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Carnival of the Mobilists at World Wireless Forum

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Posted on 30th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

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Jan Kuczynski is Midway Master of this week’s Carnival here. GoldenSwamp’s entry is the Mobilefest post among the mobilistas.

Visualizing Basic Algebra


Posted on 29th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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algebraic images
Information Aesthetics pointed to this page as and example of visuospatial illustrations demonstrating some interesting properties of numbers. Whatever we call them, these are great images for grasping some mathematical concepts. Math

Carnival of the Mobilists 33


Posted on 28th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

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This posting of last week’s Carnival is late because of my jaunt below the Equator. But I don’t want to miss having Rudy De Waele’s terrific work included here in the GoldenSwamp. He calls it the “L’âge du Christ” Carnival and tells us why here.

Not just soccer in Brazil


Posted on 28th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Mobile & Ubiquitous

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mobilefest brazil
Yesterday I returned from five days in Rio de Janeiro where I attended and blogged at iSummit 06. The event was awesome in several dimensions. The New York Times summarizes the Creative Commons facet of the conference and its origins here. I was a panelist for the Education iCommons; I described that panel in my blog post for the iSummit here. Mobile was a frequent informal topic and I predict it will be a major theme at the next iSummit to be held a year from now in Dubrovnik, Coatia.

A major mobilist I met in Rio is Paulo Hartmann who told me about the Mobilfest event coming up in Sao Paulo in September. (Hurry if you are interested: the deadline for proposal submissions in June 30.) The Mobilefest theme is: How can Mobile Technology contribute to democracy, culture, art, ecology, peace, education, health and third- sector? As usual for me, I told Paulo that my answer to that question is to provide education materials to the new generations on their mobile phones. He agreed. So did Joris Kormen of Namibia who was in Rio and who told me the mobiles were a key to education in Africa’s undeveloped areas.

And Oh YES, soccer is BIG in Brazil. Rio fell silent with the streets empty when the game was on television. Yet from any point in the city when Brazil scored, a loud rolling roar across Rio was heard. I suppose soccer in Brazil may be one function where the analog human voice suffices with no need for digitized transmission.

Ocean Explorer expeditions


Posted on 16th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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ocean ring
Enter the oceans here in virtual expeditions conducted by the United States National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Multi media are used to capture the virtual experience of exploring the deep with top ocean scientists.
Earth sciences, via Scout Report

Text mentoring is here – or at least at Buckinghamshire

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Posted on 13th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Mobile Learning

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kids texting
The following report here from the BBC today is wonderful news:

Pupils at a school in Buckinghamshire have been getting extra help with GCSE revision by texting their teachers. Far from banning mobile phones, Cottesloe School in Wing has decided to turn modern technology to its advantage in an attempt to improve results. Since Easter, Year 11 pupils have been able to message teachers from home with revision queries and get a text answer. The school said “text mentoring” had also seen teachers messaging pupils with revision prompts and exam tips.

“I’ve used it a lot for science and I’ve found it really helpful,” said Daniel, 16.

“The other night I was sitting at my computer, trying to figure out an answer to a biology question.

“I texted my school for an answer and they texted me back with one or two tips and I got it within a couple of minutes,” he said.

“If you’re texting, it’s modern and new and everyone likes to use it,” said Kerry, 15.

“I’ve used it to get hints and tips about exams.” [go to the article for more]

Thanks to Jim at

The digital trust divide


Posted on 12th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Mobile & Ubiquitous

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Movie theaters solved the problem of cell phones ringing during films by running humorous reminders to turn off phones. Schools (at least in the world’s biggest public system here in New York City) have forbidden cell phones in class and left trust out of the formula. So, enforced education has created yet another discipline problem. Today’s article here in the New York Times describes how kids are using a high frequency ringtone (that most adult ears cannot hear) to operate their phones during class. Here is part of the story from the Times:

David Herzka, a Roslyn High School freshman, said he researched the British phenomenon a few weeks ago on the Web, and managed to upload a version of the high-pitched sound into his cellphone.

He transferred the ring tone to the cellphones of two of his friends at a birthday party on June 3. Two days later, he said, about five students at school were using it, and by Tuesday the number was a couple of dozen.

“I just made it for my friends. I don’t use a cellphone during class at school,” he said.

How, David was asked, did he think this new device would alter the balance of power between adults and teenagers? Or did he suppose it was a passing fad?

“Well, probably it is,” said David, who added after a moment’s thought, “And if not, I guess the school will just have to hire a lot of young teachers.”

