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The Knowledge Lab

19 Posts

Web 3.0 - Interesting Video

Posted by cs1mjm Oct 12, 2010


Very interesting Vimeo hosted video about the future of the web;  what we need to do and where it needs to go. I really understood this  one.


It turns out content isn’t king after all; context is.


We need to capture the meaning and relationship of data. And current  searches aren’t efficient and they don’t ...


Read the full post and see the video.



Posted by cm1avt Aug 3, 2010


Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.


UK Social Media trends

Posted by cs1mjm Jul 28, 2010


Originally posted on my Squire Morley blog.


The British Library has a project just  started where the general public  can record short soundscapes to be kept  and archived for posterity.  The pilot phase is happening right in the  gorgeous city of Sheffield.


There was an article about it on BBC Radio 4′s World Tonight yesterday (listen via iPlayer from 39min42sec to 44mins) plus an article in the Sheffield Telegraph.


I spent my lunchtime recording some soundscapes in town, geo tagging  and uploading them. By the time I got back to my desk they had already  made it onto the British Library Sound Map.



Here’s my tweet about it. Follow the #uksm on Twitter.


Application of this concept has some great potential for education. It also shows what a multi-tool the smart phone has become.


So if you want to be a little part of history, get recording sounds to Audioboo. More details are on my previous blog post about Audioboo.


I’ve seen a fair bit of discussion  relating to the Lagoa Technology Inc.’s video since it was posted three  days ago, mostly relating to how we are going to see advances in gaming  technology as a result. But it occurs to me that the potential of such a  high definition physics engine for teaching principles of Physics or  modelling in a Physics, Material Sciences or Engineering research  environment is substantial.


You can see the action of granular material, deformation of structures, elasticity, and more. Anyway, take a look at the video:


The programmer, Thiago Costa, is obviously very talented. He also created this smoke simulation.



Data Visualization

Posted by cs1mjm Jun 10, 2010

For a long time I’ve been interested in infographics. More recently  I’m finding myself increasingly interested in data visualization. So for the  last couple of evenings I’ve been looking at what freely available online services there are for this, and I blogged  some of my findings -


If you're already using free online services then you've probably considered the issues of safety and security, so these things aren't related to that. These really relate to when a service get withdrawn.


  1. A service can be withdrawn anytime. It seems  obvious, but many become lulled into a false sense of security.
  2. Treat such service loss events as opportunities. When this  happens it allows you to examine what you are doing, how you are  working, and revise your practices. Update and improve your practice.
  3. Always be on the lookout for alternatives services. New and  better services are springing up all the time. Keep experimenting.
  4. Always have a backup plan. If a particular service  is vital to your activities, back up the data you hold with that service  using another similar service. E.g. back up your social bookmarking by  using Diigo and Delicious, store copies of your blog posts elsewhere.
  5. Don’t be too precious about your stuff. Consider if  it really matters if some things are lost. I recently cleared out the  garage and found a right load of rubbish I’d been clinging on to;  research from nigh-on 20 years ago, I’m not actually going to miss it  now it’s gone into recycling.
  6. Keep moving, things change (it’s the only sure  thing), just deal with it.

Post first published on Squire Morley blog.


Last Friday was an interesting day. I  was tipped off by a colleague, Paul Leman, about the Kahn Academy when  he sent me a link to Glen  Moody’s blog post. At first sight the Kahn Academy looked like a  fantastic resource, with 1000+ videos on various topic for students of  all ages. But being one who never takes things on face value, I wanted  to check things out and see what others were saying about this resource.  That’s when I found David  Wiley’s post which explained how there was no Creative Commons  license attached to the content. I had a look and he seemed to be right.  David had written to Sal Kahn the creator of the Kahn Academy  previously, but he decided to drop him a further email. Then, as is  evident from the comments David received on his post, everyone was  immensely pleased to see that by the end of that day Sal had acted on  David’s call and prominently displayed the CC license on the Kahn  Academy homepage making it an OER for reuse, remixing, sharing, etc. I  immediately embedded this video in my Daily Interests  blog under the title Education for the World until I had  time to write in more detail.



