Millenials Infographic

I recently posted about the various generations out there and for us to be aware that not all “Gen Y” / Millenials are technical experts or even minded in some cases. I thought this interactive infographic shed further light on their “plight” such as money to spend and educational debt, certainly worth a look at 



Student eMentors

Living in a technical world is never easy, certainly not for everyone, I’m proud to be classed as Generation X 60’s-80’s (also known as Gen X) but I don’t think I am happy with the term digital immigrant that (depending on what source you read – and they do conflict) is somebody who has not grown up with tech from the start. I grew up with the tech around at the time (admittedly we were a little late with the VCR when I was growing up) and have evolved along with it and certainly would class myself as a Digital Native.

Digital natives is normally reserved for Generation Y 80’s – late 90’s (also known as Gen Y, Millennials, Millenial Generation), what happens when the tech changes yet again – do they become immigrants? Even my own children (under the age of 5) being of the Generation Z late 90’s – present  (also known as Gen Z, post-millennials, iGen) are adept at tablets, and can turn on my iPhone music when I leave my Pebble watch laying around. I recently heard the term Digital DNA as being applied their generation.

I think each generation will move through these terms as they become separated from tech in their own lives as we age gracefully (or disgracefully). Despite all this techno babble it’s easy to dismiss those that do not fall into any of these terms. There are those living abroad that do-not and will-not embrace the local language, let alone the dialect. The same goes for the technophobics, for whatever reason be it (exposure, social-economic reasons or just a lack of interest) for their disengagement. We should not assume that all those in-front of us use social networking (such as Twitter), tablets and apps.

But we do have a responsibility to support or encourage through the use of traditional activities, we have all used post-it notes at some point, how about asking your participants to make comments, suggestions, etc. but within 140 characters like Twitter. Or using newer, less traditional methods such as  eMentors – Learners that can support the less technical, be it tutor or another learner!




Chrome Remote Desktop

Now this is a great app, it’s free, allowing access to your PC from others or remotely.  Install the app into chrome and your good to go! Your PC has a passcode set that you will need when accessing remotely.

The key thing for me is that I run my main PC at home as a server for all my files and on a number of occasions I need to either start a service or reboot and I can do this from my iPhone tablet easily. Although you loose connection during the reboot you regain once rebooted – unlike other systems you do not need to be logged onto your profile for the app to work.

I have even accessed my pc, attached a file to an email, and sent it email to myself at work!

Quick video here on YouTube



Using Images – avoiding copyright

I have had a number of discussions recently regarding the use of copyrighted/licensed images, especially in light of the FELTAG report and the need to create engaging online material. Decent free images are not easy to come by and there are those that are in all honesty are used with the intention of not breaching any copyright or infringing any rights but still do, so I thought I would post some useful information and thoughts.


  • Google search for images with usage rights
    1. Type in search criteria into Google
    2. Ensure you are on images
    3. Select search tools
    4. Select usage rights
    5. choose appropriate rights – “Labelled for reuse with modification” being the most versatile


  • So what happens when you have an image, maybe from an old resource, and you want to check that it is not copyrighted – hard to track down isn’t it! well visit Google Search by images – upload your image (or use an image URL) and it will let you know if Google can find it (or similar images). Try the following ninja to see if you can find out where it may have originated from. URL


Box (Storage)

I have used Box for years (when it was before and I was lucky enough to sign up when it was 50GB. Its not widely used or known but it is gaining in populairty, certainly amongst apps. Watch a video here – What are its key features…

  • Free
  • 10 GB Storage (but their are many offers)
  • 250 MB File Size Limit
    • Mobile Access
    • Desktop Sync


Visit for current offers. The great thing about these offers is (subject to change) that if you already have signed up but log in on a promotional device you get the expanded storage size! This post states that there is 50GB for the iPad and iPhone currently


It is also a good way allow documents to be attached to you blog




Storage Solutions

No this is not a post about the famous Swedish home furnishing store (however nice the meatballs are) but about a question posed regarding digital resource storage solutions available today. Formats have not necessarily expanded but have become readable by more than their proprietary systems, such as open office reading MS office docs. Some have been superseded for newer and wider adopted standards (the beloved Xvid & DivX seems to have made way for MP4). YouTube has now adopted HTML 5 as its main playback format over the long established Flash format.

