AppleTV in the Classroom/Boardroom
You know all those problems about getting the computer to work with a projector?
The embarrassment factor (especially when you are an ICT person) when you just can’t get things to work together seamlessly?
You have to go and seek the technician because the right cable doesn’t seem to be there - and then when you get it there simply seems to be no rhyme or reason it doesn’t work?
Come on folks, this is MODERN TECHNOLOGY. It should just work!
Well, it can, and it will, and Apple TV could be a great blessing and a massive time/money/embarrassment saver. Here’s why:
AppleTV. It doesn’t tell you a lot. It’s made by Apple (whoops, if you are in Blackpool ICT - that was the wrong thing to say for a start). Its TV? What TV?
Lets get one thing straight from the start. Yes, AppleTV receives TV, you can rent media, movies, listen to streamed radio, YouTube, Flicker and Apple’s own iCloud over the internet. It connects by wire or WiFi, or both..... but there is more. It was HD 720p, it now delivers full HD, full HD sound and surround sound (via optical).
But there is more. More is ‘AirPlay’. What is AirPlay? Well, you could already stream movies and content from a Mac (or PC) on your network. That is a given, but AirPlay is something else. Using a Mac, an iPod, iPhone, iPad you can now stream content from that to the AppleTV in realtime, watching your HD content, or listening to music fully in control of the source. It seems like magic, but it is not. Its just plain, simple Apple design. AirPlay enabled apps are now all over the internet, and each allows you to magically share your device with others in the room (or in other rooms for that matter).
I cannot say enough about AirPlay, so read more here:
So? So you can send content to the AppleTV - hence to the screen. But the same is true of any suitably equipped TV or Projector!
Now for boardrooms this means no more getting up and going to “the front” to present. No more fiddling with cables and wires, switching over, calling ICT (because you will not need them!).
In the Classroom, students have the ultimate access to “show and tell”. There are controls of all kinds now available, but imagine students presenting materials they have researched, collected, presented and edited, shared with the class, the group, the school. the college, the parents.....and all in an intuitive, simple to manage way.
If you want to know more contact me.
The revolution in the way we deliver education, and the way students can deliver creative ideas can change forever..... TOMORROW.
Adjunct: I was approached by the daughter of a well-known Educational Guru who wanted to better connect up her learners in a Primary School. She wanted the pupils to be able to present at any time, on one of three or four HD screens. This was in early 2010 (I think).
My assessment, and the research done suggested HDMI distribution boxes, cables etc. It was a solution, but the cost was to be in thousands. Overnight AppleTV at approx. £100, saved a £1000.
You see, when a solution can do that, there are no requirements to go back to first principles. Even the most ‘challenged’ ICT person can understand that.
So ACCESSIBILITY. Like all of Apple’s iOS5 devices, AppleTV has the capabilities to provide its full accessible feature set to users. It can read out aloud what is on the screen, it can be programmed in a ’Speech’ mode. All in all it must be the most open and accessible tool available.
This is a dream come true, and is why Apple TV should be at the heart of any new learning space.
...and that is just the start.
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Cloud Services ----a dollar!!!!
$1/month - all your stuff - ahead of iCloud
Wyse (whose thin clients my previous employer uses, by the 00s) is offering software and a service that will turn your desktop computer into a networked storage system for Apple's hand-held gadgets such as iPad, iPhone and iPods.
PocketCloud v2.2, works with iPad, iPod Touch and iPhones and “can see" the PC as a storage vault of files, which they can read from and write to. The store can be a Windows PC, a virtual machine or a Mac. This means the employee gets full access to all their services, securely and remotely.
With the software you can access "a cloud, your PC, Remote Desktop Services, a Terminal Server, VMware View or virtual machine" from your hand-held gadget while you're out and about but within reach of an internet connection be it WiFi or 3G.
This should suit Blackpool ICT as only MS services are trusted - the access relies on Microsoft's RDP protocol, and PocketCloud is VMware View 4.0-certified (Blackpool uses VM war). It supports View 4.0's connection broker in direct and tunneling modes.Yes, it's true, you will be paying to access your own files on your own PC or server. If you, as a remote user, need secure access to your own desktop PC, the PocketCloud can provide it. Suddenly the idea of expensive laptops for remote working cease. How it will stack up against Apple's own coming iCloud remains to be seen, but it has been said that Blackpool ICT will not favour or trust Apple.
Note: While Android suffers a multitude of virus and malware issues, iOS does not. This should be taken into account when considering the choice of mobile devices.
Call me to arrange a discussion or a meeting.
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Just a little blip?
While this is not strictly about education (and this is the EduBlog, after all), I haven’t yet set up publicsecsblog, so I make no excuses for raising it here. How often do we read about failing or ineffective ICT projects in the public domain?
Look at what is happening here. No wonder ICT has such a bad reputation - everyone is tarred with the same brush. Fear of ICT grows as a consequence, especially in that group who have yet to jump on the bandwagon. Hardly a confidence builder is it?
Martha-Lane-Fox, inclusion guru……we need to stop this disabling ICT image.
This is frightening:
When you read that clipping above, think of it multiplied by 1100 (BBCs figure for the number of NHS practitioner’s surgeries).
That is actually an extract from my own Doctor’s monthly newsletter.
A sad indictment indeed of the state of ICT in the UK, and even sadder when you realise that the country is facing real economic problems. Still, it’ll keep the ICT company involved busy for a while!
