Future of computing…

I think this image says it all. That is an iPad. Simply stick it into the dock and it becomes a laptop then take it out as needed. This will replace laptops once these devices become more powerful. Currently they are not nearly as good but in a few years they will be.

Android and Malware?

While I havent had any problems, apparently others are. The best way to avoid problems with apps on Android and even Apple? Do research on the app before download. See what the user comments are. You dont need to do more than a few minutes of research to find if the app is bad or not but it can save you. That alone should prevent pretty much every type of app problem.

Here is an article that discusses the issue

Want to know what the best malware app are:

DARPAs Robot

Always cool to see what new technology DARPA is working on. Here is a link to the website

“The Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program is creating manipulators with a high degree of autonomy capable of serving multiple military purposes across a wide variety of application domains.  Current robotic manipulation systems save lives and reduce casualties, but are limited when adapting to multiple mission environments and need burdensome human interaction and lengthy time durations for completing tasks.”



Objectives should determine the technology and instructional strategies

Many times clients, students, peers, etc. come to me and say “We want to build this in Flash/Articulate/Insert fav software here”. My first comment is: What are the learning objectives? Then I look at the needs analysis and instructional strategies to be used to see if they all align. Too many times does the justification for the technology used not coincide with the learning objectives.

What happens is that we tend to get caught up in the technology side of things. I guess this is common as we are instructional technologists, however, this is not what we want to get caught up in. Remember, technology is a tool that helps us teach material. It is an aid. We use it when it is the best method to accomplish our goals and objectives (even though sometimes realistically its our only option). So often I see training developed in an advanced authoring tool like Flash that probably could have been developed in PPT, which would have saved money and development time, and still met the learning objectives.

So what question should clients, students, peers, etc. be asking? They should be asking: Here are our learning objectives, what are the best technologies/instructional strategies to convey them to the learners? This is much better than the other way around. Remember, objectives should guide instructional strategies and the technology used, the technology shouldnt guide how the objectives are presented. They should be presented using a strategy that is effective, not one limited by software.

What is 4G and do you want it?

4G refers to the speed that data is received on your cell phone. Currently most phones use 3G speeds, such as the iPhone. This means that when connecting to the internet it feels like you are using old dial up modems. Current 3G phones get about 1-2 MBPS speeds while 4G is closer to 10-20 with the possibility of getting up to 100 once the technology is available, so its significantly faster. 4G feels like you are using wireless high speed internet. The best comparison between 3G and 4G is dial up vs high speed internet. Here is a good article which goes into the details of 1G-4G.

However, one interesting fact, Verizon just released data showing that while their 4G coverage area serves 200 million customers, only 5% of their customers are using 4G services. This means that people are just not really using the high speeds. Personally  I use it all the time. So much better than 3G. Here is an article that discusses this issue

Real soldiers take on CoD and BF3

Here is what soldiers think of CoD/BF3. I do not think anyone thought any differently. Obviously no one would really run around in the open shooting

From the article:

Developers of games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 spend millions of dollars to ensure their games are as realistic as possible. Everything from the noise of guns firing to the war-torn environments are created with meticulous care. Military experts are brought on board to ensure that details look and feel as true to life as possible.

Everyone understands that shooting games are fantasies but how close is the experience to real-life combat situations? We asked three soldiers who have served their country in dangerous war-zones.

They explain that as much as they enjoy playing games, the real-life experiences are vastly different. And while games can be very good at portraying physical environments, they aren’t even close to recreating the emotional strain of combat. Also, while games focus on the individual, real soldiers are trained to focus on the team.

Rest of article here

Want Moodle Continued…

To continue from yesterdays post, my students installed moodle last night. I just wanted to share the process and lessons learned from this experience:

1. I had all students buy their own websites with shared server access where they each installed moodle. They are each creating their own courses in my class.

2. I had them download FTP.

3. I had them download Moodle and upload it to their servers. A note here, make sure they unzip the file. I had maybe 1/3 of my students try to upload the zipped file and of course it would not work. Also, uploaded took quite a while in some cases. Moodle is 91mb and has around 10,000 files, so it can easily take 30-60+ minutes to upload. Be prepared for this.

4. Next we set up Moodle. Now this will change depending on what kind of server you are using. This process was not too bad. Some students needed help due to some slight configurations that needed to be made to get everything working but overall this part was fairly easy.

5. Some students just had no luck. I also students who tried to use other web hosts that they own their own websites through and of course those services were sufficient to run moodle so they did have to buy sites from icdsoft as I had originally recommended. For the students that had no luck, I simply asked them for their usernames/passwords and upload the Moodle files myself. This solved all the problems – thus is was user error causing the problems.

I hope this has helped anyone looking to do something similar.