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John Simkin

(A5) Equipment & Materials

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Every member of the project should get laptop as a fundamental tool for the project. I think that the amount of money budgeted in E-HELP is OK.

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Every member of the project should get laptop as a fundamental tool for the project. I think that the amount of money budgeted in E-HELP is OK.

Cannot but agree with Juan Carlos. A laptop is definitely a must. AS regards budget for software I think the video compressing software (and editing) should be considered in budgetting (sorry if it sounds well-known to EHELP members, but as ex-EHELP member, I consider essential to have the availability of these programs and the video equipment, however simple, we may need). All this said unless the contribution to EHELP of the equipment and software purchased was perceived insufficient or inadequate.

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I think that we should practise what we preach, and equip the laptops with webcams and headsets (earphones + mikes). If I were making the decision, I'd get us each one of these new Mac Intel laptops with built-in cameras … but that's just me!

If we're successful in getting the funds I suggest strongly that we start meeting virtually, both via desktop video conference (like Marratech, which I'm sure we'll be able to host), and VOIP (voice over IP - Skype, Gizmo, etc, which also do conference calls). Gizmo, by the way, draws you instant maps of where all the connected points are, giving you really flash pictures to put on the web site!

I suggest, for example, that as much of the business of drawing up meeting programmes, writing reports, budgeting, etc, etc as possible happens via a system like Marratech (which has a shared whiteboard, so that we can all look at the same text at the same time, amend it and download it to our own computers), so that we can devote face-to-face time to developing the project actively instead of discussing the nitty-gritty details of meeting procedure.

Besides being a much more efficient way of spending our time, it could also harmonise with the one of the aims of the project (using ICT).

By the way, here in Kalmar we have several large rooms which are Marratech-enabled, which allows us to have virtual meetings between teachers of citizenship in Sweden and their counterparts in other countries. The costs and technical difficulties of setting 'the other end' up are not that great (provided your IT departments play along).

Edited by David Richardson

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I think that we should practise what we preach, and equip the laptops with webcams and headsets (earphones + mikes). If I were making the decision, I'd get us each one of these new Mac Intel laptops with built-in cameras … but that's just me!

Good idea David. I need to price this for the application form. Any suggestions?

After my experience at E-HELP I am very keen that all members have a good quality Handycam. This could be used to produce citizenship resources and to record good examples of citizenship teaching. One possibility is the Sony DCR-DVD 403. The only problem about this model is that it uses mini DVD discs (these are more expensive than normal sized DVDs.

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,121563,00.asp

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I think that we should practise what we preach, and equip the laptops with webcams and headsets (earphones + mikes). If I were making the decision, I'd get us each one of these new Mac Intel laptops with built-in cameras … but that's just me!

Good idea David. I need to price this for the application form. Any suggestions?

After my experience at E-HELP I am very keen that all members have a good quality Handycam. This could be used to produce citizenship resources and to record good examples of citizenship teaching. One possibility is the Sony DCR-DVD 403. The only problem about this model is that it uses mini DVD discs (these are more expensive than normal sized DVDs.

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,121563,00.asp

Good choice. I had been reviewing about Handycam DCR-DVD92 DVD Digital Camcorder (.68MP, 20x Opt, 800x Dig, 2.5" LCD), but your choice offers a higher quality.

http://pcworld.pricegrabber.com/search_get...asterid=7267949

As regards the costs of DVDs in comaprison to DVs I think that will be going down (most naturally). I should also recommend to acquire a long furation extra battery per camera for field recording. One battery is definitely not enough.

Edited by Vicente López-Brea Fernández

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I agree with the laptop, the Handycam, the software for video compressing and the possibility of video conferencing.

I also agree

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One of those new Mac Intel laptops with a built-in camera costs €2699, according to Apple's French site. I suppose that includes VAT.

You'd also get iChatAV, which allows for 4-way instant video conferencing. Marratech is a useful extra, since iChat doesn't have a whiteboard.

However, Macs are a minority taste (a minority I happen to be part of). Perhaps the PC users among us would prefer a PC?

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One of those new Mac Intel laptops with a built-in camera costs €2699, according to Apple's French site. I suppose that includes VAT.

You'd also get iChatAV, which allows for 4-way instant video conferencing. Marratech is a useful extra, since iChat doesn't have a whiteboard.

However, Macs are a minority taste (a minority I happen to be part of). Perhaps the PC users among us would prefer a PC?

This seems a very expensive piece of equipment. If we buy one of these for every institution, we will not have much left to spend on anything else. Is there a cheaper alternative? What does the PC version cost?

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I agree with the laptop, the Handycam, the software for video compressing and the possibility of video conferencing.

I also agree with these gadgets. Very good recommendations indeed. :)

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I am personally in favour of IPods. How about we create Pod Cast facilities. We may consider downloading both video and sound. The proposed website could offer Pod casting?

Most of our students are really into this type of technology.

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I am currently filling in this section of the application form.

I have so far added the following:

9 x Inspiration 9400 laptops.

9 x Creative Webcam Live Ultra

9 x JVC hard disk camcorder Model GZ MG 70

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this.

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Sorry this thought has come in so late, but I've been incredibly busy these last two weeks.

What about an .mp3 player with a record function, + a good microphone each?

There are two uses which spring to mind immediately: 1) the possibility of having some of the inputs on the web site as sound files (interviews with key actors in a particular field, for example); and 2) podcasting. I'm just going to write a quick note on the 'Developing a Citizenship Course' about podcasting, so you can see the sort of thing I'm thinking of.

We use two different types of .mp3 player here: a simple one with flash memory costs up to €50 and a higher-quality one with an internal hard disk costs around €250. I'm not sure what microphones cost, but it's not much.

I have a colleague who uses one of the latter in his research and it's absolutely invaluable for recording interviews in the field which are then distributed to the rest of the research team.

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Sorry this thought has come in so late, but I've been incredibly busy these last two weeks.

What about an .mp3 player with a record function, + a good microphone each?

There are two uses which spring to mind immediately: 1) the possibility of having some of the inputs on the web site as sound files (interviews with key actors in a particular field, for example); and 2) podcasting. I'm just going to write a quick note on the 'Developing a Citizenship Course' about podcasting, so you can see the sort of thing I'm thinking of.

We use two different types of .mp3 player here: a simple one with flash memory costs up to €50 and a higher-quality one with an internal hard disk costs around €250. I'm not sure what microphones cost, but it's not much.

I have a colleague who uses one of the latter in his research and it's absolutely invaluable for recording interviews in the field which are then distributed to the rest of the research team.

I am afraid the application form was sent off by Varndean School this morning. However, if we get the grant I think I know how to get the money to buy what you are asking for.

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