Archive for March, 2010

Learn to be secure online by playing a game

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Here is a great example of clever, problem based, instructional design.

It’s a series of short online “whodunnit” games that teach safe use of social network sites.

The problems based around a story.  The content is located in a series of dummy sites which you have to search in order to answer the questions posed by your online friends.   The overall look is pretty slick but the technical design of each problem is very simple.

It’s aimed at teens, but based on some of the dodgy Facebook privacy setting I’ve seen I think most adults should also have a go.


eReaders for $US85, no but kind of.

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Coby have put out a $US 85 Netbook/Smartbook.   It’s a bit like going back in time to the HP Journada  (I own one and still use it when I go bush – 10 hours battery life).


There are some fairly large compromises in the Coby smartbook (7 inch screen, lame processor,Windows CE operating system) but as a low cost eReader it’s worth a look.  Crank the screen size up to 9 inches and allow us hold it sideways and you could have a Kindle killer for about $US100.  If  I’m thinking it, you know the netbook manufacturers are thinking it too.

A multi-purpose eReader for under $150 AU?  Cat, meet pigeons.

eReaders – not this, but this.

Monday, March 1st, 2010

 Ok, I’m not a huge fan of the Kindle or the iPad in terms of their use in Higher Ed.  My money has been on some type of enhanced netbook, which I figured would appear this year.

Something like the enTourage eDGe is pretty close to the mark.  You can have book on one screen and make notes on the other.  It has WiFi to access the net, and can record audio and video.

entourage ereader

It doesn’t look like you can have a different book on each screen, and you’d have to get used to a virtual keyboard.  In addition, it only has 3GB of memory, but with an SD memory slot and 2 USB ports you can probably work around it.

And the price – $US 500 – same as an iPad and a Kindle DX! 

Is this going to be cheap enough to compete with new crop of ASUS and Lenovo netbook tablets?  
Will the other impending dual screen systems be better/cheaper?

This is the best Higher Ed student device I have seen so far (not perfect but getting there).  I’d still recommend you wait for a while.  Even if this is your ‘perfect’ system , remember the cardinal rule, NEVER BUY VERSION ONE.

Will student’s buy them?  Maybe, but not yet.  It won’t make sense until enough lecturers set mandatory texts that are available in cheap/free digital format.