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Author Topic: Introduce yourself here!  (Read 59688 times)
cardav
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« Reply #60 on: June 15, 2005, 08:41:00 PM »

Hi folks - I'm a Head of ICT in a High School in the West Midlands (UK) When my head is spinning from dealing with Key Stage 3 Strategy, National Strategy, TLR changes and all the other stuff we're constantly bombarded with in UK education I retreat to a quiet place with my Palm Tungsten T3.

My affair with PDAs started about 3 years ago when I got fed up with trying to manage 3 diaries, a filofax and endless pieces of paper. My first PDA was a Sony Clie. Once I used it for a few months I was surprised to find out how much software existed. Needless to say my Sony was quickly upgraded to a T3 (hopefully I will upgrade again in the Summer)

After familiarising myself with Docs to Go, ThoughtManager, Smartlist to Go and several others I set myself the task of finding applications that were equivalents/replacements to the PC apps used in schools. Extreme delight when Inspiration was made available for Palm. Yes I know there's something sort of similar that's free - but one of my "soapboxes" relates to buying hardware then not investing in software. (for 4 years I was an advisory teacher and was puzzled to find schools that spent 1000's on hardware then begrudged spending money on software)

Last year I spent time investigating useful classroom/education management software. Most seemed great if I was teaching in the US or Canada, but not really geared to the UK market. "Markbook" from Asylum Software in Canada (and who wouldn't look at a website with a name like that) comes with a PDA client that can be used for attendance registration. Unfortunately it only records absences or lates (tardies for our US guests!) However at BETT a rep from Asylum agreed that this needed to be changed. Actually I think this is one area that a UK developer could investigate (Ninelocks perhaps?)

My other main interest is in sound applications - key programs from Chocpoolp, Microbe and Bhaji's loops and from Minimusic.

Enough of this ramble! I find the developments with PDAs refreshing and challenging - it seems as though we are challenging the tradition of spending more and more for our pupils to achieve less and less. (That's another soapbox)

Regards

David



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Volleyann
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« Reply #61 on: June 17, 2005, 02:18:43 AM »

Hi everyone!  My name is Ann, and I am from St. Louis, Missouri.  This will be my fifth year teaching.  I have taught second grade for a year, fifth grade for three years, and next year I will teach sixth grade Communication Arts.  I love to integrate technology into my class.  I also have a class website that I maintain.  I will be teaching with handhelds for the first time next year and I am very excited for the opportunity.  I am looking forward to reading and participating in the discussions on this board.
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eckhard
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« Reply #62 on: July 06, 2005, 04:32:59 AM »

Hi I'm Eckhard and I teach highschool horticulture in Ontario Canada  Grin  I'm a computer electronics grad and worked for Westinghouse doing military sonar R/D before heading to the classroom to teach electronics..... took some time off to care for children and buy the family farm and when I finally returned to teaching I lucked into a Hort position 15 minutes from home.
Still love tech toys so this forum should be fun.
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frohberg
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« Reply #63 on: August 08, 2005, 01:46:00 PM »

Hello everyone

My name is Dirk and I'm doing a phd on mobile learning at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. I am not so much a technical guy, but more interested in the pedagogy dimension of mobile learning. I'm hunting the added value of mobile learning and it should be beyond "anywhere and anytime".

I am not so much interested in how to deliver mobile contents to learners, but much more how to set up mobile technology for informal learning and situated learning as well as collaborative learning.

Just let me know, if you would like to discuss such a topic. I am not complicated and enjoy any person that would like to talk about mobile learning.

Have fun.
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bastefany
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« Reply #64 on: August 18, 2005, 02:12:57 PM »

Hi, All,
  I've been reading along for some time, but realize that it's time to properly join.  I've been involved with technology integration from the informal/community realm. 
  Youth in my NH town wanted more environmental involvement, which led to water quality and eventually to a project in Marine Science that culminated in Bermuda at their biological station in 1995.  The station's Internet use was integrated into our group's method of communication. 
  The group became involved with JASON Project (jasonproject.org) and, as an active user of on-line info, I joined as a moderator, eventually assuming the novel support area.  This year for their Mars focus, I'll facilitate The War of the Worlds and Robot Visions by Asimov.
   Currently, I'm developing what I've learned from working with novels and youth as a grad student in Children's Literature writing my thesis on the elements in novels that instigate interactivity.
Thanks for all the valued information this forum offers.
BAStefany
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MLuland
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« Reply #65 on: August 20, 2005, 01:10:31 AM »

