Monday, 18 January 2010

A laboratory in your pocket

The last session of the Apple Leadership event last week was about mobile computing, and how the smart phone could change the way we deliver content to students. As well as delivering web applications and native apps, lectures and electronic resources, they are starting to be used in scientific experiments and for capturing data. Pasco have developed the Spark app for the iPhone and iPodtouch which offers a variety of experiments, and they have also developed a series of probes and sensors which can be connected to the iPhone to collect real time data. Coupled with some of the mini devices we've been looking at recently such as the pico projectors, students will soon be able to carry a mobile laboratory around with them.

After dashing back from London I went to another strategic liaison meeting - this time with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. We talked about a number of new initiatives, and some issues which are particular to that area - links with the NHS networks, access to services for staff that we don't employ, and dealing with students who are away from the campus for much of the time. We also spent quite a lot of time talking about teaching space - especially the types of space they need - flat floored, flexible, IT equipped, good AV facilities, and in particular large enough to cope with the size of classes medicine teaches. The equipment and infrastructure we can provide - but not the spaces.

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