Monday, 3 December 2007

Ultra-Mobile Computing

I often get asked where technology is going in education? Where will we be in ten years time? At the moment one-to-one laptop schools are quite rare, but that is bound to change as more and more schools get the message that the world is changing and education is changing with it.

A computer is just a tool - a very powerful tool, but it will soon be common place in schools, like calulators are today. One of the trends that will continue is that machines will continue to get smaller the so called Ultra-Mobile PC or UMPC. At the moment they are trying to compete with full size laptops and are being found wanting, but as bandwidth increases to grow, we will see a move to thin client devices, where movie files are moved online for editing.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

One-to-One Laptop Programs

There was a real buzz at the EARCOS Admin Conference about One-to-One Laptop Programs, many schools are either going that way or thinking of going that way. Also heard mentioned in many discussions was "Tablets". Quite a change from last year, Tablets now seem to have become accepted as having many advantages for schools.

One of the highlights of the conference was the informal panel discussion/forum "What's Happening Now in Educational Technology?" This is were administrators got to quiz Tech experts about where technology in education was going. The common response was: One-to-One

This is a video of my tablet presentation:

One of the videos I used in my presentation was a Toshiba video, which showed how one school had piloted a one-to-one tablet program.

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Tuesday, 2 October 2007

EARCOS Administrators' Conference 2007 in K.L.

I will be offering two workshops at EARCOS Administrators' Conference

1) Teaching with Tablets: the development and use of a one to one tablet laptop program. Notes are available here: Teaching with Tablets

2) Taking learning online: developing an online curriculum to support teaching and learning. Notes are available here: Taking learning online

Target Audience:
Teachers or Administrators interested in developing technology in schools or using it to enhance teaching and learning.

Description of Workshop:
· Teaching with Tablets:

This workshop will look at some of the pitfalls and tips for piloting a laptop program. It will consider the total cost of ownership and how such programs can be funded. How laptops can be used to enhance teaching and learning and the special benefits of tablets and digital ink.

· Taking learning online:

This workshop will look at how to developing an online curriculum and use it effectively to support teaching and independent learning, both in and outside the classroom.

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Monday, 17 September 2007

Learning 2.0 Shanghai

Great Technology Conference - and a big thanks to Jeff Utecht for getting us all Twittering and Ninging; before; during and after the conference. This technology is so great for creating community, that I have decided to use it to support ISTEC - the International Schools Technology group in Thailand. NIST is hosting our next meeting on 8th October and I am pleased that Chris Smith will be joining us.

Visit IntSchTech

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Thursday, 6 September 2007

Technology at NIST 3 Years on; time to move on

This is the NIST Server room 3 years ago, when I joined NIST as Tech Director. The three main storage "servers" (desktops) for secondary staff; elementary staff and students each with 40Gb of space!

The NIST Server room today - note the IBM Blade Centre and over 7 Terabytes of storage

Wireless network and one-to-one Tablet laptop program

Wireless projectors in every classroom

Online Curriculum using class wikis on windows sharepoint

With the exception of the tablets themselves; which were build into the school fees ; all this technology was financed out of existing budgets.
So at the end of this academic year; the tablet program will be full rolled out and I will be looking for another school to start the process all over again!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The International year of the wiki

"The International year of the wiki" was written on a 07-08 planning calendar in our staff room last June. We are not sure by whom, but my suspicion is that it was Malcolm Nicolson, the MYP Coordinator, a guy with a great sense of humor. He has since moved to become head of the MYP in Cardiff, which is a great loss to the school. But why was it so funny? Well at the beginning of last year none of the staff had even heard of wikis, yet over the next 12 months the whole of the secondary school curriculum was moved online on to wikis. People had spent so much time wikiing, that many actually believed 07-08 was the International year of the wiki “Is it really?”; “so everybody’s wikiing are they?”

These are two training videos I did; which are available from our network in high definition and on Google videos, out of school.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Marketing your school as a Technology School

The start of another school year and I see that another article has been published about Technology at NIST, this time in Education Living NIST has been the subject of a number of Newspaper and Magazine articles, including PC WORLD; EWorld; Winmag; and The Bangkok Post. I also have presented at a number of conferences: ISAT Teaching Conference; The World Teacher Congress; Tech Ex 2005; IBO SEA technology conference in Singapore; EARCOS ADMIN and EARCOS Teacher Conferences 2006-7 in Bangkok and I will be presenting also workshops at EARCOS ADMIN and EARCOS Teacher Conferences 2007-8 in Jakarta. All this helps to brand the school as a technology school. See the IT in NiSt.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Blogs in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

NIST is using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 for staff to develop an online learning platform. One of the features of WSS3.0 is the built in Blog feature. This is a great way to supervise students doing a project the I.B. like the Personal Project or Extended Essay. The students need to keep a process journal – this can now be done online in their Blog and teachers can continue to monitor students’ progress and comment on their work, even during the holidays.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Schools collaborating to get bulk discounts

Traditionally schools make purchase decisions on their own, but if enough of them get together, then vendors sit up and take notice. At NIST we are planning to purchase 250 tablets but with other schools also buying, it gives everybody good discounts and we can share our experiences about demo machines. I recently got this email from a tech director in Bangkok, which was sent to several other schools.

