Archive for April, 2011

Riven on the iPad- Like coming home

| April 23, 2011 | 0 Comments 

A wonderful, sentimental feeling, as I took the first steps in Riven for the (iPhone) iPad a few months ago. I haven’t been able to put it down since.

At one point, this blog went quiet for a while, because of our travels to far flung corners, where we were on “pedal-up thin-band” in the more remote regions of Egypt. Then our trip through Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, France, Slovenia etc

Now, though, it has been because I have had my head back in the Moeity Caves and Survey Island, taking fleeting glimpses of timid inhabitants, and searching for the Star Fissure.

Yes! I am back where I belong: in the ages of Riven.

Now this may all sound really excessive, (and it is! 😉 ) but Riven, and its peaceful landscapes, set below pale blue skies, is where I started my travels in the worlds of Myst. I took my first steps, into these mysterious, and magical, settings, and witnessed the power it could have in inspiring a class of children to take off and fly in the world of words.

The Riven app is designed for iPhone resolution, but click on the X2 icon in the corner and it still looks stunningly immersive.Remember, Riven is also available for download HERE for even bigger screens.

If you try it, do analogue things too, by the way. Like eat, sleep, get out, and talk to people. You were warned…



| April 16, 2011 | 5 Comments 

After a couple of weeks of travelling through Europe, we are so, so grateful to everybody we have met, for speaking OUR language. Thanks all for your excellent English.

It is amazing how much we, as human beings, can understand each other, despite language differences. Laughter is one, universal thing we have in common.

SIRikt iPad workshop, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

| April 16, 2011 | 1 Comment 

More fun to end this trip to SIRikt in Slovenia. We did another iPad workshop today, and our first go at doing it ALL via the iPad itself. It worked! A presentation in Keynote and popping out to show the different, creative, apps that our delegates could try, on the iPads in the room – and all went smoothly.

We are very grateful to Louise Devos from iFactors Pro in Holland for sorting out an iPad2 and VGA cable as we passed through Holland for the IPON event. It meant that were able to mirror all of our preparations and presentations, on the iPad AND the big screen.

A lovely, cosy, fireside, storytelling atmosphere pervaded the room. This was only shattered by lots of laughter and music, as people made, created, and explored, all through the iPad touch screen. Continue Reading

SIRikt Saturday – Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

| April 16, 2011 | 5 Comments 

After our thundering speed presentation on Thursday here at SIRikt, where we blew up the world and put it back together, in virtual and real ways, we came back down to Earth today. We took our time, exploring some virtual environments, looking at their power in the classroom. Games, and how they can mix with the analogue spaces around us, impact on teaching and learning in children of all ages. Continue Reading

SIRikt Mimio workshop, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

| April 15, 2011 | 1 Comment 

Sarah took a large group of delegates, on a virtual tour of her home country, Wales, to show the power of an interactive digital space, in a classroom setting, and to illustrate that it isn’t about the technology. It is the way it is used.

Sarah was using Mimio tools, and looking at some of the remarkable comparisons between Wales and Slovenia. Well, castles, mountains, dragons (the emblem of Ljubljana is very Welsh looking dragon, on the top right corner of this article on European dragons), and the same way of saying, and writing, the number three, tri, were just a few of the similarities that were thrown up during our whirlwind tour of the two countries. Continue Reading

SIRikt 2011 – Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

| April 14, 2011 | 0 Comments 

Delighted to be invited to travel through some stunning scenery to present at the 5th international ICT conference SIRIKT 2011 in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.

The conference participants are representatives of  educational institutions from kindergarten to University from Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe. There are over 1200 participants! Continue Reading

IPON2011: Onderwijs & ICT – Utrecht, Holland

| April 13, 2011 | 3 Comments 

The next leg of our Europe trip and, after a whizz through Germany and investigating the birth of print, and Gutenberg, in Mainz, we are in Utrecht, Holland, opening the IPON2011: Education in the 21st Century, conference in Utrecht Continue Reading

Chateau Chillon, Montreux, Lake Geneva

| April 10, 2011 | 0 Comments 

Staying in Geneva, and being so close to the Lake, it was great to grab the opportunity to take the train to Montreux, and then walk along the footpath at the lake’s edge, to the incredibly picturesque Chateau Chillon.

To come across an Epic Citadel for real, with its stunning setting, and ancient history, was a powerful experience.

To arrive, as we did, quite early in the morning, meant there were very few other people walking along the path to Chillon. We felt like it was ours. The light was incredible and the mist gradually lifting, gave us an ever increasing dream of a view in all directions across the lake and the mountains.

Little Wheel

| April 8, 2011 | 0 Comments 

We’ve mentioned the delightful and engaging game Little Wheel before, but rediscovered it with a group here in Geneva.

A challenge, and great to discuss with a class how to solve the problems encountered.

Lovely music, reminiscent of the Pink Panther theme: slinky, lounge-lizard jazz, – all muted-trumpets-and-brushes-on-tom-toms-sophistication.

Cool, man! Cool!

“Wall-e” like, in the isolation of a poor robot who’s mission you assist: to find and restore the power from the main generator.

Does that sound familiar to any of the Myst players amongst you? Think Myst IV:Revelation and Yeesha’s resigned comment of  “Don’t tell me! Dad blew the power again, didn’t he?”

Play The Game here

(I do have to admit that, although I only snuck peeks honest, there is a useful walkthrough HERE. :-) )

Have fun, and good luck! Here’s power to your elbow, metal or otherwise.

“Pollens pédagogiques”, Geneva- Switzerland

| April 8, 2011 | 10 Comments 

Wow! What an event. Over one thousand, four hundred teachers, from forty four schools, at five different venues across Geneva! Speakers from across the globe. “Togetherness is a strength”, said one of the organisers, at last night’s opening dinner for the presenters. A grand day out for schools across the city, and done in great style. Continue Reading


| April 7, 2011 | 2 Comments 

On the next leg of our Europe trip (Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Slovenia) and wanting to try out a new tool… but have my reservations.

Just exploring the possibilities of using Toozla (a free travel/ audio tour guide app) in larger educational and environmental settings.

“Toozla is a mobile service that combines a global positioning system with audio tours and stories, user content, and local information, to give you an all-in-one travel guide that you can take with you everywhere.

Wherever you go, use Toozla to learn more about the famous sights and great works of art described in your conventional travel guide, or explore the city’s hidden gems — independent restaurants, small but exquisite parks, unique shops, theatres and museum exhibits, for example”.

Approach an area with a smartphone, and a recorded voiceover could tell you about your location. You can add to the audio already there, too.

I think the potential is huge… but needs tweaking.

This is a bit like using StickyBits to add data, information, pictures, audio and more, to a barcode or QR code you have attached to an object or place.

One disadvantage of Toozla is that the trigger distance for each “Hotspot” is still a hefty 50 metres! This means that life could get confusing in a small school setting. But, how about use it in an environment such as a fieldtrip, or local history of the area of your school.

Record music, poetry, information or stories for different locations on a walk and let people experience it, as they travel, along a route you give them.                          Any other ideas?

I am still investigating the internet safety issues (can you lock down a stream, or region, so that only approved contributions can be heard?) and would value your thoughts, comments and observations, on potential… and on similar considerations.

Maybe Toozla will respond to our thoughts and requests…