Posted on 13-06-2008
Filed Under (Mobile technology) by gashed

msi windA new player on the market is Micro-Star International and their new wind ultra-PC.  wind stands for ‘wi-fi network device’.  This is priced at around the same price as the Asus EeePC 900 model; but it’s specs are much higher.  It is available in a Linux and Windows version – the Windows version is a little more expensive.  The principle differences are that this has a 10″ screen as opposed to the 7″ in the Asus 700 series or 8.9″ in the 900 series.  Another difference is that the MSI wind has a 80GB hard drive!  It is larger than the Asus and it is slightly heavier, but it looks like a definite option for those who find the Eee screen too small.

It is due in Ireland in July and is available, among other places, at www.expansys.ie

 

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Posted on 13-06-2008
Filed Under (Mobile technology) by gashed

Eee PCI have to say, I love my Asus Eee PC.  I have the 4G version released in in late 2007 – formely called the Eee701.  Although it ships with Linux, I have WinXP running and Office installed and it works great.  This obviously takes most of the HD space, so all my work files and some programs are stored on a 16GB SD card I put in the side of the machine.  This works seemlessly, and actually it’s great to be able to take out the SD card and slot in into another machine if I need to work on a file there.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 05-06-2008
Filed Under (Mobile technology) by gashed

The Elonex one ultra PC talked about previously is getting closer. Elonex have announced more details.  It is very aimed at children, containing a ‘variety of classroom based programs’ and coming in a variety of pretty colours. 

The removeable splashproof keyboard looks interesting. 



The screen is the same size as the ASUS Eee PC, it has one less USB slot, but can come with bluetooth.  The storage format is not SD, but wirstVAULT.  I find the SD slot on the Eee invaluable as it allows me to synchronise with other computers easily. 

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Posted on 04-06-2008
Filed Under (Mobile technology) by gashed

It seems that Dell are to follow Asus and produce a mini-PC.  Michel Dell was spotted carrying the device recently, and Dell subsequently released pictures on its blog.  It is still not clear what size screen it will have or what the operating system will be.

Dell mini-laptop 


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Posted on 19-02-2008
Filed Under (Mobile technology) by gashed

Seems the Asus Eee PC has caused a bit of a stir.  Elonex has plans to bring out it own ultra laptop, ‘one’.  It is due to be released at the end of the year and will retail at under 120 yoyos.

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Posted on 11-02-2008
Filed Under (Mobile technology, Technology) by gashed

This is a headline from todays Guardian newspaper.  The laptop they mention is the RM Mini-computer, this the Asus Eee PC we mentioned before, but sold as a educational tool.  They look at the price and reckon for the price of a IT suite, a whole year group can be given their own laptop.  I agree with Stephen Fry, this is the future of educational computing.

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Posted on 07-02-2008
Filed Under (Mobile technology, teaching, Technology) by gashed

I have just purchased one of these from ebay.ie . There are very cheap and handy.  They are capable of recording 30 minutes of video (1GB version) and couldn’t be easier to use.  You point and press the big red button!  Each time you stop and restart a new clip is formed.  It has a x2 digital zoom if you wish to get closer.  It is exceptionally light and about the size of a pocket camera.

prod_flip_video_lg.jpg

The best thing about this is how easy it is to download to your PC – there is a pop out USB connection that acts as a memory stick with video clips on it.  There is software bundled with it, but I’ve never used it.  The clip can be played through media player on a PC or brought into movie maker.

Very handy in the classroom for taking videos of experiments, kids presentations or for the kids to go out there and record the world.

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Posted on 04-02-2008
Filed Under (Mobile technology, teaching, Technology) by gashed

I have bought an Asus Eee PC; it’s an ultra portable laptop computer and it is mind boggingly brilliant.  The screen is only 7″ wide (a version with 10″ is to be released soon), so it is tiny.  It is robust and quiet as there are no spinning parts, it has no CD drive and a solid state hard disk memory.  They ship with Linux but you can get XP installed; both work great.  In Ireland they are available from www.expansys.ie for about 345 euro.  You can get more variety and cheaper options on www.ebay.ie

It is easy to imagine that every kid will have one of these in their bag soon.  They pop into class and crank up their ultra laptop (boots in seconds) and update their blog, work on a wiki, check their RSS feeds, open the class moodle course etc.  These laptops are perfect size and functionality to allow easy integration into the classroom and if the costs continue to fall it won’t take long.

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Posted on 14-07-2007
Filed Under (Mobile technology) by gashed

The Irish Independent newspaper published an article about a Department of Education and Science, NCTE, Foras na Gaelige and the NCCA program to use mobile phones in the teaching of Irish.  It is hoped the use of technology will motivate students and improve their communication skills.  The use of ICT in assessement will also be trialed.  The exercises that the students will undertake are:

  •  Pupils use mobile phones to dial a number and hear a series of recorded questions to which they respond. They can re-record until they are happy with their response.
  •  Teachers listen to student responses online and provide feedback, either in printed form or on a podcast.
  •  Teachers use SMS to send a word a day to pupils for them to learn.
  • Pupils log on to a secure web chatroom where a stimulus, such as a photo or movie, is provided to prompt a written story.

There are some good ideas there; the use of the phone to somehow record oral homework is novel.  However, SMSing a word to learn is very lame – why not write it on the board .  Only one of the exercises do the students potentially have the oppurtunity to learn from each other and generate content.  I’m sure there are better more pedagogically sound ways to use phones in the classroom?  One other question is the headline states:

Pupils lap up hi-tech learning of Irish

Can phones really be considered ‘hi-tech’ anymore? 

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