Managing Behaviour & Technology – A Night with NEAL

Managing Technology
Image Credit: IBoomMedia/Flickr CC: by-nc-sa

I’ve just arrived back from an evening session on “Managing Technology and Behaviour @ Home” run by Andrew Cowie, Heather Eccles and Alan Curtis from NEAL (Northern Education Access Loop).

I surprised myself by enjoying the session, it wasn’t that I personally learned anything technical, it was all about the presentation of the material which was simply outstanding.

Continue reading “Managing Behaviour & Technology – A Night with NEAL”

Technology and Recreation – a recipie for AWESOME

For gadget geeks like myself, there’s always been an opportunity to mix technology with what we do when AFK (away from keyboard).

My first heart monitor watch *had* to be imported because no one in this country was selling the IR receiver (connecting through a DB9 (serial) cable no less.. for the more normal, serial cables were “how things were done” before the simplicity of USB arrived). Continue reading “Technology and Recreation – a recipie for AWESOME”

Education and the Future of Learning

As I gear up for this weekends unconference, I’ve been looking through my Delicious bookmarks, specifically on things around Education, which is one of the sessions I’d like to run, if nothing else – to get a different perspective from that discussed at this years BaaCamp where I was part of a similar session.

I came across this video, speaking to the one way approach many educators are taking to using the Internet as a resource. The presenter has written a supporting article (PDF) where he explains the different roles students can take to build engagement, and to collaborate with their global peers

Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom by Alan November from Brian Mull on Vimeo.

Food for thought – and a definite starter for our discussions at TelecomONE this weekend – how can we as an industry help support our educators and their students to become part of the global voice of learning?

The Big Move: Part I – Moving In

HouseMoving_Flkr_ShareskiSo – we’ve now moved in, the boxes are (mostly) unpacked – I’ve even managed to organise the garage enough to fit the HondaBus into it (who knows, maybe being an internal garage with light, heat and power may see the Carputer get installed finally?).

So – with the vitals out of the way (and by vitals, I mean the stuff my Wife and kids need, not what *I* consider vital), it’s time to settle in and get the technology humming (and no – that doesn’t mean the Weather Station is back up yet 🙁 )

To recap, the Interwebs have gone from this:


to this:


But (as we found out 30 minutes before the All Blacks test on the first Saturday in the house), that’s not all – the Sky dish is connected, but not to any known cable in the house, the UHF is connected, but orphaned via a hole in the garage wall – and don’t even get me started on the gel crimp frenzy that is the phone cabling… We have 2 working phone ports – and only one of those will connect to the DSL service, of course THAT port in in the boys room, so we’ve currently got an old school ‘phone’ extension cable running from their room through to the home office.

So, in summary – I’m either looking for an installer (or two – surprisingly hard to find via web search without a word of mouth recommendation!) or will be tackling (at the very least) the following work via the good old Kiwi DIY Self Install:

  • UHF / Sat: Connected and split 4 ways in ceiling space, routed to Lounge, Master Bedroom, Downstairs Rumpus and Office
  • Phone Patching: Retain Master Bedroom + Shift Boys (working) port to Office for DSL
  • Network: Basically, all remaining phone ports could be converted to wired network either via re terminating with RJ45 or (where the existing cables are a mess) using existing as a draw wire to pull fresh cat 5. This would give a minimum of:
    • Lounge x2 (1 for IR)
    • Master Bed x1
    • Downstairs Rumpus x1
    • Office x 4 (min)

The options then are terminating all network cables centrally in the garage and patching from there (fed from 1 or 2 in the office) or pulling a loom into the office.

From what I’ve learned from our previous house, I think the central loom in the garage will suit best as it’s out of the way and allows noisier / hotter equipment to be located away from the living spaces.

Of course, the above is my minimum requirements, I’ve also planned an optimum structure – but me and Visio will need to spend some quality time together before I can post up that plan…

FooCamp 2009, Warkworth, New Zealand

This is part one of my three part coverage of FooCamp 2009. You can also read part two and part three for more.

Well – here I am at the 2009 FooCamp New Zealand it’s 11:30 as I start writing this piece and I’d say that things were winding down for the night but I’d be lying. Although the first two sessions of the camp have concluded, there is no end to the discussions which flow as freely as the drinks.

It’s been an awesome start to what is shaping up to be an awesome weekend. I was fortunate enough to be able to offer a lift to 5 other Foo attendees and the car was filled with incredibly interesting conversation ranging from hacking whiteboard presentation tools for the purposes of entertaining infants, to privacy, security and airline saftey – through to the pain of managing open source coding projects.

I have had a remarkable conversation on education with a couple of people from a major Tertiary institution along with a gentleman whose role included going to schools and assisting teachers in the science curriculum. This conversation will spill into a session I plan to run on Saturday afternoon around Education, collaboration and community – not my standard fare of geek and gadgets, but a subject I’ve been mulling over on and off for the past year or so.

Due to the FrieNDA which is put in place at these ‘unconference’ events, there will be no specific details posted about people or the conversations.  This is to protect all of the attendees, promote openess, and allow compeditior companies to share views in a intelligent manner without egos and personalities getting in the way.

For the record, the first two sessions of the weekend that I’ve attended were both around the control of content. Session 1 was around if a company should start releasing it’s content under creative common licencing, and the second was a very good session led by New Zealands “Creative Freedom Foundation” it’s worth the time of every New Zealander who is active on the Internet to read and understand the implications of the impending changes to the copyright act. I must admit that I learnt a few things during the session that I’d not known before.

Anyway, it’s very late and if I don’t want to get dragged into a game of Werewolf (and lynched) I’d best go hit the hay… What a great strt to an awesome weekend.