Google Hit Hard with 5 New Features

December 8, 2009 § Leave a comment

Almost every feed I follow covered Google yesterday as they unveiled a number of “incredible” new features. From voice search and translation, to location and visual search, as educators our job is to customise and use them for education where appropriate.

Near Instant Voice Translation – that will translate between English and Spanish in the cloud, via your mobile phone. Well that is MFL sorted. Future international conferences will run smoother as long as delegates bring their Android smartphone.

Customized Suggest Based on Location – The feature will soon make use of location information when searches are performed on mobile devices.

Google Product Search Combined With Inventory Feeds from Local Retailers – local mobile product search will soon tell you where the nearest store with a product is and whether that product is in stock. So that is the retail market at the beck and call of Google.

Next, Google Launches Real-Time Search Now  – click that button and you’ll see the closest-by search results ranked by user rating. Handy if you are looking for a restaurant in Birmingham during the SSAT conference?

My personal favourite, Google Goggles – if not for the name. Visual search, take a photo, click a button and Google will analyze imagery and text in the photo for your search query. Pretty exciting.  With 1 billion images included in the index today, excluding facial recognition until privacy concerns are figured out, this could be exciting. But how will we use it, answers in a comment please….

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SSAT 18th?

November 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

Having just completed the survey for the SSAT 17th conference, I was overall a little disappointed in the cohesion on the conference. In saying that,  my two highlights were clearly George Alagiah and Bob Comptons keynotes. Both these keynotes, were IMHO, the two keynotes that best explored the conference theme and were also the most provocative. Currently Wednesdays and Thursdays videos are posted on the conference site, most of Fridays sessions are live and I hope George Alagiah will follow this week.

My thoughts turned to the conversation we had on the way home… What should / could be the theme for 18th SSAT conference and who we you invite to speak? The second part of the conversation was do you first chose a theme then the speakers or vice versa? This proved a rather difficult question to answer so here is my first reflective thought…. I would like to see the SSAT explore how collaboration will redefined leadership in the future.

Speakers? The staff behind Google Docs or Zoho? The founders of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks. Personnel involved with the research and development of common everyday products (like education?). Change makers like Stephen Heppell or what about Chris Lehmann? Someone from an Open source community, now there to international collaboration. I appreciate my suggestions are a little edu-ict biased but you have to start somewhere.

Any thoughts anyone?

SSAT 17th Day 3

November 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

Its a the moment when the idea first sparks. The emphasis given to globalisation news at an Indian school showcased by one of the teacher presentations. A simple mentor activity that would need some help developing some eduX-factor, as sadly for many of our studnets the news just simply is not attractive enough on its own.

I need to contact Tony Parkin this morning, to share these wonderful, simple, visually stunning news sites with the SSAT, but I suspect it might to late for today/ this morning conference. Although, Thomas Friedman did suggest we act on our ideas and it would be in the spirit of the confernce. So my top 3 global news tools;

1. Spectra Visual Newsreader from MSBN

2. Ten by Ten

3 A little different, Boston News big picture.

Now I need to get the news to Tony Parkin.

And finally, a few days laters… Newsmap

Lip Dub this with our Students!

November 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

I would like to thank Wes Fryer for his timely reminder! I stumbledupon my first Lip Dub, when searching for a USA memory (I studied in nr St Louis for my masters) associated with the song – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger. A lip dub is

a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video. It is made by filming individuals or a group of people lip synching while listening to a song or any recorded audio then dubbing over it in post editing with the original audio of the song. There is often some form of mobile audio device used such as an iPod. Often, they look like simple music videos, although many involve a lot of preparation and are well produced. The most popular lip dubs are done in a single unedited shot that often travels through different rooms and situations in, say, an office building. They have become popular with the advent of mass participatory video content sites like YouTube.

Thinking about Unit 23 (Sound) coming to an end, I thought how much fun would it be to create a Lib Dub for Unit 23, of just because it fun! It may look simple, but just think how much planning / team work / cordination must go into it? Maybe ICT and Drama can hook it up! Recently Wes Fryer showcased a lib dub, created by students at the University of Quebec at Montreal. They used the Black Eyed Peas song, “I’ve Got a Feeling” to create this. It’s had over 2.7 million views on YouTube since publication a year ago in September, how psyched would our students be to get just 10% of that kind of exposure! This has got Digital Leaders written all over it!

 

How much fun can you have at the office….

Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo.

Simple Ideas Shared

April 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’ll treat my username and password like my toothbrush – I will not share it, nor will I try to use any other person’s username and password. (Ivan Langton via Twitter)

I think that is how I will share the notion of security with my Yr 7s next September.

Doers

April 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

Inspiration can come from many different places. How about combining Honda commercials and Powerpoint presentations?

Well I saw this two  minute, 10 second animated commercial, created by Ben Everitt, Sophie Bodoh  and creatively directed by Tony Davidson, Kim Papworth and Shay Reading on whilst watching tv and wondered how it applied to schools. The visual appearance of the commercial reminded me of a Slide:ology presentation (Creating Scenes noy slides.)

My aim is to combine the two inspirations and create a hybrid for an assembly over the next few weeks / months… here is hoping.

Carni’vle’

March 2, 2009 § Leave a comment

No its not a typo, but an idea, a concept to draw teaching and teachers onto the vle with a collective purpose. Over a beer, Mark Hellen helped me conceive a whole school teaching project that might give the vle a colourful launch. Mark proposed and supported the concept of a whole prpject centred on the theme ‘Carnival.’

Mark outlined potential calendar dates to associate with the project and a series on wonderful (and tested) ideas, albeit from taken Primary school context. Maybe that is the learning point of this post. That conversing with people outside your common communication circle may have more value than you realise. Perhaps  planning broaden project based learning is most effective when introducing our Primary School colleagues, teachers well versed in designing and fulfiling broad subject schemes of work within a context?. Perhaps it offers a way to introduce Year 6 Primary School students into Year 7?

The conversation throw out a few subject contributions –

PSRE / geography – a passport to the world here, cultural perspectives to carnivals, PE – acrobatics, Science – fireworks, History – the historic context to carnivals, Music – rhythms of a carnival, Design Tech – Costumes, Art – colour wheels.

With just a little research it is interesting to find out that there are a number of education outreach programs associated with Notting Hill Carnival, a UK Centre for Carnival Arts! Ethnic Business models incorporates the Maths, well finance and so I could go on.

Ideas need wings, but they also need landing gear.

Now the real challenge, landing the concept and convincing the head there is value in a project I personally would not have time to lead, but would be able to co-ordinate through the vle? Its either the Carnival or the Community Mentor program and I know which has added verve/colour. Feel free to add ideas.

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