MoLeNET Weekend

 I’ve just returned from two days in Stoke on Trent, where I was in the company of some of my favourite people.

Yesterday was a day for MoLeNET project managers to discuss their projects and to network. Lilian and I spent most of the day compiling a bid for the ‘team award’ at ALT-C 2009. We felt that the MoLeNET Mentors had done enough over the last two years to be recognised for the way that they have been instrumental in helping to bring about a systemic change of attitude towards mobile learning across the F.E. sector. We’d set up an Etherpad the previous day and asked other mentors to add their thoughts to the award bid and we therefore spent the entire day fine tuning our bid. Sadly, we missed recording some of the best evidence we could have had when Steve Nichols of the LSC stood up (impromptu) and told the audience that the “LSC like MoLeNET” and that “it was the best mobile learning programme nationally and internationally”.

Etherpad is a real revelation. We’ve used it before but this two days has seen us use it for a number of discussions whilst others were talking. The main one we shared amongst each other to make note about each of the speakers (especially today) and another was used to expand an idea I’d had in response to something someone else had said. It’s real benefit is that it is a wiki that behaves like you’d think a wiki should. Up to eight people can contribute simultaneously – rather than one after the other or following a refresh (F5). Let me know if you want to try it and I’ll invite you to my own and show/tell you how to set one up!

Davids TechDis badge

David's TechDis badge

Earlier in the week, I’d travelled to Gateshead College where I met some of my Cohort 2 PDAs. On Tuesday I went to Birkenhead and delivered a number of workshops about the free stuff available on Web 2.0. At this event, we experimented with QIK (see:http://qik.com/video/1702430). When I got home I found my official welcome as Accredited TechDis Trainer. This filled me with joy and I immediately added the fact that I was now officially an Accredited TechDis Trainer to my web site. See http://www.village-e-learning.co.uk and http://www.village-e-learning.co.uk/access.htm

Tuesday evening also so the arrival of my new computer. I’ve been having lots of trouble with my two (XP and Vista) laptops, so I’ve taken the plunge and bought an Apple MacBook Pro. It’s beautiful. It’s even beautifully packed. See video @http://qik.com/video/1703984 (I can figure out how to embed it yet)

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Personal Projectors

3M_MPro-3It’s been a strange week. I’ve had lots of time at home to do lots of preparation for upcoming and existing work. But I’ve really found it hard to motivate myself. Time slips by so quickly and I find myself lurching from one cup of tea (or coffee) to another with short bursts of activity, which are themselves interspersed with visits to Twitter, Jaiku or now; FriendFeed.  My work list has included geeing up PDAs (they have to submit draft Action Plans by today); preparing for my week’s work co-delivering an ILT course to European delegates; preparing for one-off gigs at Birkenhead 6th form college and Ashton Under Lyme 6th form college and finishing some work for NGFL Cymru.

Yesterday was an enjoyable interlude. I delivered and e-Guides plus event in Leeds. My co-trainer (although I suppose officially he wouldn’t be called that) was Kevin Campbell-Wright from the JISC RSC. Although the day itself doesn’t involve much input, we still have to try and keep participants on track and motivated. It seemed to work.

During my mobile learning input (really, the only input I did yesterday) I showed them my 3M MPro 110 Pocket Projector. I’d prepared by putting the projector in one waistcoat pocket and my phone in the other. Despite the lightness of the room we were in, most of those present were impressed with the display. It’s convenience for some (one guy was from the WEA) was seen as impressive.

There are two (basically two) types of Pocket Projector available – mine (see picture) which operates from battery or mains and will show off images from portable devices AND (here’s the main difference) from laptops. The other works from battery (re-chargeable but can’t be used when plugged in) BUT can work on its own without any other device – taking the presentation (whatever it is) from a memory card. This type does not have the capability of projecting from a laptop.  See the comparison page at http://www.personalprojector.co.uk/ (tell them I sent you and they may give you a small discount).

And today has been like the early part of the week. Lots of phoning around this morning, some European work this afternoon and now – the bath! 🙂