Hello everyone,  I am a Masters in Computing student based in Ireland and am coming to the end of a taught Masters in Computing.  For my final project I decided to focus on hand-held computers for second level students and the benefits the use of these devices could bring to Irish schools.   I am using a Dell Axim X30 supplied by the college for this project but so far have found it very disappointing.   The idea is for students to use the hand-held out in the field, in particular the rocky seashore, and I developed a programme with pictures and sound narration for them to take to the seashore.  However the finished product is too large to the stored on the hand-held without additional storage.   The purchase of the hand-helds would represent a considerable investment for parents and schools without the need to purchase memory cards as well.

Any opinions on hand-held computers for use by students both from students and teachers would be much appreciated.  Is there a better model than the X30?  How are hand-helds currently used by schools?

Any input would be very much appreciated.   My project must be submitted by early September.

I should also tell you all that although I am a full time student I would also qualify as a 'silver surfer' and will be celebrating my 60th birthday in October.   I returned to education very late in life and got my batchelors degree in 2003.  I started out using a manual typewriter back in the 60s and progressed through electric typewriters, word processors and finally computers.    It will be a real achievement to finally get my Masters degree and any help or advice will be very much appreciated./
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drrevis
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« Reply #66 on: September 05, 2005, 10:31:45 PM »

Hi Everyone,

I'm a developer and have been developing educational applications for kids for about two years now.  Before that I worked mainly on Internet and communications protocols, most recently for Cisco developing Voice over IP technology.  It was fun and I enjoyed it, but I decided to take a big leap and start a small company developing Palm applications instead.

Over the past two years, I've been amazed at how much there is to learn about education!!  I've definitely had to get an education myself and still know that I'm just scratching the surface.  That's one of the reasons I joined this group - to learn from educators about what they need and want in applications.  I'm always looking for feedback and ways we can improve our applications.  Check out our website at www.leadingstep.com and let us know what you think...

I'll be uploading demo versions of our applications to the site here and will do another posting with more information about our applications, but if anyone is interested and wants more information, please just let me know.

Thanks!
Renee Revis
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rboswell
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« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2005, 07:00:16 PM »

My name is Rod Boswell, eLearning Director at Chafford Hundred Campus (Secondary) Business and Enterprise College. We are a (un)conventional UK state secondary school with 750 students aged 11-16 years.

I have been teaching Technology and Information Technology for 9 years and hold a BSc(Hon) Degree in Electronics and a PGCE in Education.

Handheld learning has been an integral part of the curriculum since the school opened in 2001. Initially we issued each student with a laptop but eventually cost and practicality got the better of us. We now issue each new student with Dell Pocket PCs with are integrated with our wireless network. As well as the Pocket PCs we also use a mixed economy of high spec desktop machines and laptops. We are (as far as I am aware) the largest school user of Pocket PCs in Europe with over 350 units in use.

It sounds expensive but we have introduced some very novel funding methods to be able to do this. As well as having a pioneering approach to handheld learning, we also shun the English National Curriculum in favour of an integrated curriculum where skills count more than subjects. Our older students each enjoy a personalised curriculum and are able to choose each subject that they study. This makes for an enormous variety of class sizes! (5 students in some, 35 in others)

We also ensure that all Year 10 and 11 students (15-16 years) have 1 day per week where they are placed with local companies to gain experience of the modern workplace.

We have developed a global reputation in eLearning and have collaborated with educational professionals and establishments in South Africa, China, Japan, the EU and South Korea.

If you are interested in how the mass introduction of Pocket PCs works within education then please feel free to drop me a line.
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andyb
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« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2005, 09:21:02 PM »

Hi Andy Black

Who has been lurking in the forum for a while . Good forum got some really useful ideas already. My background is a reall mix ten years of teaching environmental conservation after a first degree in geography . Started using apple IIe and BBC micro's in the early 80's. Direct involvement with using technology to support learning whatever you want to call it for 8 years or so.

