students to help them use social networks so they work for them, not against?

There are some more excellent infographics on Jeff Bullas’ blog (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+), check them out.

Making Smartphones work

I love my smartphone, my iPhone. In addition to this, I love my iPad, but I’m not as enamoured by it as I am with my phone. Since I got my iPad I have found myself using my laptop even less (it’s only 2 years old so not, by any means, old or slow or a cumbersome weighty block of plastic with a tiny screen). But they could both be better.

Considering how I (we) use these new mobile devices I am surprised that there is less integration between apps. Let me explain:

When I click a link in an email it opens up the Safari web browser. Simple and easy to understand. But when I click a link in an email, or on a webpage, to a Facebook update, to a tweet, or to something on LinkedIn or something else that I use an App to manage, the Safari web browser is used. I don’t use the browser on my phone (or iPad) to use those services, use the app I’ve installed and configured for my account(s). I am not logged in to the website version of those services (and many others) but I am logged into the App.

Why can’t the OS be configured to allow it to ‘learn’ from the apps I have installed. Let’s have them learn that a link to something on Twitter (tweet, profile, hashtag, etc) means I want to use the App and not the web browser?

Perhaps this is just ‘limited’ to iOS devices? Perhaps to get what I want I need to think outside the ‘Apple’ box and go Android or Windows … ?

Or have I missed something so fundamental to iOS and it can already do this? Comments below please if you agree with me, have a handy hint to help me sort this out, or just want to gloat because your (smart)phone already does this.