OpenSource software in labs: pilot progress

This pilot project over in the new Digital Media Centre labs at iC is going very well. Ably supported by lab support technician Glenn Alexander, research into tweaking the lab setup is underway to ensure that when students logoff in the labs their software is re-set to an appropriate “clean-slate settings” state on the shared lab machines, and their data is saved on their USB or portable hard-drives.
I visited the class yesterday in person, and saw the colour animated graphics that the students were creating in the Ubuntu/Linux operating system using the Scala programming language. Look forward to seeing how the student projects develop.

ETC and Randy Pausch (The Masters Degree I want to do!)

I was watching a TED Talk Talk by Randy Pausch. He based his talk on his childhood dreams, but by about 40mins it in turns into a discussion about ETC. A great University course he helped develop after being a Disney Imagineer. It is so great and he speaks so enthusiastically about it. The course brings together Design, arts and engineering students initially, then opens up to a broader audience.

This guys has had some amazing opportunities, but I really like that someone else has picked up the ball for the ‘Masters Degree’. I really wish we could have something similar to offer students here at UOW.
There is more information about ETC here.

Engaging and Smart whiteboards in Engineering

Saw the full potential of the NoteBook software that authors and presents lessons on the SmartBoards. Thankyou Hannah Russell for taking the time to show me how it works. I particularly liked the split screen display of 2 sources, the URL link, the on-screen touch keyboard (like iPad) and the screen capture and paste functions.

Looking forward to hearing how it goes with using Bridgit software to share those lessons in real time with remote students.

Wk 6 Progress: VM Ware /open source tools pilot

Generally, we seem to have ironed out most of the hiccups (mainly linked to people having problems copying the system to Mac formatted disks or by locking the VM system by not shutting it down properly (have to throw out the lock file to restart in those circumstances). Other issues are mainly about the overall technical complexity of having to load up another operating system and then engage with complex set of programming APIs – a real challenge for many of the students.

SMART: live streaming of their eSim research

The  new SMART centre (stilll under construction) will have a number of special simulation rooms in which hi-tech research will be occuring. The would like to have each room fitted with an IP camera and to be constantly recording the activities in the room, and to be able to broadcast this via both high-definition TV eg UoWConnect and digital signage (located in various part of the SMART building and indeed around campus) as well as lower-definition streaming media format for delivery to staff and students via eLearning environment and other websites and also via mobile devices such as iPhones.

To enable multiple streams of the media to be processed and delivered, UoW would need to purchase a new server and locate this in the UoW data centre. I am liaising with vendors regarding quotations. I’ll keep you posted, so watch this space.

For information SMART centre, see their website