Sunday, 24 January 2010

MScape Maps

I thought Mscape would be worth a mention, as I'm using this at the moment to do a campus map at the university. It's part of a Learning Technologist/ EL CETL thing so we can demo the GPS on the PDAs we have in LabPlus. The PDAs all have windows mobile 6.1 and fairly stable, so does not need too many reboots...

I intend to only put a few events onto the map, as tall buildings tightly packed don't lend themselves well to GPS accuracy. It works, but sometimes you have to make event zones a little wider to allow for this.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Peer Assisted Experiential Learning (PAEL) in extending fieldwork practice in the Earth Sciences

I have been working on a project with Dr Mark Anderson & Dr Meriel Fitzpatrick, as part of the Experiential Learning CETL. In this project we enhance PAEL using PDAs loaded with the MScape software.
Our experiences and findings have been recently presented at the GEES 2010 conference 'Overcoming Barriers to Learning in the Geosciences', University of Birmingham.

Further details are available from the abstract. However in a nutshell, we are using Trimble Juno SC PDAs with the latest version of MScape software installed. The PDAs are GPS enabled so ariel maps can be programmed with automatic prompts when students enter specific locations of interest. Students entering these 'zones' are prompted to carry out specific tasks or observations, that enable a better inderstanding of the surrounding geology.

Mobile Devices - A Library in Your Pocket

I was kindly invited to the Content and Development Team's offices (part of LRS who are located in Plymouth University's Library) yesterday to watch the live webinar from EDUCAUSE entitled 'Library in Your Pocket: Strategies and Techniques for Developing Successful Mobile Services '. Developed by David Woodbury & Jason Casden from North Carolina State University, it was essentially a very clever Big Brother meets the Library set of resources designed for web enabled mobile devices such as Palm, Android and of course iPhone. Included was the means for students to search for available computers, view live webcam feeds and search for library stocks ('available only' to reduce seaching time) all from the comfort of their phones. The webcam feed is one of the better ones I've seen for a while on a mobile device, almost lifelike for a small output, and one of the more popular elements used.
All in all a rather well thought out and excellently devised set of tools. The computer availability option is a great idea. If there was a wish list I think it would be rather good to include details about what software is available on each PC, so students could search specifically for the applications they would most want to use. Otherwise I would envisage some students getting a free PC logging in and not finding the software they wanted.

If you would like to watch this again, its already available on the EUCAUSE site.
Further details on tha NCSU Libraries Mobile site.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Plymouth E-Learning Conference 2010 - Last orders!

There are still 10 days left to register a proposal which only requires a 200-300 word online abstract, easy!
The online submission form, the 6 main conference topics, registration and further details about the conference are available from the conference website. (1 or 2 day attendance options available – early bird 5th March)
Graphic courtesy of Mark Lyndon.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Peer Assisted Experiential Learning (PAEL) in Earth Sciences presented at GEES event

The above slides were presented at the GEES Geoscience student learning event 'Overcoming Barriers to Learning in the Geosciences', Wednesday 20th January 2010, Aston Webb building, University of Birmingham.

Providing details on how the PDA rescource was developed and feedback from the student experiences.