Archive for November, 2006

$150 laptop

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

The first batch of 1000 minimal laptops has apparently been delivered. The machine runs on less than 2 watts of power, and the display is visible in sunlight.

Classification of VLE courses

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Alan Staley gave a talk at the Moodle User Group meeting today. He showed one slide that struck me as being a very useful way of explaining the various ways of using Moodle to teachers. This simple (well, simple when you see someone else explain it) diagram provides a classification scheme for VLE courses.

Paparazzi App for Mac OS X

Monday, November 27th, 2006

This small app allows you to enter a Web address and then save a PNG graphics file of the whole page – screen grabs that are a couple of thousand pixels high.

Press Gazette closes

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

UK Journalists no longer have a trade paper. Teachers have the TES, which seems to carry on driven by job adverts.

Tree diagrams screencast

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

YouTube video about tree diagrams in GCSE Probability. Me talking with illustrations provided by a PowerPoint presentation. I scripted the speech but then extemporised at various points – and managed this in two complete takes.

Kubrick with white background

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Change two image files in the default WordPress theme to produce a white page area with sparse header image. I wanted a high key look with plenty of space and no ‘boxes’.

Letter to my mp

Friday, November 24th, 2006

Josie Fraser has posted about BECTa’s advice to schools and the way that advice may be failing to give open source products a fair chance. John Pugh MP is tabling an early day motion in support of some acceptance of open source software and we were asked to write to our MPs. I have used the ‘write to them’ service to post the following letter to my MP…

Probability questions

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

A maths quick quiz for the first 15 minutes of the lesson. I usually kick off the data handling module with the probability topic as it sits on its own and links back to fractions so nicely.

Planning summary

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

YouTube screencast of RBL session 5 deals with distance travelled, the planning and milestones for resource based learning projects, the way I intend to use progress reviews to support participants in carrying out their project plans, and some quick hints on a piece of writing that is due in shortly. The screencast took two takes of about 7 or 8 minutes to produce. The visuals are simply the slides I will use in the f2f session anyway.

Your name on toast

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Auctioning the fold for charity. These people will write your name on toast, then photograph it and then put the toast and a link to a site you nominate on their page. The rounds of toast are listed in descending order of contribution. All proceeds go to charity. They are auctioning the space above the fold – well neat.

Tree diagram script

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Script for an explanation of tree diagrams suitable for GCSE Intermediate maths; there is (nearly) always a tree diagram question for students on the data handling paper. I’ll add a problem sheet before recording the screencast.

Probability screencast

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

9 minutes and 46 seconds on basic probability, including the probability scale, expected frequencies, mutually exclusive and independent events, possibility space diagrams and even a without replacement problem. All aimed at a GCSE Intermediate group. The .mov file was produced by ‘presenting’ a PowerPoint while speaking a commentary recorded using iShowU screen cam software. YouTube provide the hosting and convert the .mov to a Flash movie.


Friday, November 17th, 2006

Wooden toy found at the Frankfurt Christmas Market that is in Birmingham UK at present.

Delete key on iBook

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Option-Backspace does deleting…

YouTube version of screencast

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

The screen design screencast MOV was uploaded to YouTube. I’m now waiting for it to be ‘processed’ so that the video can be watched.

Screen design in RBL

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

A screencast made on Mac OS X using iShowU and Video2SWF to produce a flash movie with synchronised sound.

Embedding a YouTube video

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Just a trial of the tags for embedding. This post should show the Tiny Dot video about the scale of the solar system posted by saulatali79.

bodmas for calculators

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

The formula above has to be written as a single line with brackets to ensure that the top line is calculated before the division, and that the square root function applies to the result.

√(((5.51 – 6)x2 + (5.89 – 6)x2 + (6.51 – 6)x2)/3) =

We spent an hour working over examples with recent Casio calculators [...]

Autumn photos

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

Out and about with slowish colour film and a macro lens (55mm). I find the very sharp depth of field attractive under some circumstances, but it is tricky to choose the right plane of focus looking at the little ground glass screen with the camera hand held.

A crop from a lessig slide

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Intellectual property rights may damage innovation and split markets. Lessig explains using the Google Book Search as an example, through the medium of a presentation with sound track.