Even sadder is the clipping below. I reproduce it in its entirety, and apologise to PC Pro, who original printed it today. The link to the article is below
As expected, the £11 billion NHS IT project is canned. But it's not all bad news, according to the DoH.
By Tom Brewster, 22 Sep 2011 at 10:45
The NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) has been officially canned after a number of reports uncovered significant failings in the project.
The Department of Health (DoH) said it was accelerating the dismantling of the £11 billion initiative following a new review from the Cabinet Office’s Major Projects Authority (MPA).
That report claimed the project, initiated by the Labour Government in 2002, was not fit to provide modern IT services the NHS needs.
A modernised NHS needs information systems that are driven by what patients and clinicians want.
As pointed out in a Commons Public Accounts Committee report earlier this year, the DoH today admitted a one-size fits all approach was not going to work and greater focus on the needs of end users was required.
“A modernised NHS needs information systems that are driven by what patients and clinicians want,” said Sir David Nicholson, CEO of the NHS.
“Restoring local control over decision-making and enabling greater choice for NHS organisations is key as we continue to use the secure exchange of information to drive up quality and safety.”
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said decision making needed to be devolved down to the frontline.
“The National Programme for IT embodies the type of unpopular top-down programme that has been imposed on front-line NHS staff in the past,” he said.
“Following the Major Projects Authority review, we now need to move faster to push power to the NHS frontline and get the best value for taxpayers’ money.”
One of the central criticisms of the NPfIT focused on the failure of providers to deliver the necessary systems. BT and CSC were the two main providers contracted for the initiative.
A DoH spokesperson said “as things stand,” the department would continue to use the same suppliers, including CSC and BT.
Maude said the Government would not allow costly failures of major projects to continue, yet there was no mention of vendors.
However, a new partnership with Intellect, the IT trade body, will "explore ways to stimulate a marketplace that will no longer exclude small and medium sized companies from participating in significant government healthcare projects."
The NHS warned earlier this year it could cost more to cancel NPfIT contracts than it would be to see them through.
CSC had a £3 billion contract for the NPfIT, but it only managed to deliver the goods in three hospitals over nine years, the Public Accounts Committee's report said.
Prime Minister David Cameron warned earlier this year that CSC may not be getting much NHS work in the future due to questions over its work with the health body.
Yet CSC remained confident about its future work prospects.
"CSC fully supports the direction outlined for NHS IT and firmly believes that the significantly modified, more flexible approach we have proposed to drive faster deployment and support more localised decision making, will enable UK government to reap the benefits required from past investments," a CSC spokesperson said.
"We are continuing to work closely with NHS as the programme moves to a more modular approach, whilst ensuring that benefits are increasingly realised by clinicians and front line staff, enabling them to deliver better patient care and build a more efficient NHS."
Not a total failure
The MPA report said two thirds of the £6.4 billion spent so far on the project had delivered working services to the NHS, claiming there were some notable successes.
BT itself was pleased with the work it had achieved, in particular on the core of the shared patient records system known as Spine, the N3 network, the Secondary Uses Service (a single source for a range of NHS data) and the Picture Archiving and Communications Service.
“All of our systems are now underpinning vital services which the NHS relies on,” a BT spokesperson said.
“We support the move from centrally led to locally and clinically led healthcare. We have already changed our approach to respond to this and were the first supplier to do so.”
Ovum analyst Cornelia Wels-Maug said BT and the NHS had laid the groundwork for some useful IT infrastructure, indicating the project was not a complete disaster.
“I think what the NHS and BT have achieved is to put in place an infrastructure and that is crucial,” she told IT Pro. “That is in place and it is working.”
Not over yet?
Tony Collins, from the Campaign4Change group that focuses on improving Government contract spending, questioned whether the project has actually been canned at all.
"There is no evidence in the press release for the department’s claim that the NPfIT is being dismantled," he said in a blog post.
"Negotiations continue with CSC over its £3 billion worth of NPfIT contracts and BT’s deals will remain in place."
Read on for our views on how the NHS can fix its IT.
It is time that someone was brought to account in situations like this. No, it is not “what we expect from ICT”!
Just this week we saw the announcements about the PAC Fire Control Systems (http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/public-sector/3304337/pac-firecontrol-is-one-of-worst-it-project-failures-in-years/)
“the project was abandoned in December 2010, after a series of delays, with none of the original objectives achieved and at least £469 million wasted.”
..and now we hear that schools are struggling for cash to buy computers for schools following some very public abandonment of ICT funding programmes. This is all rather sad (I use “rather sad” a lot - otherwise I might swear&hellip
Look at the promises:
Seven in 10 government IT projects have failed, according to the chief information officer of the Department for Work and Pensions. By Tom Espiner, ZDNet.co.uk, 17 May, 2007 13:04
“Joe Harley called for projects to be completed at a lower cost to the taxpayer, and said the government wanted to reduce the number of project failures to just one in 10.
Speaking at the Government UK IT Summit this week, Harley said: "Today, only 30 percent of government IT projects and programmes are successful. We want 90 percent by 2010/11. We want to achieve a 20 percent overall reduction on IT spend in government, including reducing the total cost of a government laptop by 40 percent [in the same timescale].””
I’m sorry, but when I read the document following I was in-sensed, and I really do wonder how Government can take all things ICT seriously. This simply should not happen. It is not ICTs fault, but contractors and Managers who are paid to do the work. Read and weep:
Cost overruns, delays and terminations:105 outsourced public sector ICT projects