Glossy – MoLeNET

Blog of the Glossy MoLeNET Project

Plastered

Had a really good session this morning with a group of Plastering lecturers. They are keen on creating video podcasts on plastering techniques and using video for assessment.

I have lent them an Asus EeePC to experiment and pilot with (as it comes with a webcam) to see if they feel it is of use for what they want to do, or whether they want to use traditional digital video cameras.

We went through the process of capturing and converting video, putting the video on the VLE, on a PSP and on a mobile phone.

Though will have a minimal impact on the MoLeNET project, will have a much larger impact on learners next year, which is to be honest what Glossy is all about, long term impact and sustainability.

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, podcast, podcasting, staff, talk, video | Comments Off on Plastered

I liked it so much I bought the class a set…

Really nice positive outcome from two learners using the Asus EeePC as part of their course. The tutor now wants to use a whole set for the whole class for the whole of next year!

We are now seeing the impact of the Glossy project beyond the initial groups and staff as the use of mobile devices cascades through the college.

May 19, 2008 Posted by | eeepc | Comments Off on I liked it so much I bought the class a set…

Little Linux Laptops

Engadget has a nice feature on the growth of Linux based UMPCs.Linux Ultra-Portables

ASUS set the pace with Xandros on the Eee PC, and HP has tapped Novel SuSE Linux for the 2133 Mini-Note, but whereas the Eee’s positioning has been somewhat of a loose hybrid between an adult OLPC and the Nintendo Wii’s culture of global inclusion, the HP Mini-Note has been strongly focused on reckless, immature students while acknowledging potential for senior executives that have been known to share their temperament.

It’s interesting to see how this product niche has almost appeared from nowhere and is growing rapidly.

It seems to be a product that appeals to people who already own a computer, but want a laptop (and a small laptop at that) to complement it. The advantage of these little Linux laptops as well as the small size is the small price.

I have already seen quite a few of these laptops in college, brought in by learners, so I am expecting to see more of them.

May 7, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, hp, linux, umpc | Comments Off on Little Linux Laptops

Initial learner feedback

As we roll out various deliverables of the Glossy project, we are starting to get some  feedback from the learners, both positive feedback and reservations.

The micro-laptop umpc format (we are using the Asus EeePC and the Stone UMPC) are proving very popular with learners, especially as they come with cameras.

Students are enjoying using the iPods (the classic and the touch) however as our network proxy blocks the iTunes Store, searching for podcasts is proving impossible. Once you know the podcast RSS feed then it is possible to subscribe to (and download) the podcast, but of course finding the RSS feed is difficult if you can’t search the iTunes store.

As we roll out the student wireless network, some of the learners are really pleased that they can now access the internet via their own devices. Was interested recently to see a student who had purchased their own EeePC, installed Windows XP on it and was using it with a 3G dongle from Three.

So MoLeNET is starting to have a real impact on learners and learning.

April 29, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, feedback, ipod classic, ipod touch, itunes, itunes store, learner, umpc, wifi, wireless | Comments Off on Initial learner feedback

Oh oh on they’ve arrived…

Well after much searching and ferreting around, our Asus EeePCs have arrived. Having been let down by one supplier, we found another source and even managed to get the 4GB black models with cameras.

Disappointed to hear that the colour versions will now not be made, as quite a few people wanted a pink one!

So far I am charging it up.

April 1, 2008 Posted by | eeepc | Comments Off on Oh oh on they’ve arrived…

ITS Meeting

Had our second ITS Glossy meeting to discuss how things are going from the technical perspective.

Wireless network is basically up and running and apart from the authentication issues it should work for the short-term.

Podcast server should be fine, but considering storage and back-up issues is more complex especially when we consider sustainability – which to me is an important part of the project.

Still having issues with securing the EeePC so have got some Stone UMPCs however these are lot more expensive than the EeePC.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, meeting | Comments Off on ITS Meeting

Talking about the project

Have spent some time talking about the project with both internal stakeholders and external people.

Spoke to Rob about using a selection of Asus EeePCs with a group of IT learners, he was certainly interested but only if the device runs Windows, as he needs to use Access – there is a question does the EeePC have sufficient power to run Access?

Spoke to Alan about the research project, he certainly is very keen and enthusiastic which is excellent and certainly will contribute to the success of the project.

Today I am at the RSC VLE Forum and (as per usual) with my bag of stuff I have been demonstrating some of the technology we are using to embed mobile learning into the college.

February 27, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, talk | Comments Off on Talking about the project

Really Useful Research and Evaluation Event

I attended a really useful Research and Evaluation event on Friday. Loads of sharing good practice took place and I managed to get my hands on an Asus Eee Pc (If only for a brief time). I can now appreciate why it seems to be out of stock everywhere. It really is a snazzy little tool.

I’m planning that this will be the device that our IT students may be able to use. So far the IT tutors have rejected the iTouch, PSP and mobile phones as the screens are too small to display the video tutorials we are in the process of creating.

We have ordered 2 of the 4Gb Asus devices, one to remain on Linux the other to have Windows and Microsoft Office 2007 installed on it.

February 24, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, ipod touch, talk | Comments Off on Really Useful Research and Evaluation Event

The £99 UMPC

Elonex who I remember as a manufacturer of high end laptops according to the Times will be releasing a £99 umpc laptop at the Education Show later this month.

…it includes a free word processor and spreadsheet, a free web browser and free e-mail software. It has a 7in screen, a rubbery little keyboard and no CD drive. And it all runs on an ageing chip that was designed before its target audience of seven-year-olds were even born.

Read more at the Times. Elonex’s website. The news has even reached Engadget.

Will be interesting to see if this is a cheaper/better option than the Asus EeePC for lending out to students in the library.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | eeepc, news, umpc | Comments Off on The £99 UMPC

Can I have one please…

I got my Asus EeePC on Tuesday and had just picked it up from our IT Services and  went straight to a presentation to a group of local headteachers to talk about ILT and e-learning the college.

Having talked about our VLE and IWBs I moved onto mobile learning. I handed round iPods, PSPs, Vista UMPCs I then said…

“this is so new that I haven’t even got it out of the box”,

Took the EeePC out of the box and handed it round and it was incredible the reaction from both the headteachers and the college managers as well, even more so when I mentioned the price.

One Vice-Principal was very keen on the device and started thinking out loud about how we could give these to students as part of their course.

The 14-19 Marketing Manager was so impressed that he’s borrowed it for the weekend, hopefully I will have it back by Monday as I want to take it to London for the podfestcasteventthing.

Key enamoured person though was the learners. Lots of positive reactions from learners. We currently have one of our NVQ students on work placement with us in the library, she fell in love with it, so after I get back from London she will be lent it on a long term loan to see how she gets on.

February 8, 2008 Posted by | eeepc | Comments Off on Can I have one please…