Thursday, 23 July 2009

We don't need no school (we got a learning platform)

Fantastic! The government is at least considering extending the summer holidays to reduce the spread of swine flu. Or maybe temporarily closing schools in the autumn (quick, everyone cough and complain of a sore throat!).

So, what do we do about the education stuff then?

Easy - use the interwebz.

Teachers can just set work via e-mail or on the web or on a learning platform and it can be done and sent back, checked and whathaveyou. Hey, we coul duse podcasts, quizzes and all sorts of stuff. Look, at what Becta (a government sort of agency) is thinking:
Becta's advice would include that schools make sure they have email addresses for parents and that teachers have access to the schools' websites from outside school, so they can set work.
Now, I know what you're thinking - there are some teachers (no, I won't name them, we all know who we're thinking about) who might find this rather complex. Well, yes, but think of the fun they'd have trying it out! Think how much they'd, err, learn...


And, you never know, this thing about using technology to help people learn might catch on. We might be bluetoothing video from mobile phones and listening to podcasts on iPods before we know it...

How the net keeps going (Holy webserver Batman...)

Interesting article from the BBC website summarising some thoughts on how the interweb keeps going. Happened across it on a ferry - now there's an example of increased connectivity.
The way data is divided up and sent around the internet in many jumps makes it "delicate and vulnerable" to attacks or mistakes.

However, Professor Zittrain added, the "random acts of kindness" of these unsung heroes quietly keep the net in working order.

"It's like when the Bat signal goes up and Batman answers the call," Professor Zittrain told BBC News.

The ferry was on it's way to Denmark from where I was going to Sweden - where there be pirates (letter's in the pirate alphabet? 1 - Ahhhh...), Some interesting points in a Newsnight article about the whole file sharing issue, which is becoming a fairly important political issue in Sweden.

It raises lots of questions - not least about the impact of fast internet connections on society. We can share files now, because of fast internet, so we do, so what impact does that have on our views about stuff like intellectual copyright and the ability of things like record companies to make money (or, logically, my words and pictures to be controlled by me).

One of the key things to realise is that Sweden, because of it's nature (big country, population v spread out) has really great, fast internet access. File sharing has become easier there quicker, so there's a more immediate impact on Swedish society. Perhaps.

Hmmm, that may be too deep for this time in the morning on ferry after about 8 cups of coffee. But important perhaps.