Now I have to take my hat off to Sal Kahn for a truly immense  resource. What he has achieved with the Kahn Academy is nothing short of  incredible. Single handedly generating instructional videos covering  subjects including:



What a wealth of information. This has to be place in the category  alongside Academic  Earth and Udemy.


This story excites me on a number of levels. Perhaps one of the most  significant is the difference anyone can make by openly publishing  knowledge online to freely educate others. It’s an approach I’m trying  to take myself to make a difference, however small; it is something that  I passionately believe in. More power to anyone and everyone doing the  same.


Credibility literacy

Posted by cs1mjm Mar 25, 2010

In Howard Rheingold's latest video he  explains about the importance of literacy in determining the quality  and credibility of information on the internet mainly accessed via  searches.


He draws on some footage from a presentations he has given (which was  standing room only) to illuminate some of his points. He makes an  interesting distinction between skills, which are an individual  attribute, and literacy, which Howard describes as skills + community as  it rests in the realms of social so you can participate im the  community of literates.


He presents five important literacies as:

  1. Attention
  2. Participation
  3. Co-operation
  4. Critical consumption
  5. Network awareness

All of these literacies need to co-exist.


Howard emphasises the important of equipping our children with the  ability to think critically, and this reduces any risk in their online  activity. This ability is paramount to children being able to assess  more generally the quality and accuracy of the information they  encounter online, and giving them the tools to filter good information  from bad, as we’ve shifted from a world of critically edited material  pre-publishing to one where it is the responsibility of the consumer to  critically evaluate.


There are two important questions we should continually be asking:

  1. How do I ask/phrase the question; how do I ask that search engine?
  2. How do I know what I’ve found is accurate?


Howard goes on to explain about personal ‘trust’ networks, an  extension of the personal learning network in which there is a trust  value added. And again this is an extension of the real life scenario,  where you trust your doctor more then your mate Trev down the pub to give  you health advice, but Trev knows a whole lot more about football,  though his financial advice is a little dodgy too.


There’s a whole lot more in this video than I could hope to describe, so I suggest just watching it for yourself.




Original blog post: Howard Rheingold – credibility literacy from the SquireMorley blog


Mobile sub-space

Posted by cs1mjm Nov 19, 2009

A new sub-space has just sprung up in The Knowledge Lab called Mobile. Its space to share information and experiences about mobile devices and mobile learning.


Some initial documents cover information about using the Apple iPod Touch or iTouch as it is sometimes called.


Chris Clow and Hadrian Cawthorne has begun to put documents and videos into The Knowledge Lab providing How to... and Why to... instructions about using multimedia equipment you might want to use here at the University.


So far they've covered:



JISC has some very useful resources on their website. We've embedded some of their videos to help explain some of the terms currently being used under the Web 2.0 umbrella. If you're not familiar with what some of these terms are then watching these videos might be a useful place to start. If you still need things explaining, simply start up a discussion here in The Knowledge Lab.





Google Wave

Posted by cs1mjm Nov 19, 2009

Since the last blog post there's been a big roll-out by Google called Google wave. This has prompted some interest across the University and some helpful documents/discussion have started in The Knowledge Lab, including The Google Wave Complete Guide and Extensions List.


If you have an account and would like to experiment with using Google Wave you can share your details.


Twitter related

Posted by cs1mjm Aug 5, 2009
There have been some interesting discussions and advice about software for use with Twitter. These have included a discussion that started off about Twitter: Software comparison: TweetDeck vs. Seesmic and then quickly changed into help on setting up Digsby for Twitter, Instant Messaging (IM) and email access. Then Netvibes came into the picture. This is a services currently gaining a lot of attention, and justifiably so. It's a very nice, customizable portal facility, which allows you to pipe many services into one central location. It's currently being looked at in the Portal Application Group.


There's a Twitter Etiquette article, and one on Twitter Analytics.


Community sharing resources

Posted by cs1mjm Jul 8, 2009

In addition to sourcing and reporting on new releases of software and online services, The Knowledge Lab is a community. Here we can pass on links to each other about other useful technology related resources and how they can be used, thus developing a more collective and broader understanding amongst us all. For example, there's a document with some useful technology/education links. Information about concepts and new philosphies affecting technology and digital media, e.g. Creative Commons. Or gathering together useful material and links on particular areas of wide interest, e.g. simple and easy video production.

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