Ideal Platform for eLearning
I thought it would be useful to share a little experimental journey with you through an example of the work of our BlackpoolCIC organisation, and the on-blackpool.tv channel which sits within the organisation. People have asked my business partner and I how we make it pay. Make it pay? That’s easy, but the return is all about people finding it useful, not profit in cash terms. Let me expand on this.
Any ICT users worth their salt knows that creating and producing video is time consuming, bandwidth and storage hogging, and fraught (in a public sense) with traps for the unwary. It need not be though. This is where our expertise and experience comes into play……
When we initially set up OBTV, as we call it, we wanted a simple vehicle that would provide a platform for Community, Educational and Business focused content (video) and audio. We had the willingness to put in some hard work and we were willing to learn. Neither of us is a media industry expert, but Steve knows the business end of things, me the Educational and Community aspects - and yes, my time with Apple was also very helpful. As an Apple Distinguished Educator today I produce a number of resources and sit with over 6.5k resources personally built up over the last few years. More on that to come (for my associates and customers).
The way to get things started is easy to do - you just get on with the task in hand.
Mediacore uploader is a dream to use
(courtesy of MediaCore web site)
I started by looking at commercial video platforms (the delivery mechanisms if you like. I started experimenting with YouTube and Vimeo, and while these are popular and quite versatile, we needed more than JUST video content to be brought to our ( let me call it - channel ) channel. I also came across Livestream and a couple of other similar products - with the promise of developments to come. What intrigued me about Livestream was embodied in its title - LIVE streaming. Image LIVE broadcasting! I think ambition got the better of me at that point, because as it happens, we have never yet seen a need for a live content broadcast. That said, we adopted Livestream as it was incredibly versatile, however it let us down on one important part - its output to mobile devices was Flash based, making it less than ideal for the most popular mobile content devices on the planet (iPhones and iPads). We waited for the platform to advance, and decided not to promote OBTV until such time as a new (promised) version appeared. It also cost us far more than we were happy to pay at that point. That said, it was rock solid and did what it claimed well. The SEO and reporting was very impressive.
Throughout this phase of our development, the YouTube channel remained in place.
Earlier this year, in part by chance, I spotted that an acquaintance of mine had taken a new role working for a media based organisation (I’d never heard of before) MediaCore. Naturally I took a look and found that MediaCore was a company new to the marketplace, with a passion for Small Businesses. It was seriously getting involved in Education. This had to be good. Naturally I got in touch with ex-colleague and coworker Alan Greenberg to discuss the options.
What was clear from day one was the commitment to Education (something we strongly wanted at the core of OBTV), but it was also the promise to listen to ideas, to discuss future plans and to cooperate with us here at on-blackpool.tv.
MediaCore Capture iOS Only (courtesy of MediaCore web site)
Why Mediacore then?
We wanted more than just video delivery. on-blackpool.tv functions as a linking hub to a number of current and possible future projects we deliver/hope to deliver, and so while it had to work well (it does), it had to be:
- easy to navigate
- . be available on any web connected platform.
- simple to upload to (it is a contributory platform you see)
- It had to allow Podcasts to be hosted
- there had to be a way of carrying supporting materials (pdfs, slideshows, documents etc)
- very importantly - it also had to have granular controls for permissions and publication.
- we had to be able to upload content from an iPhone
Mediacore’s Platform fulfils, or will soon fulfil all of these requirements perfectly. It offers a range of ways to get content in, and frankly offers the most uniquely versatile balance between simplicity and power you could want.
Better by bulk? (courtesy of MediaCore web site)
We are using the platform to pull content from YouTube at the moment, but that will change in the near future. The great advantage for schools is the fact that you can control access very easily and create a really powerful video based resource rapidly.
If you want to hear more - please feel free to contact me. There is plenty to say.
I’ll post a few comments at a later date about how the Mediacore solution delivers for us. In the meantime - Education, schools, colleges, training providers, small businesses - in fact anyone. We can now offer comprehensive introductions to this class leading product.
Illuminating New Thinking in ICT
CLICK TO GO TO REGISTRATION
Illuminating New Thinking in ICT
Hear it from the experts - together in one place - with staff from Apple, Microsoft, Meru, Google and more.
Thinking about iPads, new types & generations of “Tablets” iPhones, iPods, smart devices, Smart-phones?
