Posted on 15-06-2008
Filed Under (Miscellaneous) by gashed

CogDog and Gardner Writes have just blogged about wordle.net .  You simply enter a list of words, and wordle constructs an elegant word cloud.  The size of the word is based on its frequency in your list.

Somone did it for Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream speech’.

i have a dream

 

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Posted on 15-06-2008
Filed Under (Creativity, Examination) by gashed

Having recently had the opportunity of observing a student using a laptop for his Junior Certificate, it was again obvious the advances the integration of technology into the classroom would bring.  The student completed most exams on computer, but those that required filling in the boxes or blanks, he wrote.  It was evident that they were much more comfortable when using the computer, rather than a pen and paper.  There was much more fluency of expression and they could focus fully on the answer rather than the technique required to record it.  I have no doubt that had the Department of Education provided the exam papers in electronic form, appropriately formatted so the student could type the answers, they would have done much better in the fill in the blank exams. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 14-06-2008
Filed Under (Miscellaneous) by gashed

lisbon treaty

Electorate Spoilt votes Total poll (%) For (%) Against (%)
3,051,278 6,171 1,621,037 (53.1%) 752,451 (46.6%) 862,415 (53.4%)

I feel I owe 800,000,000 people an apology.

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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 13-06-2008
Filed Under (teaching, Technology) by gashed

qx5 digital microscpopeWe have recently bought a few of these QX5 digital blue microscope devices for use in our second level science labs.  They are microscopes that allow the magnifyed image to be displayed on a computer screen – and further projected onto a screen.  They also also allow video of the sample to be made.  They’re great. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 13-06-2008
Filed Under (teaching, Technology) by gashed

Mimio is due in the next few weeks to release a new version of its studio software. This is the software used by its popular interactive whiteboard devices. 

These devices are attached to the side of a conventional whiteboards and may be connected to a computer either wirelessly or via a USB cable.  Due to their size they are often called portable interactive whiteboards.  They generally cost about a third of the cost of a traditional ‘fixed’ interactive whiteboards; however with these devices it is not a case of ’you get what you pay for’.  My experience is that you get hardware that performs to comparable standard to the more expensive boards in every regard.  I have already posted previously on how good these types of devices are.

The studio software is used both to record whiteboard markers detected with the Mimio device and when a pen is used as a mouse on a projected computer screen.  I was disapproving of Mimio’s current studio software, and have been given a preview of the latest beta version of studio, due for release in July 08, and it is a significant advancement from the last release. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 11-06-2008
Filed Under (teaching, Technology) by gashed

This evaluation as undertaken as we are currently looking to increase the ICT capabilities in our school.  Presently we have one interactive whiteboard (IWB).  This Hitachi Cambridge starboard receives good use in Learning Support, but it is not available to the other teachers.  In an effort to get similar devices into mainstream classrooms, we have recently built some wiimote whiteboards following the instructions of Johhny Chung Lee.  These worked; but the resolution and reliability were not sufficient to allow us to use them widely in our classrooms.  We also found it difficult to find good software.  It did suggest to us that there must be a commercially available product that would suit our needs costing in between the 2500 euro IWB and the 40 euro wiimote solution.

 

The ebeam and Mimio interactive whiteboard systems may be suitable products.  These are different to the typical IWB consist of a detector – linked to a PC – that is stuck onto a conventional whiteboard and an electronic pen.  The pen can be used with a projected image of the computer screen as a mouse.  An electronic sleeve that can be detected may also be used with a normal whiteboard marker to locate and record writing on the whiteboard.

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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 05-06-2008
Filed Under (teaching) by gashed

The Computer Eduction Society of Ireland is a society of educational professionals looking to promote the sound practical use of ICT in the classroom.  It now has a great active mailing list that is well worth signing up to.

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