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September 2003

State of e-learning developers

CLONMEL -- Things are getting rough in the realm of e-learning curriculum development in Ireland. It probably comes as little surprise, with the continuing downturn in the economy. However, e-learning curriculum development has taken a significant blow in recent times with a number of companies forced to close. As Christmas nears, more jobs within the sector are under threat. The ever increasing presence of Indian IT companies offering Irish e-learning curriculum developers the chance to outsource projects, means that a lot of work is now going East. For the forseen future, e-learning curriculum development in Ireland looks uncertain.

Posted by Eanna McAteer using Nokia Communicator O2 TypePad services.

Dumbing down with PowerPoint

CLONMEL HOTSPOT -- Whenever I prepare class notes for my online classes, I refer to essential readings, then distill my ideas by using PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Opera, askSam, Moodle, and the Oxford English Dictionary. I consider all these things to be integral parts of the instructional design process. In yet another mainstream story, the New York Times points out how people spend too much time with PowerPoint effects and not enough time preparing for engaging discussion. I lay the blame at the feet of the presenters and also with the attitude of the audience who permit the level of discourse to slide.

NYT -- "The trouble with Power Point"
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Robert Palmer RIP

UNDERWAY -- There's a little bit of Riptide playing on the radio right now as tribute to Robert Palmer's contribution to the music world. Chain smoker Palmer died in Paris on 26 September. His gravelly vocals were attributed to whisky and cigarettes.

I had several Palmer hits on my 1980s Walkman. "Addicted to Love" and "She Makes My Day" brought international success to Palmer. The video for "Addicted to Love," with a suited Palmer backed by a group of lookalike black-clad models, was one of the most famous videos of the 80s. The song did better in the States than in England, earning him a Grammy.


Light them, don't fill them

CLONMEL HOTSPOT -- I attended a graduation ceremony on Friday where several dignitaries reminded the assemly that education isn't as much about filling a vessel as it is about lighting a flame. I remember my first foray into adult education--the Laubach Literacy Programme. I went from teaching literacy to teaching flying skills to teaching computer literacy skills. I think my past experience in each of those areas is pertinent to a lecture in PR where we discuss the launching of a community literacy programme.


More than 100 Microsoft blogs

John PorcaroCLONMEL HOTSPOT -- On the weekend that Matthew Magee calmly explains how blogging works and the Irish Times Magazine slates the concept of blogging as a decrepit form of Internet publishing, John Porcaro's blog notes that more than 120 Microsofties are blogging. Porcaro's finding would suggest there is more than a transient status to the blogging movement in the mainstream world of big company marketing.

Matthew Magee writes for The Sunday Tribune and none of the four snipers in The Irish Times Magazine are known to be computer literate. That's John Porcaro shouting at the hay.

Fuji 602Z camera battery life brilliant

I PUSHED THE SAME set of Uniross 2100mAh batteries for two days of picture taking and haven't stopped to recharge. I shot 82 eight-megapixel images using flash and fast-shoot settings during the Ince Wedding. Although the batteries cannot deliver rapid-fire flash sequences, they do the business for consecutive point, zoom and shoot. I got 27 usable images from my 82 attempts on Saturday and another 17 on Sunday. I had given the rechargeable batteries an overnight top-up in my Uniross RC101129 recharger before starting and they kept shooting. Uniross AA 2100mAh batteries take 18 hours to recharge. The 2700 mAh batteries need 23 hours to recharge in the compact charger made by Uniross.

Uniross Batteries
Bonus Link: my S602z photos on Flickr for .


Alarmed and Texting

EVER SINCE hurling great DJ Carey watched his car being driven away by a joyrider, I have made it my personal interest to find solutions like the MetaSat GPS400. It is a sophisticated mobile phone pager which texts the owner if the car alarm is triggered, the battery is disconnected or an unauthorised attempt is made to start the engine. The GPA800 adds a GPS location device and sends coordinates to the phone. Vehicle immobilisaion and other vehicle functions can be controlled remotely. The systems cost €420 and €840 respectively.

Sent mail2blog with Nokia Communicator, the  same device that can control the stolen car. Unless it's stolen with the car.