15 posts categorized "Telephony"

September 11, 2007

For those who say that technology stops youngsters interacting for 'real'


  Skype babe 3 
  Originally uploaded by goforchris

This is what technology does every day for me, for millions, and above all for teenagers. It connects people.

In this case, it's connected my two-and-a-half week old with her grandma on the other side of the country. They had quite a long conversation on Skype about politics, the state of the environment, whether the PM might call an election... OK, they didn't. So the 'quality of the interaction', when assessed, is very poor. But I challenge anyone to say that it doesn't mean so much to those who took part.

What are you going to assess today? Are you just going to assess for the heck of it? And is assessing interactions through technology always actually 'do-able' and desirable? Ultimately, does technology get in the way of human interactions, or enhance them?

February 19, 2007

Yugma: free web conferencing, forever, for Windows and Mac

Yugma Yugma's strapline says it all: free web conferencing, forever, anytime, anywhere, Windows and Mac. It's a beautiful web-based tool for video conferencing, the kind of thing that doesn't need an install from your school IT Technician. It took about a minute to open up, register and get going. Brilliantly clear, with the option to share your desktop (so you can draw, write, illustrate) and a nice set of annotation tools to 'point' out what you're talking about.

It's another example of the web platform becoming the free web platform. If you want it, you really can get it for free. Now, all I need is someone in a school with whom I can try it out.

January 09, 2007

Play MacWorld Stevenote Bingo

Mwsf2007bingo Every January the geek world gets all excited just like the Christmas Eve three weeks previously as Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer, gives his 90 minute Macworld keynote speech (or Stevenote), outlining the cool new features and technologies Apple will be releasing that night and later in the year. It's how the iPod, the MacBook Pro and iPhoto etc were all launched.

You can watch the speech online after the event (I'll follow the text updates live on MacRumors MacRumorsLive) and join in John's Keynote Bingo. Just how many times will Steve say "And just one more thing..."? Will Apple release a new Apple TV, the iTV? Or will there be a new mobile phone iPod cross-breed? Find out and tick off your card (available as a PDF on John's blog).

October 12, 2006

Community required – please enquire within

I’ve just been in Liverpool for the first time ever and had an absolute blast. Next time I have to spend more than 14 hours there. Last night I got in at about ten, before heading out with my sis-in-law, Gaelle, to do the Liverpool-in-an-hour thing. Straight off to Mathew Street and the home of the Beatles, down to the Cavern Pub where a superb if slightly David Brentesque rock band strutted their stuff.

Photo_5 Joe Dale managed to find us and brought my two new Live Web chums, Steph (pictured right marvelling my mini MacBook Pro webcam) and Alex (just pictured being Alex, below). These are two languages teachers from dan saff who are beginning to release the potential of new technologies for their students and, importantly, their colleagues.

Steph was on good form and revealed her podcast toolkit which is due for release in November. The idea is that with the tools and advice in one place anyone can get into podcasting with their Modern Languages class. Another attempt to bring things together under one roof which might just convince some of those lagging to get into gear.

Photo_7 Mr McIntosh Goes To School – the naked conversation
Joe and I eventually delivered our own ‘naked conversation’ to the delegates, in my latest mishmash of principles for Live Web teaching and learning – I’ve managed to get it down from 10 to 3. I enjoyed the challenges of keeping to the clock, keeping to the line of enquiry in the presentation and having a proper conversation with Joe in front of the crowd. He was able to play devil’s advocate and make me s-l-o-w down to explain some of the points the audience might have needed expanding. The result was smiles and gushes – and hopefully some new teaching and learning in the coming months.

Community is so important
What has become apparent, though, in putting together this presentation is how much less of a community exists in England and Wales. Those pioneering are not finding their soul mates as quickly as I did in my journey north of the border. Is this down to the size of Scotland or is there something deeper, lying in the sheer weight of the national curriculum with its high stakes testing.

Another aspect I’ve found interesting is the blatant enthusiasm from these language college teachers countered by a strong feeling that school management will just not “get it” and block it all. There are two things here I would suggest.

First – do it, try things out, play and find the holes that need filling before the management do (that might mean not telling them, although its best to get their support from the start in case things do go awry).

Second – get hold of some of the videos on the East Lothian Glow page. The one, two, three videos from the Head of Education there, Don Ledingham, will provide ample targeted ammunition to speak on their terms with their interests at heart, with a horse’s mouth who is there doing it now.

The links for the talk can be found in a post I made a day or so ago.

