Saturday, 22 January 2011

A mad few weeks

Well for various reasons it has been a few weeks since I wrote anything here - the main reason being my desktop computer died about a fortnight before Christmas and I have been juggling an old machine and laptop to get by! The desktop I have been using was the one I had before the one that just died, it is a bit old now and I had cleared all of my software off for my son who only used it to talk to his fiance whilst she was studying in France and he was here. Since she came over the computer has been sat idle upstairs as they use her laptop in their flat, so out it came and I have just about finished installing and updating everything again as I am going to put it back upstairs in the box room office tomorrow! However so much has been happening I feel as if I should have written a book in the time never mind a single, strange, rather mixed up, multi-themed post.

I went out to buy a new computer the other day. I had decided I wanted a nice neat all-in-one type. I found a good one, a Sony with everything I needed, but decided to have a last look around before buying, a bad move, I ended up with a big Mac, and not the burger sort :-)

It will take me a while to get used to it I think! I have loaded Parallels, Windows 7 and a new version of MS Office that I purchased and downloaded the day my old computer died. I have put a few favourite essentials on that just so the virtual computer so that I can do all that I need to do on a daily basis but where possible I am using the Mac software to start to get used to it. I am really impressed with how the Mac does things, I just wish I was a month on and knew a bit better where everything is and what to expect, I feel a little insecure at the moment!

It has been about ten days since I was at Learning Without Frontiers conference at the Barbican in London. Lots has already been written about it, it was an amazing few days with lots to see, think about and learn. The thing that just blew me away was Tim Ryland's green screen filming with children. He used the iPad app Epic Citadel as the background and started a story about two pickpockets. It was totally believable set in an "Oliver" style of old London. The children acted out the story, filmed against green, then the action was set over the old London scene. See lots more on Tim's blog posts and

I bought the software virtual world software for little ones called "All about Me" I love it! I have to pass it onto to my grandson but only when I have finished playing with it :-)
The DSi Excel was impressive, it does not have apps so is used in a different way to the iPod Touch.

See more about the LWF conference from colleague Nick at he has been much more productive than me ;-)

There are a lot of video clips at  and all  of Leon's clips are being made available at

From there we went on to BETT and sadly between meeting people, presentations and doing things for work I did not see as much as usual but the one piece of software that stood out above everything to me was the I Can Animate app by Kudlian.  The software itself has been around for a while but the app - for the new ipod touch 2s with cameras - amazing!!  It has green screen capability and I was thrilled with the small sized green board that the demos were being filmed on at their stand.  I bought the app on the train on the way home :-)  and my husband covered a small board with green felt that we just happened to have in the loft - green screen miniature studio set up and ready! When my grandson came last Sunday we created a story, he recorded the narration and we made the props. Sadly my spring loaded iPhone tripod has not yet arrived so we can't record the stop motion animation tomorrow :-( However it will be done very soon and then I will be experimenting with more ideas.

I have to just mention that after the Wednesday preso in BETT, about Second Life, a Second Life colleague whom I have only met once was at the end of a queue of people who wanted to talk after the event. I was so shocked I could not believe it was her and had to check her name badge - what a lovely surprise!! It made the whole weekend for me!

Our team and centre is due to become an Apple Regional Training Centre over the next few weeks, it has taken a while to set up and now the time is just about here I am quite excited ;-) Whilst at BETT we talked to the Apple people that we are working with and they are going to put some of the new iPod Touch 2s into our kit so hopefully at least in this one aspect - miniature green screen video creation we will be able to do something wonderful!

Our e-safety course has started again in Second Life, join us Tuesday evening for week 2!

The EVO VILLAGE 2011 is running and with so much going on at work at the moment I really am not doing nearly enough to help the team, but we did have a lot of fun outfitting everyone with new clothes last weekend! For video of that see

There is more to come for the last fortnight - but tomorrow :-)

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