A long term interest in GIS and spatial aware features like geo blogging and great tools like buddy space. Grin

I work for British Education Communcations Technology Agency (Becta). But in my spare time am working on a handheld project putting British Sign language  for ICT terms in the form of flash movies onto PDA or SD card plans for 1500 signs that will nicely fit on a 1 Gb Sd card . Another one who isnt happy about pocket PC flashplayer not being availalble free !!

Got my own blog http://andysblackhole.blogspot.com

Also involved with Post 16 e-learning conference on 1,2nd November at GMEX in Manchester http://ferl.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?resID=12583 Several stars from Handheld learning event are appearing there to and some interesting others.

Looking forward to the event next weekend hugely !!!

Andy Black
« Last Edit: October 12, 2005, 09:42:58 PM by andyb » Logged
Graham Parsons
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« Reply #69 on: October 12, 2005, 03:59:07 PM »

Hi,

I am Graham Parsons and I am a senior project manager at the school grounds charity Learning through Landscapes, based in Winchesher, Hampshire.  For the past year I have been working on a project to introduce secondary school pupils to GIS technology by developing a system which will enable them to map their school grounds.  The project has been funded by the department for education and skills.  I have been working along side ESRI (UK) to adapt ArcView and ArcPad so it is more suitable for young people to use easily.  We have adapted the toolbars and created a data set for school grounds features.  The system is also installed onto XDAIIs so pupils can go into their grounds and capture the features first hand.  The data can then the synchronised with the PC back in the class.

The pilot, which involved 3 secondary schools in England,  ended in July and I am now looking to present my findings and recommendations back to the DfES.

I would very much welcome discussing this and related matters with any of you who are interested.  I shall be at the conference on Friday and Saturday and look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with you all more.

Regards

Graham
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Patty Scheel
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« Reply #70 on: October 17, 2005, 09:40:38 AM »

Hi, my name is Patty Scheel;
I’m so pleased to find this site. Many of you were probably at the conference this past weekend, which I found out about too late to register for. I’m sure it was great, and that I missed a fabulous amount of information. I hope you all will tell me about what you found most interesting and important, and where I can read more about it.

For about a year, I was part of a Becta e-mail group, centered on hardware issues, but left it about a year ago, as most of the messages, while interesting, were about whiteboards rather than handhelds. It’s great what Becta has done, to facilitate the creation of these forums, where communities with the same interests in ICT and education can meet.

My imagination has been really fired by the use of handhelds in schools. I’m not a teacher; I’m an architect/designer, but I’m also the mother of 2 kids in primary school. Their dad is French, and we lived in France until 2 years ago.  Now we live in Germany. I grew up in American schools, and spent a year in university in Britain. All to say that I’ve been in a position to observe schools in different countries. My own experience in school, after age 11, was mostly negative, and I hope that it will be more positive for my kids. I’m excited by the potential offered by handhelds to transform the education experience, especially for those many who get bored or otherwise disenchanted by the classic classroom set-up.

I really look forward to reading about what you have all heard at the conference. From what I’ve gleaned from this site, the use of handhelds in schools is accepted by most of you as a positive and irreversible trend, given the economics and ergonomics of handhelds compared to laptops. And the teachers using handhelds are still the pioneers, discovering to what best use handhelds can be applied, in classrooms.

I am primarily intrigued by the question of the form that handhelds designed for schools should take, and will post some comments and questions on the ‘hardware wishlist’ site. It seems to me that the discussion about the best hardware stopped short, perhaps because there is still not a consensus about what exactly is needed in a classroom handheld. Does it need to have capacities comparable to a PC, or should it be rather a nifty, fast little “internet appliance”, very good for downloading, viewing and listening to all sorts of multimedia applications from the web? And features that are most popular with kids, like instant messaging and video telephoning, MP3 and gaming – how important are these in the classroom? The ‘teaching’ potential of a handheld – does it depend mostly on how well it is used by teachers, or are there educational lessons inherent in the devices themselves, from which students can learn, away from their teachers? 