September 20, 2006

Skype, blogs and wikis for Professional Development

Technical difficulties again at the Education Village in SETT, but the tech guys were great at getting the show on the road. I talked through how communities of practice can be created through adding your name and blog address to a wiki, like ScotEduBlogs produced on Wikispaces, and how important it is to share your thoughts with those who share your passions. We don't have to put up with those staffroom bores any more!

What I found strange was how some nut thought it would be fun to add a postscript to my talk, uninvited, through the hall mic, to, shall we say, dispute my framing of Skype as a free version of video conferencing? "And now time to let us do some real work", he said, about the next session which used video conferencing. Now, let's face it, how many teachers have video conferencing in their homes? None. How many could have Skype? All of them.

Is there a worry that Skype will usurp Video Conferencing? I just see them as two tools for two situations or jobs. Let's leave our inferiority complexes at the door.

Thanks most go to Promethian and LTS for funding the wireless access codes that allow me to blog from SETT

September 17, 2006

Can't make it to Glasgow? Join the TeachMeet06 Skypecast

177718761_dbd613c98a_oIf you can't make it to TeachMeet06 in person you might not get our beautiful Stormhoek but you will be able to join the Skypecast from around 16h00. Hope to see hear you there!

August 17, 2006

20 free Skype minutes

For today only, Steve is gifting us all 20 free minutes to normal phones on Skype. Is this Gifts 2.0? Thanks, mate!

June 23, 2006

10 Ways To Stay Connected Without Losing Your Mind, And Why Blogging Isn't One Of Them (Part 2)

Losing_your_mind003_1

Download mflePodcast21 - 10 Ways To Stay Connected...Part 2.m4a

Quicktime or iTunes required to listen/view the podcast.

This is the second and final part of my keynote speech at Telford and Wrekin's ICT Conference on June 16, 2006. In this first part of the keynote I introduced my digital native past before undertaking to show the first four of ten factors of change in 21st century education.

Part 2 of the podcast reveals factors 5-10 and reveals what I get up to on an average day to stay connected with without losing my mind.

The podcast comes enhanced with slide images and links. Supplementary links and information are available on a previous post I have written on the subjects in hand.

June 21, 2006

Free SkypeOut minutes

Phone from your computer to a normal phone for free for ten minutes with this special offer from Logitech. Fill out your details on their form and you'll get an e-voucher to use with Skype.

June 13, 2006

Modern Language in the Primary School Conference

417pxdingwall__highland_dot Today I was leading a day-long set of workshops in Dingwall, in the northern Highlands. Here is a rundown of a particularly difficult task with a wide range of expertise, teaching style, background, school type, with schools ranging from 5 to 500 students, in cities and extremely rural areas. I've created separate pages on each of the areas covered which will provide the basis of new material on the MFLE.

Hopefully participants will become members of the MFLE forums to get continued support with their ICT use in the teaching of French in the primary school.

Activities today included:

  1. Eight grounding principles for the day's work, available (more or less) in the podcast done at Language World 2006.
  2. A podcasting workshop where participants
  3. A look at the power of audience when student work is published.
  4. An introduction to how hyperlinks can be used to create collaborative real-life links between schools, students and schools. Technorati was the tool used to find like-minded schools, although ScotEduBlogs would have been a good place to go, too, to find Scottish colleagues.
    Richard in East Lothian has just today suggested a collaborative story-writing project using some online tools such as blogs and wikis. What a great offer to get a new blogger off to a start.
  5. A look at how images can be annotated in Flickr (and we did an example using the Vikings for inspiration). David Muir has just posted his advice on using Flickr notes.
  6. A look at how Flickr images can be tagged with a longitude and latitude (in one click with Flickr Geotagr), linked to GoogleEarth by geographically tagging an image correctly
    (e.g.: geo:lat=56.142225
    geo:lon=-3.919845)

    and adding this code to the description of the picture or photo:
    <a href="http://www.roblog.com/flickrfly.kml">Fly to this location</a>
    (Requires <a href="http://earth.google.com">Google Earth</a>)

It was a pretty mega day, but I hope that the Primary teachers take just one idea in the next year and make use of it to make modern languages exciting and relevant to their 21st Century learners.

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

Ewan’s education keynotes & MasterClasses

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Do you worry that your school or district could better harness its people, digital technology or physical space? Do you want some actionable inspiration, a mentor for a learning journey with your staff?

In a keynote or masterclass we can give them concrete ideas based on experience, enthusiasm fired by a vision of what can be, and backup before and after to make it happen for them.

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