Interested in use of mobile 1:1 ICT and BYOD? 1:1 and Bring Your Own Device) have become a huge phenomena!:
Typical questions asked:
• What can we achieve?
• Can we really use tablets & smart - phones consistently?
• Does “the cloud” come into this?
• What is needed from the organisation to make it work?
• What about Security, privacy?
• What does it cost?
We’ll answer your questions.
On November 2nd 2012 join us at one of the following sessions (your choice):
• Session 1: Business (with local FSB branch)
8.30 am for 9.00 start
• Session 2: Education - Pre/Schools, Colleges, Universities, Training Providers
12.00 noon for 12.30pm start
• Session 3: Public Sector Organisations
3.30pm for 4.00pm start
Each Session will last approx 3hrs and include light refreshments
For the FIRST TIME in the Fylde, technology experts together
helping YOU better understand the potential of changes that could provide leaps in learning, in training, in productivity, in creativity and in future employability.
To ALL Managers, ICT Staff, Knowledge Workers, Creatives, Teachers, Heads, Governors, Parents indeed anyone interested:
The opportunities to use personal ICT (Smartphones, Tablets, other Handheld and “portable information devices&rdquo and we can show you what you need to do to ensure success.
The Fantastic Venue:
The Blackpool Sixth Form College,
Blackpool Old Road,
Blackpool, Lancashire. FY3 7LR
How Apple is Revolutionising Education
A great Infographic, although a little dated, it gives some scale to Apple and the impact it is making to education. I will add some more detail here later and explain a few items shown. I hope, also, that it gets brought up to date soon.
Long may he remain a friend of Blackpool...
What Blackpool SHOULD know about Prof. Stephen Heppell
(but possibly do not)
Stephen's "eyes on the horizon, feet on the ground" approach, coupled with a vast portfolio of effective large scale projects over three decades, have established him internationally as a widely and fondly recognised leader in the fields of learning, new media and technology. He has worked, and is working, with governments around the world, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, with schools and communities and with many influential trusts and organisations.
Stephen Heppell was invited to open the discussions towards Future Education in Blackpool just 6 short years ago.
He, along with trustees John Rudkin, Prof. Nigel Paine and Nicholas Summer brought the first pilot NOTSCHOOL programme to the town in 2004, dedicated to the education of the most educationally underprivileged learners in the town. Since then Stephen has been a regular visitor and friend, supporting programmes such as "blueIRIS", a dedicated facility for the blind across the area; supporting Blackpool Education and its media work, as well as being a champion for eCommunity work alongside the Town's eCommunity Manager and team. Stephen is currently featured on the latest venture in the town, On Blackpool TV (or www.on-blackpool.tv as it is better known). This project is in its early days, but Stephen was keen to support the initiative. He is also teamed up on an, as yet secret - to be launched project with johnarudkin.net, based on providing a challenged community across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre with a unique way to access and interact with everyone else. Keep your ears open for that one!
In the time Stephen has been working both with Blackpool (initially the Council, now via johnarudkin.net) we have all seen huge changes, both in the direction and the strategies for education nationally. Some may see the changes as having been a backward step, but still others argue that a return to certain core principles was a much needed and bold step.
In that time schools, and especially the impetus on reforming education has been tumultuous, but some things remain the same. One thing has stayed constant - and that is the laser-like vision of a few dedicated and tireless experts whose focus never wavers. This laser-like vision is a beacon for sound educational thinking and the use of whatever is needed to keep learning on track. Stephen is the source of that vision and remains as true to his intentions today as it did in the 80s.
Stephen's ICT career (he is credited with being the person who put the C into ICT), began with the UK government's Microelectronics Education programme (MEP) in the early 80s, after he had been teaching in secondary schools for some years.
Stephen founded and ran Ultralab for a quarter of a century, building it into one of the most respected research centres in e-learning in the world - at one time Ultralab was the largest producer of educational CD-ROMs in Europe - before leaving it in 2004 to found his own global and flourishing policy and learning consultancy Heppell.net which now has an enviable portfolio of international projects all round the world.
Stephen pioneered, and was the guiding "father" of, early social networking with seminal projects including *ESW in the 1980s, Schools OnLine for the UK Department of Trade and Industry in 1995/6, Tesco Schoolnet 2000 from 1999 - the then Guinness Book of Record's largest internet learning project in the world. Think.com with Oracle from 1999, Talking Heads linking every UK headteacher into a community of practice
Stephen lobbied for the creation of (in 1997) and then created in 1998, guiding for ten years Notschool.net, at the time a uniquely effective project to re-engage children excluded from school by behaviour or circumstances.
