iTunes U Enrolment and Apple IDs

iTunes U Enrolment and Apple IDs:

Anyway, at first glance it seems that you absolutely need individual Apple IDs to enrol students in a course now. I’ve always been keen on handing over as much IT autonomy to the student as possible, and that’s where I think we should all be aiming, but changing your AppleID structures is a once-a-year thing to do and no small matter. Is there a workaround in the meantime?

It turns out that there is: to create a course that students can subscribe to without entering AppleID credentials, you have to:

Create the course in Course Manager – this creates a private course with an enrolment roster.

Submit the course to the person who controls your institution’s iTunes U Public Site Manager

Have them ‘hide’ the course in PSM.

This creates a course which has a direct URL for subscription (it’s referred to as the ‘Audit URL’ in iTunes U) but which does not require Apple ID credentials to subscribe to.

This isn’t an ideal solution as it requires coordination between all the course authors at an institution and the person running the Public Site Manager. Still, it works for now and the future is ever more clearly heading towards individual Apple IDs for individual students. That’s where I’m recommending all new 1:1s start their thinking but, still, always the two stumbling blocks of no Volume Purchase and COPPA’s lower limit of 13-years-old for an iTunes account. I hope we can get these things ironed out soon.

Source: Fraser Speirs

The 2012 ADE Institute

The 2012 ADE Institute:

Personally, I’m looking to iTunes U. My project for the next three years is to lead a transition to using iTunes U across the whole of our school. Initially, we will adopt it for assignments and content distribution. Next year, as the new National 4/5 exams come in, we will be redesigning our courses on the assumption that this kind of technology is available to us. Further down the road, I hope to use iTunes U to expand the range of courses available to our students and, once that model is proven, make those courses available to schools across Scotland.

The second trend I picked up on was the continuing shift towards total student autonomy in IT. The shift to mobile is eliminating the need for dedicated computer space in schools. The shift to iOS is eliminating the need for dedicated server hardware, home directory infrastructures and backup systems. On iOS pupils can genuinely administer their own devices in a secure and stable fashion, eliminating a broad range of tech support oversight functions.

The final step is to eliminate the network. I had several conversations about the difficulty of scaling school networks beyond the 300-400 device range into the multiple thousands of devices in larger schools. Several people observed to me that mobile networks are designed to scale to those numbers without issue. The shift towards LTE cellular networking – which is typically faster than the broadband in a school – is starting to look like an interesting option for schools that cannot provision or scale their networks to multiple thousands of devices.

Imagine, in 5-7 years having gone from the complexity of laying ethernet in fixed locations in schools, building broadband, deploying servers and switches all over the school to the simplicity handing out an iPad and a SIM card and getting on with the learning.

[Interesting. So far, my experience with using an iPad for “work” is a mixed bag. I can code, I can write, I can communicate. But sometimes I do all that stuff in rapid succession, and need awareness of them all. OK, so maybe a laptop is the correct tool, and that’s fine. But I will continue to explore what the office of the future looks like, and am heartened that such great strides are being made in the field of education, and am looking for ways to incorporate the same type of thinking into our office.]

Source: Fraser Speirs



The average speed of this year’s Tour was 39.883 kph (that’s almost 25 mph), which made it faster than the Tours of the past two years, and faster than eight of the 10 Tours held when there was no drugs test for EPO (1991 to 2000). To average that speed (including long mountain stages when speeds average closer to 30 kph than 40 kph), you can only imagine what it’s like to hold a wheel in a peloton often moving at between 50 and 60 kph. That’s no sinecure, and only the fittest, most talented athletes are capable of doing this day after day.

[Incredible, when you think about the mountain stages.]

More on Sparrow and talent acquisitions

More on Sparrow and talent acquisitions:

Don’t blame Sparrow. Blame the terrible market for email clients.

[So why is there such a terrible market for email clients. I admit I’ve come to loath email, because a generation of folks have been taught to abuse and misuse it. Still, you’d think that there’s enough of a market, even with the “meh” if default options. I enjoyed Sparrow for the iPhone because it let me separate work email from everything else in a really easy fashion. Ah well.]


Speed shopping

Speed shopping:

Q: What were our primitive roles, and what effect do they have on our behavior today?

A: Men were hunters; women were gatherers. The hunter locks in on one thing, which is why guys have a narrow focus, whether it’s watching TV, reading the newspaper or driving. They block everything else out because, as hunters, they had to focus on the rear end of an animal. On the other hand, women, as gatherers, had to take in the whole landscape. Their field of vision is wider.

Q: How do these differences manifest themselves in a shopping mall?

A: The hunter tracks one thing. If I need a shirt, I go and kill a shirt with my credit card and drag it home. The gatherer doesn’t know what she’s going for because she doesn’t know what’s going to be ripe or in bloom. She’s open to the environment. When I go shopping with my wife, I keep bugging her about what she’s looking for, and she says, “Don’t bother me; I’ll know it when I see it.”


Source: Doc Searls Weblog

Jason Alexander

Jason Alexander:

Best piece I’ve read in the aftermath of the Aurora massacre. I agree with every word.

[I can’t agree with every word because some of the words are factually wrong. However, I agree with the following:

“But this is not the time for reasonable people, on both sides of this issue, to be silent. We owe it to the people whose lives were ended and ruined yesterday to insist on a real discussion and hopefully on some real action.

In conclusion, whoever you are and wherever you stand on this issue, I hope you have the joy of family with you today. Hold onto them and love them as best you can. Tell them what they mean to you. Yesterday, a whole bunch of them went to the movies and tonight their families are without them. Every day is precious. ”

What Jason suggests is the one thing that we can do, because I do not believe that there is an answer in Washington for this problem, and never will be.]

Source: Daring Fireball

Speaker for the Dead

Speaker for the Dead:

At his funeral, I would have been called on to tell a story and would have had an impossible choice. The people wouldn’t have understood if I told the truth, even a very abbreviated truth. It would have been unfair to make them listen to it. They don’t need to know. But I am a writer, and I plan to, at some point, write this story. Without having a name for it at the time, I can now say I wanted to Speak for the Dead, and not tell a fake story. So I chose not to go.

[I loved the Ender books since I read them in early in my college days. And the notion of Speaking the Truth was a powerful one for me as well. Dave made a really difficult choice, atmo. It’s the sort of decision that makes me rethink integrity and its place in our lives, and what it is at a fundamental level. There’s a story I’d like to write one day.]

Source: Scripting News

The real reason Marissa Mayer left Google: She had to

The real reason Marissa Mayer left Google: She had to:

As a sidenote, it’s interesting that most of the press (although not this piece) has focused on Mayer’s gender. I look forward to the time when female CEOs are so commonplace that a new one is no longer newsworthy.

In Mayer’s case, it’s also worth asking why so much coverage hasn’t focused on a different issue. Every time Apple loses one of its Senior VPs, we see stories questioning Apple’s leadership and future, suggesting that there may be significant inner turmoil.

Well, Google just lost one of its top people.

[Yeah to both points.]


Shep on Bass – Blog – Interview: Janek Gwizdala

Shep on Bass – Blog – Interview: Janek Gwizdala:

“Well what I’m going for, before you get anything in the signal chain, is control over my sound with my fingers. No EQ on either the amp or the bass, just a range of sonic motion using the wood, the strings, and my hands. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not, but that’s the concept at least.

[Amen. Still teaching students this for 30+ years of electric guitar playing. Sound via fingers… all else will follow.]