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11 posts from April 1, 2012 - April 7, 2012

April 07, 2012

When Blind Means Jobs

LinkedIn on iOSBernie Goldbach near Durrow | 175 words

MY MOBILE VIEW of the world (one sample in the photo) tells me the Irish tech community is robust and hiring. The same mobile view alerts me to the continued use of blind references.

I continually get requests for background checks from people who sit two or three degrees of separation from me. The requests normally cut to the quick, asking me to vouch for the creative skills of a job candidate. Sometimes the requests come from people who are headhunting a specialist. I get the requests because it is easy to tell that I work where students have earned their degrees. Before long, I believe the requests will target students on our main campus, a place I don't see much.

Blind reference requests haven't actually diminished during the downturn in the Irish economy, suggesting the tech side of Ireland continued ticking away even while the construction sector collapsed. That is good news for the 78 new students currently applying to start our BSc in creative multimedia at LIT-Clonmel.


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Mootieuk12 Marching Order

Design Pattern Relationships

Bernie Goldbach in Dublin | Schematic from Erich Gamma. | 105 words

THE MARCHING ORDER I took away from Mootieuk12 this past week concerns the user experience of Moodle. I wonder how Moodle UX sits on the strategic plan for Moodle development.

I've put a schematic into this post from a design pattern overview that I use in a creative multimedia lecture. It shows the intricacies related to revising the interaction design metaphor. I believe that creating something new in the Moodle user experience that appeals to twentysomethings using the virtual learning environment will mean designing for mobile first, desktop second. I'm keen to see if that's the direction taken by Martin Dougiamas and crew.


Moodle Moot UK/IRL was held April 2-4, 2012 in Dublin.

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The Private Side of Google Plus

David Armano on Social LayersBernie Goldbach in Limerick | 355 words

ONE OF THE most interesting things about Google Plus is the way I've seen it used in business when conducting close-held discussions. G+ lets you keep things from prying eyes.

Most people look at Google Plus as an alternative social network, but knowing they don't have the time or energy to relocate themselves and their friends from Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. Even though some business strategists (like David Armano with his graphic) see G+ tying together communications, collaboration, search and media, few people point out how there's an invisible pillar in the G+ schema. It operates behind the scenes and goes largely unappreciated by social media experts. It's the locked-down and private channel for collaboration.

If you trust Google Docs as a channel for communicating only between your business partners and if you use Google Forms to capture data without it leaking across the internet, you're familiar with the plumbing on the private side of Google Plus.

Continue reading "The Private Side of Google Plus" »

April 06, 2012

16 Hours Between Charges

16 Hrs with Battery SaverBernie Goldbach in Cashel | 133 words

MONTHS OF DAILY USE of my Nokia Lumia 800 have resulted in 16 hours between recharging the phone, thanks largely to a combination of the pre-installed Battery Saver, the clever functioning of several paid apps and controlled usage of email.

I toggle the Battery Saver "on" during most of the day because I want to prevent the phone from making 3G or wifi data connections automatically. Since I've four email services on my Nokia Lumia, they reduce the phone's battery capacity by at least one hour every work day, in my experience.

I don't run ad-supported apps during my work day because they poll a lot of data traffic and run those advertisements inside the apps. Instead, I've bought nearly every app on the Lumia, reducing battery drain due to advertising traffic.

I also have configured as many screens as possible to black backgrounds, another technique that reduces the power required to display the main screen.

With these considerations on board, I can better extend the daily life of my phone and handle voice calls, video recording and YouTube playbacks. The only way I've minimised the power requirement for those three tasks is to remain stationary in a strong area of reception.


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April 05, 2012

The Fastest Phone I've Ever Owned

All Day All Night PowerBernie Goldbach in Cashel | 155 words

AFTER FIVE MONTHS of daily usage, I can declare my Nokia Lumia 800 (in photo) as the fastest phone I've ever owned. Its battery life, email synchronisation, and front screen live tiles are welcome features.

Nokia made a video of the Lumia 900 (see below) and it effectively captures how I use my own phone. I can trust the phone's alarms to work in the morning, the call quality/noise cancelling is good enough for live radio interviews, and the Marketplace (more than 80,000 apps) has the business applications I've needed to get things done.

I'm watching my Zune updates for an update that gives me a USB tethering method with my Lumia 800. The phone's antenna is stronger than both the Sony Ericsson and iPhone 4 handsets that we use in the weak area of connectivity where we live.

There are a lot of reasons to value the Nokia Lumia 800 as a reliable, consistent mobile handset. Discovering it's also faster than any other handset I've owned is a welcome result.

Related info:

Luke Johnson -- "Nokia shifts 1m Lumia 800 handsets in Q4 2011" on the T3 blog,  January 13, 2012.

Eric Savitz -- "Nokia: The Recovery Begins" in Forbes, March 30, 2012.

YouTube: 24 Hours Hands on with the Nokia Lumia 900


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April 04, 2012

Vote for Drink Awareness

Drink Aware
Bernie Goldbach in LIT Clonmel | 111 words

I'VE WATCHED third year creative multimedia student Paul Murphy do his wireframe for a Booze Tracker app and think he deserves  your vote of confidence on the Dare to Be Drink Aware shortlist.