In recognition of all this work, along with just 51 others including Damien Hirst, Jarvis Cocker, Harrison Ford, Lauren Bacall, Muhammad Ali; Stephen became an Apple Master in the 1990s.
Stephen was a founder board member for Teachers.TV - a UK public service TV and broadband channel for professional development of teachers; he sits on the board of the UK's Skillset - guiding professional development and training in the Creative Industries; he sits on BAFTA's Council have formerly chaired it's Technical Innovation Jury and sat on its Film Committee.
Stephen holds the chair on New Media Environments at the Centre for Excellence for Media Practice at Bournemouth University, where all his PhD students are currently based.
Stephen is at the heart of a global revolution in learning space design, with a string of major new building projects worldwide including a 0-21+ academy in the UK and a complete makeover of a national education system in the Caribbean.
His research project in 2003 exploring for CABE and RIBA in the UK the impact of new pedagogies on the design of learning spaces kickstarted a new rhetoric of school design in the UK and beyond. Recent awards include:
In June 2006 Stephen was awarded the Royal Television Society's Judges Award for Lifelong Services to Educational Broadcasting.
In 2008 he received the BETT for Outstanding Achievement in ICT Education
Stephen's work is worldwide; in the UK Stephen is retained by a number of organisations and governments to help with future policy and direction, including the BBC and Channel 4, is an Associate of KPMG, and is retained by UK government in Horizon Scanning work to advise of future directions for educational policy.
Long may the relationship between Blackpool and the work of Professor Stephen Heppell remain.
An Open “Letter” to Educators
Discuss this excellent video.
This is no time to sit around
I'm really serious about the need for Apple to push hard on the issue of "Programming/Computer Science" in the loosest definition of the term.
I've been told Apple doesn't need a helping hand in Education, it pretty much runs itself. What balderdash.
The links above are, as I am sure you know, just a small example of the debate going on. The organisations who are now leading on advising Government are just about to go through their conference seasons, however I wonder how many will feature ambassadors for an Apple version of the debate, especially with Government Interest usually in the organisations? I'd like to think "a lot", but I have seen so many - and the opportunity to get to Government is so often missed .
Michael Gove has been particularly tardy in his embracing of ICT in learning. I do see his standpoint, and he is right that the majority of teaching has been appalling in the past. What is needed (what has ALWAYS been needed - and I'm going back 20 years in saying this) is a focus on what works. Apple has those stories by the bucket load. The ADEs do a great service, but it is all too small a voice. This is the time to ride the back of the outstanding iPad and iOS messages to reiterate the learning gains and learning exemplars globally (but especially in the UK).
Mr Gove has now redirected teachers to what he initially explained was "Computer Science". It transpires that this interpretation was wildly off piste. He does want ICT to be seen as a discrete, scientific based subject (I hate that word) that leads to an upskilling in ICT employability, however his target has been the inane and distinctly underwhelming support for MS Office courses. Hoorah. There has been a whole industry in this in the UK in past years. What I am trying to get over here is not that Apple needs to rerelease a Hypercard clone (although that would be neat in some ways), but that Apple needs to look to repackage its Apps tools and its XCode in such a way that it can be used to teach very simple coding and programming. This ought to be simple to do.
Back in the early 'noughties' I worked with Apple Europe to bring Apple Learning materials to the UK, and we were able to version these to teach/train over 10,000 teachers. Would it not be a simple task - with a small budget and a 12 month target (BETT 2013) to do something similar again, but this time targeting a different area of the curriculum. All teachers could have an insight into how "programming/scripting" could benefit their technology areas. In the late 90s, I worked with a friend on a project to emulate the BBC micro user ports to run with the Mac. It was very successful. Now Raspberry Pi has landed, the possibilities open up to do similar things again.
I even think EU funding would be available to help.
Now is not a time for complacency, and while I know you will agree, I fear that success is often seen as an opportunity to coast. That is not the Apple way.
