Showing posts from 2014

IIS App pool recycle time

This might be more technical of a blog post than my usual ones but I thought I would share this (and also make a note to myself for future reference).

What the application is for I've been working on and application written in c# with a SQL database.
It is designed for the management of applicant interviews.  At present it allows for interviewers to record the scores from the interview and the administrators to then see an overview and make offers / holds / rejects based on the applicants final score (each applicant has four mini interviews).  The system is being expanded to allow for the management of the timetable for the days and running statistical analysis.

The site is on a secure server that has shibboleth authentication for all users.
What we saw happen The days interviews were running well and all records were being submitted without much issue.  One record had to be re-entered as the interviewer seems to manage to avoid the submission process - this ability is bei…

PebblePad Midlands User Group 4th December 2014

This is my blog from the PebblePad Midlands User Group meeting on the 4th December 2014.  I will be blogging live and then correcting and cleaning up later on.

Please feel free to comment or share (share as is and with attribution).

Google Apps for Education European User Group #GEUG14

The following is my live blogging from #GEUG14 in York on the 23rd and 24th of June 2014.  I will be editing as I go and after the event but please feel free to comment and share.

Event Website:
Hashtag: #GEUG14
Live stream:

Good start to the day, first train on time thus far. One man seems to have brought his whole office with him and is insisting on getting everything out on the table.

At Manchester Pic waiting for train to depart.  Have met up with Matt, Dan and Alex.  Looking forward to a great day.

Arrived safe - in the main room - yet again a new theatre and no power sockets in useable locations :-(
Welcome Welcome by Vice-Chancellor Koen Lamberts.
Provided us with some impressive stats from York - surprisingly few google hangouts (~3k).  I'm sure I do more than that per year. 10:00 - Living in the Cloud: A year with GAFE and Chr…

Designing Learning Landscapes: Mobile, Open, Inclusive Conference - Goldsmiths, University of London

The following are my notes (below the programme) taken from this conference. I will try and publish the live during the day but these will be subject to edits. These are my notes but I welcome comments and people pointing out where I missed things or even got them wrong.

I will be presenting during the Morning Panels in Panel 4: Assessment. Conference Programme Friday 30 May, 2014EventTimeSpeakers and PanelsRegistration and coffee9.15–10.00Welcome10.00–10.05Michael Young, Pro-Warden (Students and Learning Development), GoldsmithsOpening Keynote10.05–11.05Andrea Sella, Professor of Material and Inorganic Chemistry, University College LondonMorning Panels11.15–12.15Panel 1: Developing Digital Literacies Panel 2: Distance Learning Case Studies Panel 3: E-learning and Inclusion Panel 4: Assessment- I will be in the one! Lunch12.15–1.00Discussion1.00–2.00CONTESTED TERRITORIES:  A wide-ranging debate on technology and learning and teaching in Higher Education Alejandro Armellini, Professor of …

PebblePad Health Symposium 2014 - My Notes

Managing a personal CPD strategy: From undergraduate to qualified health professional13th May 2014

The following are my notes from this conference.  These notes were published live and cleaned up later on.  Comments welcomed and let me know if I got anything wrong or missed anything.


All presentations from the day can be found here
Agenda0930 - Registration Great welcome at Corby Enterprise Centre.  Looking forward to presenting and listening to everyone. 1000 - Welcome to the day: Debbie Holmes, Pebble LearningDebbie opened the day. Firstly introduced PebblePad, what it can be used for and also reminded us that each users Pebble+ account is private until the user shares their assets with someone or submits to ATLAS. They are even private from the organisation who provides your PebblePad account.  Debbie also introduced Trevor Dolan from Altstrat. 

Trevor introduced Altstrat and explained what they do with a demo available during the day.

Debbie introduced the rest of th…

Reading at 500 words per minute (wpm)

So for those of you who don't know me well, I'm dyslexic.  It has always been something I've had to battle to overcome.  One trait of this is that I have to internally verbalise each word I'm read.  This results in me reading at a speak I would normally speak - or slower.
So what do you think I thought when reading something that told me I could read at 500 wpm in 5 minutes time?  Yep that's what I thought too! Yet I am here to tell you I've just been reading at500wpm with ease and wishing the demo version of the software would allow me to go faster.
So how?
Spritz is a new method of reading at high speed.  Simply put it displays one or part of a word at a time removing the need for your eyes to move around the screen.  They also give you a focal point keep your eyes fixed and focused allowing you to relax and just absorb the information.
You start out at 250 wpm and work you way up finding an ideal speed for you.  Well within 5 minutes…

Blackboard Tests - Item Analysis

For those of us who used WebCT we were left feeling disappointed with the stats that you could generate in Blackboard after the move.  It seemed that WebCT had a great set of tools to allow you to analyse your test data, where as Blackboard v9 didn't. Since service pack 10 or 11 this has been corrected.  We now have Item Analysis.
Here is my very quick video showing you how to access this great information: Blackboard also have support information available at:

Turnitin UK User Group - Aston University 12th Feb 2014

The following are my notes and thoughts from the Turnitin UK User Group on 12th February 2014.  Please feel free to add comments if I missed anything or it's not clear.
11:00 Welcome Chris Caren, CEOOpened session stating he was here to listen to what we have to say.Stated more developers are now based in the UK as traditionally all developers were based in the USA.Chris apologised for outages in last few months. "clearly let you down" "sincere apologies" "error on our part"Chris also apologised for 3rd year of offline issues in the UK.The cause of the issue this time was human NOT technology.Stated they have a target of 99.9% uptime [I do not know why they do not strive for 100% uptime?]Chris tried to justify/quantify issues by listing services, free and paid, where large outages have happened. [But for me the biggest difference is those listed, e.g. google, microsoft and blackboard, communicated their issues as they happened]UK and rest o…

Digital Signage / Information / Waypoint Screen

As the cost of LED screens comes down a lot more people are installing them in reception areas etc. as replacements for noticeboards.  They look smarter and allow for more accurate and engaging information to be displayed.
So, you've purchased a simple screen (with no in-built digital signage software - which would have increased the cost) and you've connected it to the old PC left under a desk no one was using.  How do you display information on the screen?  Most people will usually just display a PowerPoint presentation as this is something they know BUT you could do so much more!

In one of the Schools I work with I've been trying out a FREE solution to display their information. This Canadian company have been developing software for digital signage since around 1992.  Rise Vision is a FREE solution that does have some add support but these are only ever displayed to the administrators / editors and never the public.  To be honest, I expected (…