There is no forum specific to the issue of game playing on handhelds, and their potential educational benefits, and I wonder why not. There is a game page. Are these still favorite games, among kids? Should kids be allowed, encouraged, or discouraged from playing them, and what stance should parents take towards games? Since games are surely the best part of any computer, from the point of view of most kids, this question seems critical to the discussion of the best use of handhelds in schools, and the best hardware design. Should potential manufacturers be lured by the possibility of entering the lucrative market so far cornered by gameboys?

You have all been sharing the most up to date descriptions and predictions of handheld learning. I hope you will share with me, what seems to be coming next?
I look forward to further educating myself about this fascinating subject. Thanks for your help!
 Patty Scheel
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Graham
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« Reply #71 on: October 22, 2005, 06:06:26 PM »

Welcome to all our new members!  Grin

Lots of interesting points raised above that I hope will be discussed in the various parts of the forum.

Anybody who's recently joined or has been a member for a while but hasn't said a bit about themselves yet please don't be shy!

This is a friendly community (nobody too big for their boots yet anyway Smiley ) and it's great to find out about each other  Cool

So who's next I wonder?
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shartley
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« Reply #72 on: October 24, 2005, 09:46:29 AM »

Hi,

I work for a Programme and System Assurance company who, as part of thier work, provide learning solutions.  My particular job is to identify learning needs and suggest a cost effective way of meeting those needs.  The use of heandheld technology is clearly an option to meting those needs and to that end I have just produced a framework that allows you to compare different solutions and come up with a rational answer taking into account the affordances of mobile technology/learning (that's the theory at least - if anyone wnats to try it out pse let me know).
I'm also studying for a Masters in Education, Technolgy and Society at Bristol University, whch is where I heard about handheld learning.
I can be contacted on steve@shartley.freeserve.co.uk
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Robert Gadd
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« Reply #73 on: October 24, 2005, 09:31:09 PM »

Hello All,

I'm a newbie to this site and found the forum today while continuing my research into emerging mLearning products and services.  I am one of the cofounders of a USA-based e-learning software company focused on corporate training/performance improvement and our company is working to devise new solutions for mobile learning and wireless information collection/delivery.

In recent years, we were involved with a Norwegian company called Screen Media that had designed a Linux-based wireless tablet device.  Through an early partnership, we began generating interest for Screen Media's FreePad device here in the US including gaining positive traction in several markets and even garnering an Gold Innovative Technology Award from Brandon-hall.com here in the US back in October 2003.  However, after 1+ years of effort, Screen Media was unable to get their device into mass production and our efforts were sidetracked. 

Check out:  http://www.onpointdigital.com/demo_production/FreePad.htm

We are now poised to pursue our aspirations/vision for mLearning again with the advent and introduction of Nokia's new 770 Wireless Tablet device which is slated for release in the immediate future.  The N770 has most of the characteristics and features our recent prospects all seemed to be clamouring for and the fact a company Nokia's size is bringing it to market brings us "more comfort" the myriad possibilities we foresaw can now be realized. 

Our company recently began optimizing all our software offerings to take advantage of the N770's display size and standard capabilities.  We're excited about the future that's unfolding, and I'm happy to share our experiences with those in this Forum who are considering similar mobile learning deployment strategies in the corporate market.

Robert Gadd
OnPoint Digital, Inc.
www.onpointdigital.com
www.mlearning.com
« Last Edit: November 09, 2005, 04:53:15 PM by Robert Gadd » Logged
ictchc
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« Reply #74 on: November 11, 2005, 02:14:29 PM »

Hello All

I am also a Newbie to this site and was invited to post here after Graham came to visit our school here in Thurrock www.chaffordhundredcampus.thurrock.sch.uk. Being the network manager, I am very sceptical about new ideas especially if teachers are very enthusiastic about a product but for once, I found a straight talking person who put his hands up and said they do not have all the solutions...yet thanks mate welcome change.

Anyway, back to me. I have been working in ICT in education for the last four and a bit years and I have seen allot of new ideas some bad some good. Coming from a business and military background, i am very much for value for money.

We have had Pocket PC’s on site now for over 14 months (300 at the moment increasing by 150 each year until we have 1-1 ratio roughly 1000) and we have various issues which I will post elsewhere in the forums. Until Graham’s product came along, I was very sceptical about PPC’s as all I saw was an expensive way to have a timetable and email facility. Now I can see the potential with help of this software and enabling greater control of the units.
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