Innovative Students!

The New York Times article, A Ring Tone Meant to Fall on Deaf Ears reports on the ingenuity of teenage students.

A Welsh company has developed a 'yob-buster' - a device which emits a high pitched sound only teenages can hear, designed to allow shop keepers to disperse youngsters without affecting adult ears (apparently our ability to hear sounds in the higher frequency tends to diminish as we age).

Some ingenious teenagers reversed the reasoning behind this device, and realised that it could be used as a ringtone which would be undetectable by adults and so perfect for use during class time!

There's also an mp3 of the sound linked in the article, so you can test the age of you ears!

This story has also been reported in the June edition of Becta's Technews.

An interesting data source on what is happening in FE?

The Scottish JISC Regional Support Centres have just launched the 2006 ETNA survey (Enhanced Training Needs Analysis for Scottish Further Education). While some of the yes / no response options will give a rather black and white picture, the questions do go into some detail, for example, in relation to "Connectivity" access to college wireless networks, VLE, intranet, and email services - on and off campus - are among the options. Overall, the results could thus provide interesting indicators of various factors, such as VLE use, uptake of mindmapping and other software, and strategic perspectives, across different staff groupings, not just training needs. It is perhaps interesting in itself that the survey is online, hosted by surveymonkey.

Glasgow Colleges set to join up

The Times Educational Supplement reports on plans to make an "education village" in Glasgow where the four FE colleges (Stow, Central, Nautical and Metropolitan) will join together, with two campuses - although each of the colleges will maintain their identities. The move is due to be completed in 2012. For more details see the
TES article.

Nautical CAMEL meeting at Greenwich

The final CAMEL (Collaborative Approaches to the Management of e-Learning) study visit took place last week at the Martime campus of Greenwich University. We've been evaluating how this old approach to sharing practice from Uruguay is being adapted and reworked in UK tertiary education. An interesting model, as well as some new and innovative practice in elearning.

The full programme for the visit is available, along a very nautical theme!