Apple creates the Future of ePublishing
Today, at a prestigious gather at true Guggenheim Museum in New York, Apple did what Apple does well. It set about changing the world once again. Just as it did with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984 (which set the standard for every WIMP device since); and it did with Desktop Publishing by making that art accessible to the world; similarly it changed the music industry and is now targeting television.
The Guggenheim Museum
This time Apple is changing publishing. Not since the days of the first laser printers, Pagemaker and the Mac has the control of the quality and look of the print industry been so threatened. The threat?
The problem with digital publishing (and this is not web publishing, but the creation of eBooks and truly digital publications that can be used and interacted with on any device) is that the standards have been somewhat complex, with publications sometimes being incompatible on different end-use devices. This made publishing difficult.
Apple has long had a relationship with Education, indeed it’s DNA, Steve Jobs once famously said, was embedded in Education. He always saw Apple as a company at a crossroads between the Arts and Technology, bring products of grace to life, that technologically make people’s lives richer. Apple has always created products that take complex concepts and package them in clever, well engineered and simple to use formats.
Welcome to iBooks Author………… This will change the way teachers can create resources, learning can be made more appropriate to the 20th Century - and yes, it can also be far, far lower in cost. How?
eBooks (digital texts) can now be made by anyone. What it will unleash in terms of teacher’ds creativity, we can only wonder, but if you look at what has happened to the growth of iTunes University (have you looked at iTunes University? - see later), its massive catalog of University and educational content, married to true 7 billion downloads says a lot. If you haven’t looked at iTunesU, where have you been?
So, here is the reason for all of the above: iBooks Author.
Guess what? It is FREE. That’s FREE with an ‘F’.
A bargain, I say.
Do you want to learn how to use iBooks Author? Want a course for your staff, school cluster, or just a chat about ICT strategies that work?Contact me at email@example.com - asap.
Experience is king.
I’m not sure if any of you subscribe to Linked-In. If not this article is nothing to do with the merits of the professional networking tool (it is good), but it arises out of a discussion I saw on there that I simply had to join in with.
It started with David highlighting an article in Leader Magazine ( there is a clue there to the audience), and was followed by a response you will see below.
|“And this helps the teacher who has bottom set Y11 for Maths on Friday afternoon HOW exactly !”|
Well, good point: Let me address it my own way
Article for response:
If you are thinking about your school’s or college’s vision for learning for the next five years, what role do you anticipate ICT will play in it? You may be concerned about the ongoing costs of renewing PCs, laptops and...
I'm an ex D&T teacher, and just for a moment I want to move the discussion away from technology to something I am sure we are all more familiar with in education.... that touchy, feel, textural, manipulable world of making-things. Now there is plenty of resource, videos, slides online that show experiments, how something is made, how things work etc, but nothing enables learning better that one-to-one learning. The discussions about teachers and ICT, cloud etc help make the point. If you have not experienced something, can you learn from, or appreciate its possibilities?
The UK is sadly lacking in people with real, employer friendly, practical skills emerging from schools. Its not that the exstudents know nothing, it is just that because the system in education is modelled on last century’s needs, it fails to reward students for what they can actually do. This is disenfranchising and demoralising. I learnt this morning that here in Blackpool ( I live in Lytham St Annes as well David....) 27% of students leave without base qualifications. Unfortunately it is in the pursuing those very qualifications that schools have turned them off the willingness to learn in many cases). WE seem to have all but abandoned the one thing that helps make sense out of the world as learners - REAL EXPERIENCES. Forget the virtual world for a moment ( although that IS THE REAL WORLD FOR YOUNGSTERS ), due to a combination of fear of risk and shear lack of enthusiasm kids no long see learning as relevant. It is so often all about theory, learning from someone else's perspective, modelled and unconnected facts and methods.
My great hope as a young teacher was to see students build on experience - Apple had a term that they used in their Educational Programmes, and it has resonated with me for nearly 20 years now. Learning should be "at the point of discovery".
What technology can bring is just such an experience, because it is less about the old view of technology, it is about having the ultimate resource "at the point of discovery" that ensures learning is cemented to the life experience.
So - the relevance of the piece? Its up to your ability to visualise the possibilities, and that isn't going to happen for that Yr11 Friday Maths class unless they are open to learn. Unless they are receptive and trusting to experiment.
You see, we are all learners..... we all need the same thing.
Want to know more? - look me up….
Blackpool’s My Place, a brand new building taking shape in the town to cater for the needs of youth. But did youth design it?
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