Streaming from the iPhone w/ Qik

I have been playing with Qik for the last couple of weeks. Qik is a service that allows you to stream video from your mobile phone. It has been released officially for the Blackberry, but has not yet been authorized for the iPhone. Thus, to use it on the iPhone, you need to jailbreak your phone.

Qik - University of Regina Tour

Today, I took a short tour of my campus green while I streamed video from my iPhone. The video is automatically recorded, so if you are interested in seeing the results, click here. You will notice that I seem like I am talking to myself, but I am actually responding to the text chat that is superimposed over the video on the iPhone. Viewers reported good results, although several complained that they had to continue to hit refresh to see the live video.

So, minus the lack of content and mumbling, what do you think of the quality of video and audio? More importantly, what are some possible implications or educational uses for video from a mobile device?

Low-Cost Laptops and Industry Change

From CNet News

… if mainstream PC buyers start to find their needs met by a lightweight, simply featured, inexpensive portable, it’s likely to impel all of the major players in the industry to pile on by lowering their prices. And that’s in an industry with already low margins for retailers and manufacturers.

If the Eee PC just catches on with Linux developers, enthusiasts, and the tech-savvy early adopter crowd, that’s fine by him. “But if mainstream buyers buy it, then, whoa,” Abary said.

This is becoming a win for Gnu/Linux and for consumers. As for OLPC and the benefits to Africa? I still need to be convinced.

Possible Suspension for Student Who Created Proxy Site

This is an interesting story that brings up important questions around school jurisdiction on student activities and on the rights and responsibilities of students. This American student writes that he is facing possible suspension from his school for creating a web proxy service (as part of his job/business) that was used by other students at his school to get around school network restrictions. He is allegedly accused of “violating (his) rights as a student, and intentionally attempting to disturb the learning environment of students in (his) school.”

Worst part is that now I’m tagged as being a ‘computer hacker’ and a ‘potential threat’ to the school system. A mass email was sent out from the administrator who accused me of this to all the teachers, administrators, librarians, etc in the entire school, which basically says I’m a criminal and I need to be watched when getting within a 10-foot radius of a computer.

I find it unfair that Fairfax County Public Schools feels they can impose this kind of totalitarianism on me, I’m now a criminal for making proxies. For making a website. A legal website. On my private server. Outside of school. Great.

Read the article to get a better sense of this situation. Thoughts?

OLPC & Education

If you follow me on Twitter, you’d know that I have been trying to get people to convince me of the value of OLPC. I have been intending to write a comprehensive post on some of these responses and my thoughts, but I just noticed an important post from Teemu Leinonen that will the gap in the meanwhile.

Leinonen shares that likely the greatest accomplishment of OLPC so far is that it has created a market for low-cost educational computers.

One Laptop per Child – the laptop project of the OLPC association, a North American non-profit has change the markets of low-cost mobile computers for educational sector. Even that in the OLPC there are such a multi-billion industry sponsors as the AMD, Google, Nortel, and Newscorp, the achievement of changing a whole market, or actually creating it, is absolutely remarkable.

In 2008 we will have the Intel’s Classmate ($250), Zonbu notebook ($279 + $14.95/month), Asus Eee laptop ($299-399), Nokia Internet Tablets ($150-$299), Nova NetPC “thin client” system (around $80/unit), and the OLPC’s XO laptop ($200).

Leinonen then goes on to argue that the OLPC is really a laptop project, and not an education project (as OLPC founder Negroponte continues to state). Leinonen follows with three reasons why the OLPC is in fact a laptop project. These include:

    – The OLPC has shown total lack of understanding of education as a system.
    – The OPLC has a naive believe on computer technology (per se) as a silver bullet in education.
    – The OLPC do not understand different cultures and traditions.

From everything I have seen related to OLPC, I would have to agree with Leinonen. There are some excellent points here, and the post is certainly worth the read. Most importantly, I think, Leinonen doesn’t see this all as negative, rather, he calls for a greater educational emphasis on the project.

I have a lot more to say about this, but it is much too late, and morning is near.

Nano iPods Scratch “Insanely Easy”

I’ve had my iPod Nano for about a week now, and while I have babied it just about as much as my 14 month old daughter, after about day 3, I noticed many tiny scratches. I couldn’t figure out why as it was never near anything like keys, change, etc. It’s basically been in it’s arm strap, in my hand (for gloating mostly) or carefully placed onto my desk. So what’s with the scratches?

Well, I just came across an article at The Register that is reporting that this has become a very common problem. It reads:

People slavering to get Apple’s “impossibly small” iPod Nano into their sticky hands may want to pause a moment: those ahead of them in the queue have discovered that it’s also unbelievably easy to scratch the screen, nixing its photo-displaying abilities.

Trouble is that a few scratches will quickly make the colour screen all but useless for viewing album art and photos stored on the machine. In which case you might as well have bought the cheaper, screenless iPod shuffle, hmm?

Oh well … the price was good … $232 Canadian with Ed. Pricing for the 4GB model. It’s an impressive little unit, but I guess there had to be some catch. It’s liveable so far, but I certainly think that Apple has to deal with this at some point. I may have just purchased too soon.

Update: Looks like Todd Dailey has performed some fine polishing with Brasso on his Nano. This seems to restore the Nano back to “like-new” condition.

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“Computing Means Connecting” By Dave Tosh

Dave Tosh has posted an excellent PowerPoint resource which was recently presented at a Knowledge Lab event in Denmark. I’m especially appreciate of the Tosh’s treatment of the idea of personal space vs. public space, and what bridging these areas might look like in practice. I am aware of these dimensions in my own practice, but the on-going struggle for me as a teacher has been to move my students in the direction where their learning space is significantly connected to their personal online space. It’s coming (I’ll get ’em this semester), but in many cases, there’s still a rigid disconnect.

The presentation is excellent, and points to many strong resources in the field. Check it out.

Update: Now that I am finally caught up on reading OLDaily from this last week, I realize that Stephen Downes pointed to this a few days ago.