Monday 30 January 2012

Youtube from the comfort of your webcam

Just a quick post on a handy Youtube feature. It allows users to record video (within a webrowser) via their own webcams and publish to the account. Ensure that the webcam is installed and functioning. I have used Google Chrome with good effect. you may be asked to install Shockwave.

How well this works for you is very much limited to the upload speed of your internet connection, please check your Internet Service Provider if using at home or off campus. If you are using on standard broadband it could be around 0.5mb upload. some of the fibre networks are now 1.5mb+ which are more likely to cope. Plymouth University Campus has excellent bandwidth, I found no problems upload this way. You have the option to review the footage before publishing. Remember, when selecting the publish button always change the setting for the new upload to either private or 'only with link' unless you don't mind the default 'live to the world'!

Did you know that as long as your Youtube account is in good standing, adding your mobile phone number to confirm you are 'human' by a verification code allows you to unlock the 15 minute limit on a standard account... it is all explained in the youtube support. Just don't break copyright or you loose all privileges.

Practical uses of using a webcam:
  • Video diary
  • saves using your hard drive space
  • Access to the Youtube video editor to cut out errors
  • Add other videos in the editor and inter-cut with transitions
  • Video available to anyone on the web (if desired)
Have fun....

Thursday 26 January 2012

Twitter for the Hydrographic Academy

Just a quick update and to mention I finalised the creation of the Hydrographic Academy Twitter account. This with a view of increasing awareness of the Academy. I see this as an addition to the HA blog I created last yearI went for the same background I created for the blog to maintain consistency, it was a bit of cropping and tweaking as Twitter is particular with its background graphics (equally, graphic files should not be too large as people use this on their mobile devices - predominately).  @HydroAcademy was chosen as the tag name to keep things simple. The Twitter account also points back to the University Extranet pages as this is a third party product I think it is important that we demonstrate the true origin of the Academy. 

Twitter from my own experiences, if used properly, is a good microblogging tool.  It has potential to work well at conferences and similar events in that it reaches out to a wider audience, not just the members attending, but those outside.  It is also a great way to keep the Plymouth University community (who have their own twitter account) up to date on what we have been doing.  The team is looking forward to using this when we visit Oceanology International 2012 in London this March. 

If you're interested in Marine/hydrographic studies feel free to follow us!

Monday 23 January 2012

Waterproofing mobile technologies for fieldwork

I'm often looking around for technologies that make those rainy fieldwork trips less of a worry, particularly when using using expensive equipment. I was rather impressed with the simplicity of the 'special' coating provided by Liquipel. I've seen similar concept provided by companies called RainX for making car windscreens aqua-phobic, but requires re-application every so often. Perhaps this could be a permanent solution for most electronic devices? Typically students have to take protective covers such as otterbox for the devices we supply, it works but with some loss in usability.

I'm not advocating the product in the video but only highlighting the potential. It is not clear what the longevity of this special coating is, and I note that at the time of writing there are a limited number of devices that are approved (fingers crossed mobile manufacturers use this process themselves - perhaps the phone insurance companies could offer it free or at a discounted rate...). I also wonder if this will extend to other solid state mobile devices like pads, I think it could then really catch on if it does...

Monday 16 January 2012

7th eLearning Conference (PELeCON) Plymouth University

It's that time again, and the 7th eLearning Conference will take place at Plymouth University between 18 and 20 April 2012. More information can be found on:

This is very much an international conference, drawing practitioners, teachers, learning technologists and all those working in the fields of technology to enhance learning from the far corners of the globe. Places are likely to go fast from precious experience. Dont miss out on the early bird discount for those quick to the post.

See the links on the top right of the main website for both attendees and vendors.

Those wishing to present, the deadline for the receipt of 300 word abstract proposals and titles: January 20th, 2012.

See you in April! :D

Friday 13 January 2012

Hydrographic Academy module 1 trial starts

Rather excited, as the first batch of trial students for the Hydrographic Academy module 1 start today! The team, including fellow learning technologists Jon Scott and Luke Denner had been busy finalising content right up to Christmas. It's an international affair and we are pleased that the Christmas post did not delay the delivery of the coursework.

More information of the progression can also be found on the Hydrographic Academy's dedicated website. The registering an interest form is also available on the University of Plymouth's extranet pages for all those interested in having a go at the course themselves!

Good luck to our trial students, we hope you enjoy the course :)