PhoneGap – JavaScript programming apps for iPhone, Android, & more

I found this last night and noted it on Squire’s Daily Interest until I could write a post here.

PhoneGap looks sooooo interesting. It allows native phone apps to be produced for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and more in JavaScript.

It started from a two day iPhone Dev Camp. The underlying reason for it coming into being is that there aren’t that many Objective C developers, but there are a whole lot of HTML and JavaScript programmers.

Under the MIT Licence PhoneGap will always be opensource.

There’s already a list of apps created using PhoneGap.

The download is here.

Check out the video, it explains things a whole lot better:

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Radio package making / podcasting

I’ve found a rich seam of informative short videos from BBC Blast that can help students in secondary and higher education with media work.

This is the first of these videos, only a couple of minutes long and presented by a professional radio producer giving some tips about radio (sound) production and interviewing. The advice applies to podcasting as well. [Always think beyond the box.]

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BBC On Top of the Digital World

At the end of last week I was too tired to actually do any research or writing so I sat back and went onto BBC iPlayer. I usually look in the factual section: it means I might take in some useful information during a time when I wouldn’t necessarily be doing anything productive. I noticed a learning sub-category and clicked on it. There were lots of programmes for younger children and then down at the bottom was ‘On Top of the Digital World‘, from the BBC Learning Zone and aimed at 11-19 year old learning. The Learning Zone runs overnight on BBC 2, so you can set up a recording and watch the information programmes at another time.

I began watching it and thought, “WOW this is so good”. Over the weekend I managed to find time to play both available episodes. I think that the format is great. The programmes are 1 hr long per episode, but there are multiple articles each lasting between about five and 10 minutes long covering topics about how young people are using and interacting in the ‘Digital World’. This material can inform all age groups, and could certainly be useful to some of my colleagues.

Episode 1 covers:

  • Cyber celeb (0 – 6mins)
  • Checking you out online – identity (6 – 11min 57sec)
  • Hey that’s mine – copyright (11min 57sec – 18min 52sec)
  • A day in the life of Jellyellie (18min 53sec – 25min 35sec)
  • Anything goes online? – good/bad information (25min 35sec – 32min 20sec)
  • Cyberbullying ( 32min 20sec – 39min 52sec)
  • Getting the message out – political campaigning (39min 53sec – 45min 25sec)
  • Cyberstalking (45min 25sec – 52min 12sec)
  • What’s the point of age rated games? (52min 12sec – 58min – 57sec)

Episode 2 covers:

  • Making money online (0min – 7min 10sec)
  • Catching the copycat – plagiarism (7min 10sec – 12min)
  • Brains behind the games (12min – 17min 54sec)
  • The past online (17min 54sec – 24min 20sec)
  • Buying and selling online (24min 20 sec – 31min 26sec)
  • When gaming takes over – gaming addiction (31min 26sec – 38min 39sec)
  • Accessibility (38min 39sec – 45min 38sec)
  • Marketing online (45min 38sec – 52min 31sec)
  • Blogging (52min 31sec – 58min 52 sec)

I don’t know how long these will be available on iPlayer (programmes usually last about a week on there), but if they are still available then they are well worth a look for any age.

Link to the On Top of the Digital World site for iPlayer.

Howard Rheingold – credibility literacy

Yesterday I clicked on a link in one of Howard Rheingold’s (@hrheingold) tweets to his latest video in which he explains about the importance of literacy in determining the quality and credibility of information on the internet mainly accessed via searches.

He draws on some footage from a presentations he has given (which was standing room only) to illuminate some of his points. He makes an interesting distinction between skills, which are an individual attribute, and literacy, which Howard describes as skills + community as it rests in the realms of social so you can participate im the community of literates.

He presents five important literacies as:

  1. Attention
  2. Participation
  3. Co-operation
  4. Critical consumption
  5. Network awareness

All of these literacies need to co-exist.

Howard makes an interesting point about child safety, comparing concerns about online safety with the higher threats that exist offline. I think this ties in to my recent  post about OnGuard Online which really centres on talking to your children holistically about online and offline activity, and your own values. Howard emphasises the important of equipping our children with the ability to think critically, and this reduces any risk in their online activity. This ability is paramount to children being able to assess more generally the quality and accuracy of the information they encounter online, and giving them the tools to filter good information from bad, as we’ve shifted from a world of critically edited material pre-publishing to one where it is the responsibility of the consumer to critically evaluate.

There are two important questions we should continually be asking:

  1. How do I ask/phrase the question; how do I ask that search engine?
  2. How do I know what I’ve found is accurate?

Howard goes on to explain about personal ‘trust’ networks, an extension of the personal learning network in which there is a trust value added. And again this is an extension of the real life scenario, where you trust your doctor more the your mate Trev down the pub to give you health advice, but Trev knows a whole lot more about football, though his financial advice is a little dodgy too.

There’s a whole lot more in this video than I could hope to describe, so I suggest just watching it for yourself.

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TED Tim Berners-Lee: Data goes Global

Tim Berners-Lee came back to TED to talk about how his previous call for data to be put online is beginning to come to fruition. In a brief 5min video he presents examples of how governments are making data available and others are able to use it and create mashup to make connection not otherwise identified.

Internet safety – OnGuard Online

I’ve posted previously about Internet Safety and the work of CEOP in Britain. Today I came across the The information is US centric, but there is much generic advice that is also useful for the UK. There’s a list of useful topic titles, including email scams, identity theft, malware, P2P security, phishing, etc. In addition there are some useful online question based games to get you thinking about the issues on a number of areas.

However, the item I’d like to draw particular attention to is the Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online pdf document that helps adults (parents or carers) to talk to children about their internet use. This really is packed full of useful information; the main point being openly talk to your children, explain things, listen to them, and tell them your values for on- and off-line behaviour. Quoting from the site with regard to this publication:

OnGuard Online encourages you to use this guide with your kids, in your school, at your PTA meeting, or anywhere else parents might gather. Feel free to order as many free copies as you’d like, put your own sticker on it, reprint sections in a newsletter or on a website, download a button or link to it, or even reprint it with your own logo. These materials are in the public domain.

Net Cetera