Ain’t University great

28 March 2007

Where else would you get a chance to turn yourself into Robocop?

The full story on New Scientist reveals that the research aims to improve seemless interaction between our technology (ubiquitous and wearable; if not implanted) and our environment. Sounds like a great idea but given the slightly tricky nature of technology interpreting human intention, I don’t think its going to find rapid adoption. Still if it can be implemented in specific situations, one thinks immediately of the emergency services, it could be really beneficial. Imagine a firefighter looking at an industrial fire, the third eye picking out the gas cylinders and reporting their contents and additional safety precautions.

I recall some work at UWE on a dynamic GIS system that could provide emergency services with some of this but without the person mounted camera (I think, it was a few years ago and I can’t find a link on UWE’s Built Environment pages).


Chat from Singapore

31 August 2006

Very cool chat by Steven Tong from Singapore Infocom Development Authority single agency for ICT in Singapore government and regulation tasked with promotion and development of ICT adoption & usage.

Population of 4m with 75% Chinese – large population in flux.

Singapore did BSF in 2002 – now on Masterplan II on how to use resulting infrastructure. Moving towards multiple education pathways including vocational skills; integrated program from 15yrs, skip O levels and go straight to A levels and degrees. New uses for social software – maintaining entries on wikipedeia. They are also using grid technologies.

iN2015 is their vision of an intelligent nation by 2015 – lots of quantitative targets (currently at 60% broadband usage in home). Not satisfied with ‘piddling’ 2-4Mb, they are aiming for 100Mb fibre to the home and ubiquitous wi-fi. Very clear focus on international exploitation.

EdVantage is their transformation program for education. 365 schools (50/50 – primary / secondary) with lots of reference to learner centric, personalised learning. Its a change program so some are still using technology in ‘traditional’ teaching, others being more adventurous.

Experiment with 20% of schools (65) and industry mentorship for 5% of schools. Explicitly refers to games for learning, including simulation, digital learning exchange as a market place for content – teachers, companies and other content holders can share or sell? Also building portfolio, assessment (starting with formative but already exploring summative) and collaborative applications on a national level.

bluetooth research

18 August 2006

Just been interviewed by HP researchers about my naming my phone’s bluetooth profile. I haven’t so it was quite a short interview.

Aparently 7% of people’s phones are discoverable by Bluetooth and many more have personal named phones… be interesting to see what the findings of the EPSRC research are.


12 July 2006

Very cool meeting with Howard Esbin and Phil Jarvis talking about a series of beautiful engagements that Howard has developed to elicit individual, group and community visions and understanding.

Widely use across the world this could be a really cool digital platform to be involved with. Needs support probably from Government agencies together with commercial and 3rd sector partners.

Interesting use of art as language (but not cultural) independent mediation device. Independent to collaborative working with a strong social message. Lots of evidence but (I don’t think) much formal academic research – could also be an interesting angle.

Rob Holdway – Giraffe Innovations (entertaining & challenging speaker)
RSA WEEEman – one individuals contribution (3.3 tonnes of electronic waste).

Much larger impact of extraction, CO2 etc. Ecological impact – each person has 1.8 hectare – currently use 21% over capacity (minimum) and growing. Ecological footprint – of digital technology. Lots of evidence (from Design Council) about benefit and importance of design to SMEs & manufacturing.

Position of design in the product development process is blurring the technology boundaries. Mass customerisation / digital personalisation – putting tools into user reach but with solid design discipline integration. Modular products – what are the products being designed (or is design the product)?

Brain overload. Need to cogitate and follow up later.

Evidence of impact – lots of good news: lots of and increasing use of Interactive Whiteboards; use of mobile technologies increasing. Flash stats (all from 2005 data):

  • 69% of Primary and 42% of Secondary schools using IW (up from 11% and 12% respectively in 2004)– assumed to be a good thing, some scepticism in audience over validity and value of measure
  • 38% of Primary and 21% of Secondary schools using internet resources in teaching (up from 14% & 10%)
  • 52% Secondary schools have a ‘learning platform’ (VLE)
  • 56% Primary schools don’t have a ‘learning platform’

A popular choice for those learning platforms are Open Source solutions – quickly followed by ‘but there’s no judgement, just an observation’…

There was an observation that there was some good quality resources being produced (perhaps driven or facilitated by eLCs) – but that there was no innovation, so perhaps an unusual definition of ‘good’.

Unfortunately I had to leave before the event was completed.

Edith Akerman Visiting Professor at MIT Media delivered a tour du force on Nomadic learning , physical and mental locations & use of space. What technology supports this? Especially supporting inherent skills & desire of younger people for learning. example strategies include • Project • Re-purpose • Disguise • Reconfigure
Play – to take risky situations onto secure ground Networked society as a "space of flows" blurring real & virtual realities. Reinventing relationship & boundaries between spaces. Senses of belonging. Navigating, traveling without leaving?

Allow for smooth transition between place for the person. Dislocation disrupts psych.

Stake your territory & share (digital abundance). High touch as much as high technology.

Martin Chilcott (Place Group) presented a very impressive Co-negotiated control & multi-testing prcoess for surfacing requirements to deliver 21C learner as grounded neo-nomad?