Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Learning boost with M-learning

M-learning is the delivery of learning to students who are not keeping a fixed location or through the use of mobile or portable technology. The rapid growth of information and communication technologies (ICT) makes it possible to develop new forms of this education.

More explanation about M-learning in this wikipedia article:

This article rings a bell for me. It's been two years I have an iPod. It's filled with conferences, lectures, ICT news and educational podcasts.

I mainly listen to them when I'm not in front of a computer and alone (jogging, commuting, shopping ...).

I've noticed that I actually can't listen very long to audio or video contents when I'm sat in front of the PC which always recall me for interactivity. Without M-learning I would probably never listen to them and it would be a great lost.

With the quality contents now freely available it definitely is a boost to my learning capability (extra-time to learn and also stimulating my audio memory).

No doubt to me that this nomad tools will catalyse even more the amateurs learning capabilities.

One of the podcast I listen to for example is IT conversations which enable me to listen to more conferences that my boss will ever be able to travel to.

I also stay up to date with ICT news, I learn now some german and japenese, some computer and network security, etc ...

- megopod (a web tool to convert PC contents for iPod usage)
- a description of mogopop from weblogg-ed Blog (read and write in the classroom)
- podtube a Mac tool to transform YouTube video to the iPod device.
- a french Blog where I first discovered the M-learning concept and the above links.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Pro'Am 'emergent' financial power ?

Lots of people would take for granted that 'amateurs' don't have the financial power for funding or buying expansive projects by themselves.

This was probably true before the democratisation of the web but now :

- more than a billion people already have a web access
- it's easy and quick to contribute small amounts of money
- exposure to the ideas of Free Culture (wikipedia, Creative Commons,...) and Free Software (Open Office, Firefox, Linux ...) continuously increase

To my knowledge this understanding arose when NaN (the company behind the 3D software Blender) went bankrupt in 2002.

Lots of simple users collaborated together through the web to buy the sources and the rights for 100 000 €.

Since then Blender has a very dynamic development and is now as powerful as the most expansive 3D tools of the professional industry.

This example is not an exception.

Right now, the company behind the MMORPG "The Saga of Ryzom" went bankrupt and ... guess what ?
Users and open source sympathizer are trying to buy it back.
In few days the pledges already overcome 150 000 € and rising.

I also notice how successful certain donations campaign are (like the one for the Wikipedia).
It means these projects are not just successful because they are free like in beer but that many users/amateurs are ready to pay for other forms of freedoms.

Some vertical financial powers will probably have to understand this and hopefully adapt. And remember, who are for the first time person of the year ? ;) ...

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Wii remote revolution

Nintendo Wii video game console is I believe a little revolution in the game industrie.

It is also a new powerful tool in the hands of Pro'Ams and I'm amazed by the number of people who are now tinkering with it.

I think this affordable input device will trigger lots of original and unexpected usages ranging from cheap virtual reality applications, sports coaches, kinaesthetic arts, etc ...

A first example with Google earth :


A selection of technical links

'You' named Time's person of 2006

The BBC website has an article about 'You'.

Eeach year Time select "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill".

The magazine said naming a collectivity rather than an individual reflected the way the internet was shifting the balance of power within the media through blogs, videos and social networks.

and also from the Time article:

It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.