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IGZO glass July 10, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in Hardware.
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This new display material seems to be just on the verge of coming to the consumer market.  There are 32” displays available for around £2000 at the moment but then that is for an outstanding display that would cost in excess of £1000 using traditional technology.

A Human Cyborg June 29, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in General Info.
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Neil Harbisson has been claimed to be the first recognized cyborg in the world, as his passport photo now includes his device.

His ‘vision’ now includes infra red and will soon include Ultra Violet – thereby extending the capabilities of the human body.

I find I can dream in colour, the device isn’t the thing that makes me a cybory but the interaction between the software and my brain.

Introductory video on Vimeo

TED talk

Google Reader June 27, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in Software.
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I’m a fan of Google reader.  It has always worked well and I’ve found it a great place to synchronise my RSS feeds.

It gets closed down on 1st July so it is finally time to change.

I’ve decied to use Feedly and moved over tonight.  For once I can’t believe how smoothly the transition went – I didn’t have to sign in to Feedly or do any exporting or importing – it just worked.  Fantastic.

If you’ve not saved your google reader information then you’ll need to be quick …..

Head to Google Takeout’s Reader page and click the Create Archive button

Awesome June 25, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in Teaching.
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I’ve just found Fake Grimlock.

The idea of ‘Just Be Awesome” kind of appeals but there are some serious ideas under a fun persona.  Not quite sure where this is going yet but I’ll be finding out more for sure

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Website

Fake grimlock on Youtube

So … how do you teach kids to code? June 25, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in Teaching.
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(I hate sentences that start with SO)

I’ve looked at a lot of tutorial sites that basically look and fee the same – boring.  I really enjoy fiddling with code and would consider myself a bit ‘techy’, my thoughts are that if I find the site boring then what would the average ‘non techy’ think?

Meet RoboBob.

 

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This introductory video from Treehouse is the first that I’ve seen that deals with some concepts in a fun (ish) way – it certainly made me chuckle.

What do you think?

Treehouse ‘Introducing programming’ page

New GCSEs June 24, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in Teaching.
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We need to know how well pupils are progressing in their education, we also need to know (from time to time) what point they have reached, so some form of assessment is important but it’s also right to remember that assessment IS NOT the goal.

If education is a journey without an end then assessment is just trying to say ”where have you got to”.  Surely a key part of the journey is also the awareness that you don’t have to follow somebody else’s route and walk in the same way they did?

The new GCSE reforms based on a single test, taking no account of any other evidence is not just flawed it is simply wrong.

Manchester United lost to Norwich last season, nobody is suggesting that this result is particularly significant I think.  Michael Gove got his exam reforms wrong first time (with the eBac) and he gets a second go.

Of course the ‘test’ could be a flexible and adaptable system built on the very latest research and requiring extremely sophisticated reviewing and marking …. but we know that it’s more likely to be a series of questions with single answers that can be easily marked and standardised.

Remember Watson?  The IBM machine that does this on a world beating scale, that IBM believe will be available in a hand size machine within 20 years?

If you are interested in developing your thinking about this then have a quick read of this short article from Professor Mick Walters (ex Director of QCA).

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So it all boils down to this

Making Windows 8 usable again June 13, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in Software, Technical.
1 comment so far

I’m possibly not a great person to talk to about Windows 8, whilst I have used it I don’t have it installed on my PC and still struggle with it every time.  Metro styling on a phone seems fine but I still don’t like it on my PC and too much is hidden for my preference however … it does seem that Microsoft are working on it and may have an announcement soon.

In the mean tine the windoe=ws customisation company Startdock ahve come up with 2 really useful sounding tools – Start8 and ModernMix.

Start8 returns the full power of Windows 7 back to the user and allows the machine to boot straight to a desktop environment (complete with start menu).

ModernMix allows an App to run in a window – perfect – what is the point of an app taking a 21 or 14 inch screen?

I’m going to be upgrading soon I think …. now that these tools are here

Get an overview here

New word–Skeuomorphic (and iOS7) June 13, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in iApps, Software.
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I came across this word when reading about Apples new design for iOS (7).

Apparently skeuomorphic relates to making one thing look as if it mad from a different material – in software terms this might be a notepad screen being made to look like a piece of paper.

ANYWAY – iOS7 is on it’s way and looks set to be quite radical whilst being superficially similar – a clever feat and I’m sure that if anyone could pull this off then it’ll be Apple.

Read more about iOS7 here

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The worlds most powerful tool – ever June 4, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in eSafety.
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I was really impressed with the broadcast of ‘Start The Week’ on the 27th May.  This had Eric Schmidt (CEO at Google) amongst others talking about data protection and what Google and others do (and ought to do) about data protection.

 

The program is available for download at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/stw

 

or from my dropbox at:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/49131046/Eric%20Schmit.mp3

Lessons in Leadership May 15, 2013

Posted by bremhillbob in Teaching.
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Whether you are a classroom teacher, a middle manager of a school leader you will have a leadership role, so how much thought do you give to your style of leadership?

This light hearted article on the leadership of James T Kirk make an easy ready but makes some sensible points.

    1. Keep exploring and learning.
    2. Ensure that we encourage creativity and innovation by listening to the advice of people with vastly different opinions.
    3. Occasionally get down in the trenches with the members of our teams so we understand their needs and earn their trust and loyalty.
    4. Understand the psychology of others
    5. Radically change course when circumstances dictate.

It’s easy to dismiss these but there is some useful stuff there if you are ready to think about the first point.

Article

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