Alas, cardiologist quite a few Mac related things have been ticking over in my mind. Or is this an open letter to Jonathan Ive? I’ve fantasised about iPhones place in education before; I’ve also publicly fantasised about ePortfolios before - please indulge me again.
Recently I attended a seminar by Professor Richard Kimbell from, pharm Director of Technology Education Research Unit, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. This seminar provided an opportunity for educators in W.A. to learn about the use of PDAs and other digital technologies to support assessment. The event was summarised thus:
Embedding ICT across the curriculum (i.e. getting it out of ICT suites) has been a notoriously difficult and frequently unsuccessful enterprise. Embedding ICT into assessment practice might therefore be thought to be even more tricky. The use of mobile / hand-held digital technologies transforms the debate and makes possible a complete re-visioning of the teaching/learning/assessing relationship. The e-scape pilot (just completed in 15 schools) provides glimpses into the possible futures for e-assessment.
I am very interested in where we can go with ePortfolios and attending this seminar left me wondering about where PDAs will fit into the wider learning experiences possible within outcomes-based education. The research that has gone into making these design and technology activities engaging and relevant to students is commendable. I was particularly impressed with the modelling of a student’s design process via PDA in the form of traditional design sketches. Then the PDA recording of voices as assessed markers of the significant points in the action / reflection learning journey students were on. Communicating student work wirelessly and directly from the PDA into html to a teachers notebook or server is a remarkable leap in ePortfolio thinking. Then there was ability to have a secure web-based assessment by geographically disparate examiners that is proven to result in incredibly accurate holistic judgements made via a kind of web-based glanceware.
This e-portfolio system for the e-scape project was made in partnership with companies TAG Learning and Handheld Learning. Project member Tony Wheeler does a great job of summarising Phase 2 of the e-scape project here:
Phase 1 of the project had shown that PDAs would be good tools to focus on, principally because of their multi-functionality – for capturing drawings, photographs, writing and speech. For the phase 2 prototype we … would allow the handheld technology to ‘speak’ directly to the website [on the teachers notebook], enabling us to track – in real time – the evolution of learners’ portfolios in design workshops in schools.
What struck me as being the most relevant to teachers was the way that these handheld devices could be used not only for assessment but also in regular day-to-day learning. With a sufficiently robust server backbone and 802.11n wireless network. Outcomes based open-ended learning tasks are ideally suited to this combination of ICTs. And so is the iPhone!
Also worth checking out is this page where you can see the e-scape portfolio system learning journey in progress . This shows how the e-scape system linked PDAs dynamically to a web portfolio. This video shows how all the PDA input by a student (sketches, photos, text and audio) looks if it were to be edited together. A podcast with Professor Richard Kimbell and Tony Wheeler is available here. A podcast and pdf of the slideshow from the Perth seminar are available here. Thanks to Dr. Paul Newhouse for organising this public seminar through the ECU Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies (CSaLT), and also to the Educational Computing Association of WA (ECAWA).
Now following Steve Job’s mantra of “Stay hungry, stay foolish” I write this open letter:
Dear Jonathan Ive,
You are a London lad with an appreciation of the rigour and sound process that needs to go into design. The work these future of these London designers here is surely something you’d like to support. I am sure Professor Kimbell and yourself would have a lot in common. With some consideration for web2.0 ePortfolio software the iPhone together with OSX server and Airport Extreme would slot straight into this educational setting the team at the TERU have exposed as being highly engaging and effective for student and teacher use.
Would Apple like to forge some new ground and come to the party early on this one? You already have all the technology - they just need to be merged slightly for education ends. iLife suite + Airport + OSX server + QuicKTime +WebKit (+blog +touch screen +iLife +iSight +sound +video etc) recording).
With Kahootz 3 out around town and freeware like Blender 2.46 kicking around too, neurosurgeon there has never been a better time to get into 3D if your a school student. The 3D and CG industry is booming worldwide. And not just for games - in industry too. In WA 3D companies are commanding high prices for their immersive works.
