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Miles Berry

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About Miles Berry

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    http://elgg.net/mberry/weblog

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    Haslemere, Surrey
  1. Miles Berry

    Google Earth

    API = Application Program Interface, in other words it's a way that you (or more usually a third party) can write software ontop of someone else's program, in this case Google Maps. The resulting blend of your code calling theirs is referred to as a 'mash-up'. Flickr and Google are probably the most 'mashed-up'. Here's an example of one combining the two, there are plenty more examples of the sort of thing that's possible here. In term's of other subject areas, here's an interesting example for history, although this perhaps needs a bit of work. The advantage of this over Google-Earth for schools is that this sort of thing will run in any browser without extra software, so your students could use it from school, home or PDA.
  2. Miles Berry

    Thumbstacks

    Very cool. Thanks for this. S5 have an alternative approach, for those not scared to use a text editor, or who would prefer to host the presentations themselves, but I think thumbstacks is likely to have the edge in popularity.
  3. Miles Berry

    Open source software equivalents

    This is an area where open-source is lagging behind the commercial houses, I guess because the standard format for most of this stuff, ie Flash, is proprietary, and the Adobe-Macromedia and their partners have an advantage; that said there's some interesting work being done - a good starting point to explore the field is http://www.osflash.org/, although this is fairly geeky stuff at the moment. It's worth stepping back and reflecting on whether your objectives can't be accomplished in good old HTML, as this makes for standards-compliant, accessible content, and there are a whole host of good authoring tools around, like NVU. Although it's perhaps not quite what you're after, skypecast might be one easy way to get the audio (and video?) conferencing aspects of Breeze for free, and VNC can do remote desktop sharing, although it's nowhere near as easy as Breeze. If you do want to go with Flash, then the following may be worth investigating: OpenOffice.Org has flash export from its presentation program Impress, which also has PowerPoint import; the resulting .swf are pretty basic, but it may be possible to edit these elsewhere. Wink is a freeware Flash screenrecorder, a bit like Captivate, but it doesn't have audio support Red5 is, I suspect, going to have a huge impact on this area eventually, although it's still in its development phase at the moment - the intention is to provide an open source equivalent to Macromedia's Flash Communication Server, which is the engine that drives Breeze. Watch that space! Gemin-i plus is worth investigating.
  4. Miles Berry

    Google Earth

    Hi Rich, I tried it out with a couple of year 4 classes last week, and was pleased with initial reactions. There's a few notes and links to some related resources here. It is fairly bandwidth hungry, and requires pretty high spec hardware. Google Maps, and their public API, provide a few interesting possibilities as an alternative.
  5. Miles Berry

    Biography: Miles Berry

    I'm deputy head and information systems manager at St Ives School, Haslemere, a small prep school for girls in stockbroker belt Surrey. Professional interests include knowledge management in education, use of open source software in schools, provision for the gifted and talented and independent learning. I'm a member of the British Computer Society's Education and Training Expert Panel, and its e-learning working party. I am also a Mirandanet fellow, sit on Becta's learning services technical sub-group and practioner stakeholder group, and have a watching brief on primary matters for the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications Schools and Further Education committee. My work on implementing Moodle will be documented as the dissertation for Leicester University's MBA in Educational Management, and has won the 2006 Becta ICT in Practice Award for primary teaching. Other interests include classical music, creative cookery and photography: most of my digital photos are on Flickr, many of which are geotagged. I have a blog at http://elgg.net/mberry/weblog, and there's more information about some of my work on my profile page there.
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