Subject: RE: tablet reduced price

It would be good for us to have a chat about Tablets, where we are all up to, quotes, security and anything else. Effectively, I think that this means that we pick Paul's brains!!

See you on Friday.


Some would say "why share", but in the end, everybody gains.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Laptop Bags

There is some debate about the best kind of bag for a student laptop. If you give students a big bag, they will stuff it with other things that could damage the laptop

such as

The other issue is one of fashion. Whatever bag you buy them, they won't want to use it. A laptop carried without a bag will be dropped and they don't bounce well.

Damage done by dropping is cosmetic, but the plastic assemblies are expensive.

We have decided to give the students a slip case, that they can slip inside the bag of choice (this week).

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Tablet PC Selection

We are currently in the process of choosing a Tablet PC for next year - we will be buying 200 more for students use in our 1:1 program and more carts for elementary, as well as additional staff machines. A number of International Schools in Thailand and the Asia Pacific region are looking at starting a 1:1 Tablet PC program.

This is the spec we went for:
I feel that 2Gb of Ram is the minimum spec for VISTA - 2 batteries for whole day use.

This is the email we sent to vendors:

The purpose of this email is to formally invite you, to be a tablet vendor candidate.
For your information, NIST is expecting to buy 200-250 new tablet computers for next academic year.

We would like to the request specifications of your recommended tablet computers and a test machine for testing such as battery life, Windows XP and Vista drivers, checking performance and actual specification.

We will shortlist the tablet companies that we want to invite to a meeting to discuss in detail our new tablet computer requirements at NIST.

In closing, please see our additional requirements to help on your preparation as below;
- Model and Price
- Must be able to deliver in June 2007
- XP and Vista drivers
- Roadmap for the product offered – e.g. When will it be replaces?
- Delivery time for initial order and any additional orders – e.g. replacements
- Warranty - how long - what covered - onsite or not
- What offers – standby machines – free accessories etc
- Cost of replacement/spare parts – chargers – batteries - pens – most usually broken parts – e.g. plastic casing
- What support offered - technical - problem solving –Marketing etc

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Friday, 6 April 2007

Google Videos

............. Google Video is a good way of uploading videos for use in the class. This is a video I uploaded - a clip from one of Bill's webcasts - "Bill Gates Unveils Technology Breakthroughs in Education at Microsoft Government Leaders Forum Europe January 2007" Bill and Tablets A nice feature is "Unlisted" - your video will not be included in search results - just add the URL o your Blog or Wiki

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Thursday, 5 April 2007

IBAP Teachers' Convention 2007 continued

The final dinner at the presenters' table. Left to Right: Ed Lawless, Professional Development Manager ; Ian Jukes; Peter Woodhead; , ICT Advisor, English Schools Foundation; Judith Guy, Regional Director IBAP; and myself.

Missing from the table was Stephen Heppell who showed us how he is getting students and teachers to learn collaboratively using technology.

Monday, 2 April 2007

IBAP Teachers' Convention 2007

This photo was taken at the opening session of the IBAP (International Baccalaureate Asia Pacific) Teachers' Convention 2007: Information Literacy Across the IB Programmes in Singapore, a few moments before my presentation. You can see that I am still making finish touches!

More details of my presentation can be found at: IBO Convention Keynote . It was difficult to leave a soft copy of my presentation, as it was mostly pictures and video. I had to add a number of annotations to each slide to make it make sense. I was also used Powerpoint 2007, which is much prettier than 2003 - what do you think? The convention computers had only 2003, so I had to do a quick computer swap at the start of the presentaion.

I have some strong views about presentations - They should be interesting and engaging. I am sure that we have all experienced "Death by Powerpoint" - "You don't need to make notes, as it is all in the handout, but I am going spend an hour reading the words from every slide to you"

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Friday, 30 March 2007

EARCOS Teacher's Conference in Bangkok

Nothing much to report from the Earcos Teacher's Conference - I was only there for the first day as I had to fly to Singapore for the IBO Technology Convention. I was presented two workshops - one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Workshop I
Topic: Technology
Title: Using Multimedia to enhance Teaching and Learning
Description:Students of the digital generation respond much better to multimedia than simple text based resources. The research has shown that because of multimedia stimulation, young people's brains are literally wired differently.This session will look at first why and then how to produce multimedia resources incorporating video and sound to enhance teaching and learning.

Workshop II
Topic: Technology
Title: Teaching with Tablets
Description: Many schools are moving to a one to one laptop program, but Tablet laptops offer many advantages for education. If your school was to give every teacher a tablet laptop and projector, it would revolutionize the way teachers would teach. If students had them as well, the results would be even more dramatic. This presentation will give you the evidence to take back to change your school into a Tablet school.

I would like to thank all who attended both of these sessions, it was a full house both times.

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