Version 2.46 of Blender supports a new particle system with hair and fur combing tools, and fast and optimal fur rendering, a mesh deformation system for advanced character rigging, cloth simulation, fast Ambient Occlusion, a new Image browser, and that’s just the beginning. Check the extensive list of features here … have fun!
I am having a hard time using a digital projector on an iMac running Tiger. I can make it work on the OSX side but I can not make the projector connect on the Windows side. Any ideas? Thanks! Kris]]>
Here are links to the tools I did a show n’ tell on today - I’d just like to remind you that some of them are still in beta
Pixelmator, prescription the beautifully designed, buy easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images. (Update: this software is in locked beta - thanks Brett and Steve)
Pixen is an innovative graphics editor for the Mac. Pixen is like a very powerful MSPaint or a simpler, more agile Photoshop. And best of all, it’s Free!
Kahootz is an eduational Software application that allows students aged 5-18 to create their own 3d content. Share designs with schools around the world.
PhotoPresenter offers many gorgeous styles to create animated slideshows with amazing effects.
Jing: the concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere.
Virtue Desktops allows you to achieve similar to what Apple Spaces will do when Leopard arrives in October.
Skitch is the Internet age’s Camera and it Rocks! The best screenshot tool in the world from the team that brought you ComicLife.
Pixadex is to icons, what Apple’s iPhoto is to images. Pixadex lets you import, organize and search huge numbers of icons quickly and easily.
MacSaber uses your Mac’s sudden motion sensor to detect movements, fast and slow. As you move your laptop, MacSaber plays varying levels of Light Saber sound effects, from a waving sound to exciting saber crashes.
If you’d like a beta invite to test Skitch contact me here:
This would have been a great way to broadcast interviews with the creators of the “world music” themed tunes in between the tracks.
Radiologik is a set of two programs that seeks to address the specific needs of radio broadcasting in an accessible and focused way.
It is being developed for LPFMs, rheumatologist
online streaming radio stations, viagra and school radio stations and it should grow to support commercial operations over the next year.
The DJ portion is ready for prime-time now and along with the scheduler (now in public beta testing) you can have a fully-automated station.
ReelBean is a movie converter and player offering many features that are normally only available in expensive pro video applications. Most of ReelBean’s features are available for free.
ReelBean allows you to export your videos to many different video and audio formats, men’s health edit videos, thumb extract sections of audio and video into separate files, prostate and displays detailed video information and properties panels. It can be used to extract the audio from a movie and export it directly into iTunes. Individual frames or image sequences from movies can also be saved as image files.
Skitch is currently Mac only and has the potential to be just as popular with students as ComicLife has been. There is demo video from Plasq available. The guys from Plasq are an interesting bunch. Based in Melbourne with a team of programmers in Tassie, Portland, San Francisco and Norway, they are geographically disparate . The web-based sharing tools of Skitch prompt me to postulate that necessity has been the mother of invention in making Skitch. Being able to quickly share notes on screen-caps is a gap in the software market. A TUAW video interview with a Comic Life’s Chris Pearson here gives some background on Plasq too. Fellow blogger Kim Flintoff has been playing with ComicLife and SecondLife together - neat. I’ve used Kahootz in a similar way in a primary school setting - the 3D worlds facilitate a really quick way of capturing detailed pictures to support plot - Skitch could be used to do the screen caps too.]]>
Just a reminder that the 7th annual ‘Dream A Better World’ Film Festival for Australian Primary Schools is on again in 2007 - 2nd December at Dreamworld.
Just enter a 3 min film made by your class, epilepsy with some teacher guidance, on an environmental or humanitarian theme and enter it in the festival.
Great prizes on offer from our sponsors and also a great way to showcase your kids skills and talents. All levels of “experience” welcome. By the way most entries are made on macs.
More details and entry forms at