It wasn’t so long ago that you choices were limited to local hard-drive, network drive (server), USB memory sticks or websites themselves. Those options have exploded in recent years and I started to reel of a list of options and soon found the list growing out of all-proportions. As a matter of documenting please see below (and it is not exhaustive):

  • Local Hard-drive
  • External drives (traditional drives 2.5″ or 3.5″”)
  • Memory Sticks – reaching capacities as great as 256GB
  • Solid state memory as in phone memory (i.e. iPhone)
  • Classic server/network drives
  • VLE or CMS (Virtual Learning Environments, Content management Systems)
  • ePortfolios (Mahara)
  • Cloud Services – dropbox, box, pogoplug, icloud
  • Temporary cloud services such as filedropper
  • Websites, both traditional and newer user content driven (web 2.0) that move beyond the forums. Such as this blog!
  • Web services e.g. Poll Everywhere, Socrative, Popplet, Padlet
  • Apps (built in info)
  • Social Networking (these can hold images, website addresses) Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, delicious

A number of these crossover more than one category. have I missed a category? any of your resources stored that do not fit in the above list?



Opinion Podcast Recorder & Editor iOS App

I love this app, mentioned a few weeks ago, and recently used it in my latest podcast. I needed to record three Learning Technologists at three different locations across two days and did not want to carry around with me a lot of equipment. There is a great article outlying its use here 

Opinion came in really handy, allowing me to record on-the-fly, edit fast and save off for my next interview. Admittedly I did my bigger editing on my desktop but I certainly will  not hesitate to use Opinion again on-the-go. What did come up on my wish list for Opinion was:

  1. I found it a bit awkward to have the mic facing my interviewee and also be able to control the app, thankfully the latest update on the 8th March 2015 allows you to rotate the app 180°, allowing you to record a third party with the mic aimed at them but giving you full control still.
  2. Save and retrieve recordings (including splits?), the work around for this currently is to save to cloud services such as Dropbox or Box and retrieve but these are as whole recordings, meaning you lose any splits
  3. Although targeted at the podcasting market there is no way to layer audio clips. Something that the reasonably proficient podcaster would have for their intro, outro and bumper audio clips or even bed music
  4. And there is also no volume or fade in/out facility, although if you could layer the audio clips you could always have permanent fade in and out built into the intro, outro and bumper clips (I adjust these based upon the rest of my content normally)

Give me point 3 and I would happily give it a go of editing an entire episode on the app.



AmazonBasics 3.5mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Cable [4 ft / 1.2 m]

Amazon Cable

I finally got annoyed with having to insert the Headcandy Hesh 2.0 lead in and having to pull it back by about a millimetre due to the extra mic connection not allowing an immediate good connection to the PC/Blue-Yeti. The headphones need a slim plug so I thought I would opt for an Amazon basics lead, as I haven’t been disappointed with any of their own range. The stepped collar is great for iPhone and iPads with cases on and the plug is slim enough (just) to not cause problems with the Hesh 2.0’s.

Cable feels slightly more rubber than plastic and does not tangle. The collar immediately preceding the plug is about 6mm diameter and is about 3mm in depth from plug to silver collar with Amazon basics branding. overall plug length is about 40mm with a solid “bung”to the cable. 1.28m tip to tip.

This stereo audio cable (3.5mm male to male) transmits audio in stereo format

  • For connecting a smartphone, MP3 player, or tablet to car stereo or portable speakers
  • Works with any device equipped with a standard, 3.5mm audio jack or AUX-in port
  • Bevelled step-down design; gold-plated plugs for reliable, static-free performance
  • Length: 4 feet (approx. 2.44m); comes with an AmazonBasics 1-year limited warranty



Alternatives to iTunes Podcasting Directory

Recently I looked to expand beyond iTunes to potential expand my podcasts audience. Surprisingly there are few alternatives to iTunes for podcasting subscriptions and compared to iTunes traffic it if often reported as less than 5% and it certainly is muddy waters.

