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Jo Badge (University of Leicester)

posted 17 Feb 2011, 03:55 by Martin Hamilton

My highlights and thoughts from the day:

1. This stuff is free – still struggling to get my head around the fact that Google Apps for HE are free. A four-year contract, yes, but for free. So why are we paying for email?

2. Meeting Mark Allen and Zoe Ross in person, and loving the Google Apps ‘VLEcosystem’ for (mostly primary) schools that Mark has developed using google apps and other free tools to get children and teachers working effectively online.

Via twitter, Kevin McLaughlin pointed at his take on this idea that he has written up in the ALT newsletter. This is a wonderfully inspiring example of how home-grown solutions using free tools can provide the flexibility and simplicity that children and staff need online.

3. I have to admit to being rather star-struck by the Google brand, their people and the great stuff they do (the majority of which I’d already seen and used, like live collaboration in Google Docs and the google goggles solving suduko puzzles). However, I think I checked my critical faculties at the door.

4. I got a first look (albeit at a distance) at a Chrome OS notebook . This made me think about when ubiquitous always-on wifi will be good enough in schools and universities for us to use this type of OS with students.

5. Interesting to hear that the OU help desk cross charges course teams for any errors on their moodle sites that result in increase calls to the helpdesk. Certainly focusses the mind…

Overall it was a mind-expanding day in many ways, even if I didn’t even come close to winning the war of the tweets with Steve Wheeler ;-)