Category Archives: Unitec

Vox Migration Plan

As you have probably heard – Vox, our preferred free Blog/eportfolio site is closing down on 30 September. You will need to choose an option to move and export your Vox blogs to either: Typepad, WordPress or Posterous (there is no simple export to Blogger or other Blog hosts beyond these three). The import to Typepad is quick and simple, the WordPress and Posterous import can take several hours.

So – which to choose?

Well there’s really not a lot of difference between Typepad and WordPress anymore, and your choice either way will be fine, however I’ll outline what I see as the key differences (PS, I have, and still use: Blogger since 2004, WordPress since 2006, and Vox since 2007, effectively keeping three copies of blog posts and tweaking each site for different audiences).

Unfortunately none of the current free options provide the range of functionality that made Vox so useful for collaborative student projects, however this can be achieved by using a ‘bricolage’ of tools – i.e. Typepad or WordPress for student blogs, turning on the Auto Tweet option for posts in Typepad & WordPress for creating community and social networking, using RSS subscriptions to follow activity (e.g. using Google Reader), and using Flickr or Picasaweb for hosting and presenting images, and Google Docs for collaborative documents.

Both Typepad and WordPress feature the ability to create static pages associated with your main blog, and their themes are more customisable than Vox with both offering add-on free widgets. They are both also more iPhone/iPad friendly than Vox, and provide limited free blog-view statistics options.

1. Typepad:
http://thomcochrane.typepad.com/

The Typepad import is the easiest.
Typepad includes a ‘follow’ option that is similar to Vox’s ‘neighbourhood’ feature for building online community.
Only the Typepad ‘Micro’ option is free – however the import from Vox feature appears to give free users more feature access than standard Typepad Micro, and is add-free.
Typepad’s more powerful customisation and community tools are paid upgrades.
There are several iPhone/mobile editing apps available for Typepad blogs, but no free iPad editor yet.
The paid Typepad options offer more flexibility than WordPress.

http://www.typepad.com/features/the-right-choice/

Mobile version: http://itypepad.com
Also support for email upload and blogging

2. WordPress:
http://thomcochrane.wordpress.com/

WordPress offers more customisation for free than Typepad, although media hosting for free is limited, including no video (you can still embed YouTube etc in posts for free) – paid upgrades provide video hosting and larger media allowances on WordPress.
There are a couple of free iPad WordPress Blog editing apps available.
Wordpress uses custom embed code for externally hosted media – that can take getting used to.

http://en.wordpress.com/products/

Mobile version: http://m.wordpress.com
Also support for email upload and blogging

So depending on what is most important to you you can choose either Typepad or WordPress and have made a good choice!

The simplest option in my opinion is Typepad Micro.

Hope this helps.

Thom.

Semester2 WMD Projects

Last week we started five WMD projects:

  1. Student-owned devices within MIP2 paper of Product Design Year1
  2. iPhones with netbooks for the iPhone Development computing course
  3. HTC Androids with 3rd year Architecture students
  4. Nokia Xpressmusic 5800 smartphones with 2nd year Graphics Design course
  5. Nokia N97 smartphones with the 3rd year Film and Television students.

There are 3 projects waiting on the arrival of iPads to get going, and two more projects within Performing and Screen Arts (entire first and second year students). There is also a continuing project with second year Product Design students.
Some pics below.

Configuring 141 netbooks for mlearning projects

Here’s a quick video (recorded and uploaded to YouTube directly from an iPhone 3GS) showing Thom, Vickel & Hung in the process of configuring 141 netbooks for mlearning projects at Unitec last week! The FIRST one was fun! – the next 140 weren’t quite so fun ;-)

Landscape Design Netbook rollout

Today we started the netbook project with the second year Diploma of Landscape Design students and staff. All students and staff were issued a Dell Mini9 netbook for use in their course for the rest of the year. the netbooks will be used as ‘windows’ into the online web 2.0 world – students will be blogging, uploading and sharing photos and VODCasts of their designs and learning experiences.

LandscapeNetbooks1.jpg
LandscapeNetbooks2.jpg

This project follows on from a collaborative web 2.0 project between Landscape Design and third year Product Design students on the SHac09 sustainable house competition, where NING was used as a collaborative online space.

See Penny’s overview of the project:

http://pennycliffin.vox.com/library/post/minisymposium.html

Lecturer Mobile VODCasts

Our Community Of Practice with Performing Arts Tutors is focusing on the educational potential of mobile web 2.0 technologies. In particular the Tutors have appropriated VODCasting, using QIK live video streaming from a smartphone to record video reflections and notes to their students.

Here’s an example:

Performing Arts COP participants:

Product Design, mobile learning rollout

Today we started the mlearning project with BDes Product, year2 – all students received a Nokia XM5800 to explore and use for their course for the year. Very excited – as you can see!

07052009108

Student NetBook Project

Today we started the first of several netbook implementation projects (as part of a wider mlearning project) at Unitec. The first year Product Design class all received Dell Mini9 netbooks to use for their course for the rest of the year.
A Moodle course is being used to guide the educational use of the netbooks, as we explore their use within a web2, social constructivist paradigm, to enhance their learning experience, and bridge the ‘digital divide’!

BDesY1netbooks5.jpg
BDesY1netbooks.jpg
BDesY1netbooks2.jpg