He's got an idea for a mobile app that helps you track your alcohol consumption and designed the application as part of his courework in Limerick Institute of Technology's Interaction Design module. If Paul won the competition, he'd be able to tweak his work, list the app in the Apple Store and help the drink awareness campaign nationally. You can help--even if you're not in Ireland. Paul's idea has reached Ireland's shortlist, alongside two other submissions in the multimedia category of Dare to Be Drink Aware.  

Paul started designing the app as part of his course work for the Interaction Design module on the Creative Multimedia degree.

Related information:

Please visit http://www.dare2bdrinkaware.ie/2012-shortlist-multimedia and think "Booze Tracker" when you cast your vote.


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April 03, 2012

Day Two Resolutions from Mootieuk12

Moodle Logo

Bernie Goldbach in Santry | 190 words

AFTER LISTENING TO SPEAKERS AT THE 2012 Moodle Moot near Dublin, I'm motivated to create some dynamic learning objects that I believe will be worth sharing before the year is out.

I've made a short Audioboo to capture my thoughts following a presentation by Martin Dougiamas. I like the way Moodle helps shape a Personal Learning Environment and I also believe the most personalised environment is the one that you can carry offline in your pocket or purse. That's not the way many Moodle installations are set up. However, it's something I want to explore in the semesters ahead.

Dougiamas shared parts of the Moodle roadmap, much of which I tagged #mootieuk12 in Pinboard. There are some very potent ideas under the category of "integration" including portfolios, external repositories, work from the Equella team, OAuth 2.0 and the use of the Open Badge.

My Pocket Media Recap of Moodlemoot

Based on the applause I've heard, the most-acclaimed item from the early running of Mootieuk12 is the file picker drag-and-drop facility.


My Pocket Media Recap of Moodlemoot on Audioboo, April 3, 2012.

Bonus Link: The ICT in Education Conference, LIT-Thurles, May 19, 2012.

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The Day #mootieuk12 Trended in Ireland

Mootieuk12 TrendingBernie Goldbach in Dublin |222 words

I SAT AT Ground Zero of the Moodle Moot UK and Ireland, a vibrant occasion on all levels and good enough this year for a lot of reasons to trend on Twitter.

I hope someone is harvesting the twitterstream for the day because it's a treasure trove of continuous professional development for educators, lecturers, course developers and anyone with a deep interest in pedagogy.

I learned several things about the road ahead from Martin Dougiamas himself. I believe the biggest feature in the road map for Moodle lies in its plug-ins, drag-and-drop file picker, and notification system. To capitalise on these features, fellow lecturers at the Limerick Institute of Technology may be developing plug-ins to the core Moodle program. From what I've seen at today's Moodle Moot, there's plenty of collaborative potential between third level institutes of technology. I hope some of those collabrative ventures percolate during the next 36 hours and then weave their way into the ICT in Education Conference in Thurles and the e-learning summer school in the Dublin Institute of Technology. I know both of those event organisers read my blog, along with potential strategic partners. Perhaps they'll DM me on Twitter or add to the threaded conversation on Google Plus.

Related info:

The hashtag is #mootieuk12 on Twitter. I am @topgold on Twitter. moodle

Previously by Bernie Goldbach in the Irish Examiner -- "Moodling Irish Education", September 17, 2004

April 02, 2012

Fat iPhone Dude Sits There

Simon McGarr, watchedBernie Goldbach in Dublin | 990 words

WHILE HIS SENIORS cannot be held responsible for who they may stand next to in public engagements, Irish Junior Minister Sean Sherlock has declared he won't be caught on the same platform as outspoken critic Simon McGarr (pictured thinking before speaking at right). This public position has raised some eyebrows since the Minister is responsible for soliciting citizen feedback on copyright legislation.

Writing in the Broadsheet.ie, McGarr explains,

"Both Minister Sherlock and his FF predecessors like to talk about copyright being a balancing act between 'two sides'. They define those sides as two competing commercial interests – ISPs on the one hand and copyright controllers like EMI et al on the other. In this view, laws should be made to reflect deals done between those two interests.

"There is no room for the public interest in that vision. For better or worse, I was on the panel representing the tens of thousands of Irish people who had lobbied the government over the SI as part of the StopSOPAIreland.com campaign. And the Minister didn’t want even one voice from that group to be heard.

"There is currently a consultation on the overhaul of copyright law in Ireland running, chaired by TCD law academic Dr. Eoin O’Dell. It held a public meeting last Saturday. Dozens of paid lobbyists turned up on behalf of the National Newspapers of Ireland, the music labels and other rights holders.

"When the time came for someone to speak up on behalf of copyright users, ie, everyone else in the country, there was silence."

But wait, there's more to this train wreck of panel games.

Continue reading "Fat iPhone Dude Sits There" »

Simplenoteapp Typepad

SimplenoteBernie Goldbach on M8 | Logo from Simplenote | 101 words

I USE TYPEPAD'S iOS app to write posts for blog and discover the app swallows posts as often as it publishes them. I wish the app would save work instead of discarding content when it misfires.

Fortunately, Simplenote saves me a lot of grief by keeping all manner of edits that I can see on the three different touch points that I use while editing. I also use Evernote for the same kind of reliable editing.

Both Simplenote and Evernote give me continuity during the process that I use when writing long form items. I'm sure this short post would be more expansive if I  had a real keyboard instead of a touchscreen.

Related info:

David Sparks -- "Why I Use Scrivener for Business Writing", Macworld,  January 4, 2012.