  • WindowsPhone 7/8 (Formally Zune Marketplace) – A growing market that can only grow on the success of Windows based phones. Certainly going through some changes currently at time of post.
  • Stitcher – a popular directory but one that streams the podcasts, potentially using up the user bandwidth when not on free wifi connectivity (there exists some commentary of them using advertising to pay for the service – potentially coming into conflict with an advertising within the podcasts themselves?)
  • TuneIn Radio – another streaming option but one that is more widely spread to the tablet users
  • The Podcast Source – LybSyns directory/app for Windows 8 and Windows phone 8 (already on this one! as I am hosted upon LybSyn)  – app here
  • Miro – open source and growing, allowing for downloads and one that allows Android users an iTunesesque [sic] experience.
  • Blackberry Podcasts – now defunct

Online Directories

  • – LybSyns own web based directory (already on this one!)
  • – a web based searchable directory (also in this field is
  • – rough around the edges but well though of! at time of the post it was being overrun by spammers and search/submit options suspended!

There are other systems that pull from other directories such as Overcast: podcast player  (for iOS) that pulls from iTunes. But for me I think that Miro  is the one that is worthy of interest particulaly as it will open up the android market for the podcast (and even windows platforms) followed by the



  • Windows – looks like you have to go through BING and add an XML feed to your podcasts – did not pursue this one!
  • Miro – You will not be able to access the ‘Submit Show’ option from the sub-navigation bar (from your username on the right hand side in chrome) show is now submitted
  • Stitcher takes you through an approval process. It took a few day, required a link to stitcher on the website before approval.
  • Tunein approval took a full week



“Spring Forward” Apple Media Event – March 2015

Apple event logo

So the Apple Event “Spring Forward” is today  with the following expectations:

  • Apple Watch
    • Pricing – expectations starting at $349 for the aluminium (normally this equates to the same price in £’s in the UK), $499 for stainless steel and anything in the £1,000’s for the gold
    • Battery life –  working day+ or all day? with a quick charge (for example 20 mins will last the evening)
    • Shipping – next month?
  • Revamping of the Apple shops to take account of the fashion shopping experience?
  • Updated MacBooks
  • New Apple TV – long time coming!
How to Watch
Apple will provide a live stream of the event, which kicks off at 5pm 9th of March 2015 (10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern) suitable for viewing on a recent Mac, iOS device, or Apple TV.
AppleInsider will be on hand at the Yerba Buena Center and will bring live coverage from the venue.


Having just wrapped up at 6.35pm GMT the key points were:

  • Apple Pay accepted at 700,00 locations and growing
  • Apple TV now able to have HBO Now (US only?)
  • Apple TV now cheaper at $69
  • Medical research on the Health Kit on the iPhone (5 apps available today)
  • Macbook
    • space gray, silver, gold
    • 24% thinner than macbook air
    • 2lbs
    • New full size keyboards
    • 12″ Retina display
    • Force sensor touchpad (Taptic)
    • Fanless
    • All day battery life (9-10hrs)
    • Only 1 port – all wireless. Share with AirPlay, AirDrop. Most versatile power connector: USB, power & Display Port/VGA/HDMI, standard “USB-C” aka “USB 3.1 type C”
    • Shipping April 10th
  • 13″ Macbook Pro
  • Apple Watch
    • Watch Sport anodized aluminum (silver or space gray)
    • Watch Stainless Steel (Traditional and space black)
    • Watch Edition (Yellow or rose gold)
    • Every Notification that your iPhone gets so does your watch
    • Siri by touching the crown or by “Hey Siri”
    • Wireless Payments
    • Answer calls on watch
    • 18hr charge
    • Magnetic charger
    • Control music
    • Taptic engine
    • Will suggest more movement less sit
    • Apple Watch App is available with iOS 8.2 now!
    • two sizes 38mm/42mm
    • Aluminium anodized alloy is 60% stronger than normal aluminium
      • Sport: £299/42mm is £345 approx.
    • Stainless steel 80% harder
      • Steel: £479 (upto £949 depending on band choice)/42mm £525 approx.
    • Edition $10,000 (Limited quantities)
    • Available April 10th
    • The larger watch reportedly has a larger battery (but this may not mean longer life as it is likely to require more power)
    • 2.5hr charging
    • Will Sow time for upto 72hrs, once other functionality is turned off

No major surprised except for the MacBook