Do we have to wait until David’s generation supplys the teachers a few years from now, to catch on to using the phones the students have as a class tool for learning instead of banning them while kids ply pencils and PCs in class? And even though it is said here in some jest, I suppose, where is the trust in the notion of “balance of power between adults and teenagers”? I think the purpose of education is to empower kids with knowledge — wow, I’m really old school!

Cradle the KC jazz


Posted on 11th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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musicians logo
Rock the digital cradle hear of real Kansas City jazz history here. The pages load slowly but their gifts are worth the wait. This look and listen into the past is absolutely impossible to convey in the sterility of generalized education resources. Arts

All About Symbian hosts the Carnival of Moblists this week


Posted on 10th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Mobile & Ubiquitous

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Visit the Carnival here. Host Rafe Blandford makes this warm invitiation: I can hear the drummers starting up and can see the dancers coming round the corner… Break open a beer, enjoy the sunshine and sit back for an hour’s great reading . . . !

Lenovo innovation for shared student comptuers


Posted on 9th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Schools We Have Now

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Today I am attending “2006 Innovative Marketing Conference” at Columbia Business School in New York. Deepak Advani, senior vp and chief marketing officer at Lenovo mentioned in his keynote that his company had created an innovative feature for computers used in education. He said the feature was a button to push that restored everything on a computer to where it had been when a student ended his/her session using the machine. Several students could thus use a single computer by simply pushing a button to restore their own work and files.

Advani said the feature was popular. Of course! When you think about it, how do our kids put up with the HUGE frustration they routinely experience of not having their own computer at school.

64 Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena


Posted on 7th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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optical illusions
The showcase here is phenomenally popular and deserves to be. The website is a fine example of how an individual teacher can inform a worldwide audience online. General science

Mobile security solutions: phones are cyber safer

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Posted on 4th June 2006 by Judy Breck in Mobile Learning

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It is interesting to watch phones emerge in the safety venue for young people. The littlest ones can now carry mobile phones so they can talk with parents, who can also track where kids are through GPS. A whole line of cell/mobiles that include features where parents program limited numbers the child-owner can call, are making it possible for the kid when lost or in danger to summon help with the push of a button.

A post today on SmartMobs reports an article about the 300% increase last year in Internet access in Vietnam, where now 12.5 million of the 85 million population are online. But here come the cyber-alarmists (well, murder IS alarming) in the article:

The government said Friday it will step up inspections of Internet cafes beginning July 1, after several people participating in online chat rooms were murdered. “It’s easy to manage youngsters at home with parental supervision,” said Hai. “But when they are out at internet cafes no one supervises them. They could log onto websites with depraved content and information.” Currently anyone using a public Internet connection must show their identification. However, users report that café owners rarely ask for their papers. The government also announced this week that game shop owners must install software intended to limit the number of hours gamers can play each day. After three hours online, players’ characters will only be able to rack up half the number of points.

Think of this, though: if the chatroomers and gameplayers were using mobile phones, the dens of Internet iniquity (cafes) would lose their reason to exist. “Security” from the government point of view (censorship) would loose its tentacles as well.

The media drumbeats [swampthink instead of goldthink] signaling cyber threats to security have, for years, muffled focus on the good news potential for delivering things to learn through the Internet. If you if you build a website that teaches something, it can now reach 12.5 million Vietnamese. That is huge progress where, as the quoted article reports: “Broadband has been available in Vietnam since 2003, when it had just 183 users in its first year of operations. Today all of Vietnam’s provinces have high-speed Internet connections.”

Ben Franklin 1706-2006


Posted on 3rd June 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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Poor Richard Almanac quote
This wisdom from Poor Richard’s Almanac is in an animation in the web tribute to Benjamin Franklin’s 300th birth year. This remarkable and diverse man is aptly honored by the remarkable and diverse website here. Biography

via Scout Report

Carnival of the Mobilists 30


Posted on 3rd June 2006 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

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Mobilist diva
The keen mobilist eye of Darla Mack casts about the mobile scene this week. Read Darla’s report and drop by the winning mobilist posts here. For those of my readers who are educators, I suggest a look at this carnival of creativity as a source for ideas for using mobiles in teaching — a venue where most schools are prohibiting use of the computers in kids’ pockets instead of embracing them. Many uneducated individuals across the world have little or no schooling, but now own a mobile. GoldenSwamp is convinced mobile learning is the global path to literacy and learning.

Archaeology action online


Posted on 1st June 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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archaeologist Egypt
Follow the news here, at the University of Memphis project home website, from the first untouched Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings to be discovered since 1922. There is no virtual dust on archaeology these days! You can almost look over the shoulders as the discoverers make their finds. History