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February 07

Have spent a lot of the night time getting the hang of Shoutcasting. I have set up 'The Schome Service' and have been broadcasting music and chat to a discerning public. The method is really simple and the shoutcast site has all the support you need. Get wimamp attach a shoutcast broadcaster, which sends anything you play to a server. The shoutcast directory links potential listeners to your server. Not having funds for hiring server space I set up my own on an old laptop. This is easy,just download the Nullcast software. The tricky and time consuming bit is getting your broadcast out past firewalls without opening the server up to attack from evil bulgarian hacker consortia. My first method was to swith off the firewall completely and sprinkle holy water on the server. This is not recommended. The broadcast goes out but you feel very anxious.

Kieron: I've got a couple of old PCs at home, I could donate one as a firewall if you'd like. We've got one in London running IPCop and its rock solid, not been compromised for four years. Will cut all casual attacks at least. --Mgaved 21:47, 15 February 2007 (GMT)

From left to right-Winamp playing top schome sounds, Shoutcast software sending signal to server and the readout from the server showing that all is well
A very blurry shot of the shoutcast directory showing the Schome Service station and confirming that absolutely no one is listening ...yet!

Tweaking with the 'trusted sources' option and 'exceptions' however, does allow a robust signal to be broadcast without too many EBHC's getting in (none so far). Being a laptop I can only cope with 4 listeners at a time. Will see about rigging up a better server. However, it may be that for inworld broadcasts this is all we need.

January 07

Double blimey and blinking flip, what a long trip to CostCo that turned out to be. Meantime many developments. We now have two SL islands, a team of keen and skilled people (I'm just keen)and the first young people are arriving in a couple of days. In 2000, when I first landed at the OU we were arguing that virtual online worlds should be taken seriously, particularly with regards to inclusion. They are on their way we said. Oh no they're not said TWSRN....But the metaverse seem to be taking off nevertheless and here we are.

An in-world journalist talks to a group of us and links with a live Radio 5 broadcast. SL is currently becoming a hot topic for media for media journalists. (Nice dress Jaquie S. too)

Quick retrospective on my SL activities. Initially built a whopping land high over Cetlment Island with houses, trees, birds and different weather sytems. It was there I realised that I am probably the shoddiest prim builder in SL. I know I really should use the co-ordinates when building but am so easily distracted. Could I carve myself a niche as the first Cowboy builder in SL? Cetlement is now looking excellent and my big Prim wasterspace is long gone. Following this I spent some time building secret buildings on various islands. (yes, I deleted them afterwards) and wandering around saying 'tsch, who built that then..what you want there is a big blurry texture, cover up all the overlaps..bosh bosh job done' I've also built and deleted several large spaces high over Schome Base where I tried out various objects and scripts, and also spent a lot of time wandering about, and chatting and getting a feel for different areas of second life, mostly those with an educational bent to them.

Relaxing at SchomebaseBase 761. This is an attempt to create a non-work ambience, away from the pressures of SchomeBase. It offers a range of beverages and the opportunity to play create/musical instruments.(once Jonty has made them)
The Dancing Place. Why not practice your latest steps here. Too much like hard work? then just click on the dance sign and away you go. No dress code. Entrance free before and after 8.00 p.m. But sadly only a few awful records at the moment -but once we get the streaming audio sorted it will be great. I would like to stream video from the inside of the domed roof rather than using flashing disco lights but hey let's see if we can get the cow to fly properly first)

I like the feel of Caledon (as it's very Snow Crash -as indeed are other places, Greater Hong Kong -in name at least) and recently noticed that (Schome builder par excellence) Woop Superior was sporting some very dashing Caledon threads. I like that Richard Hannay in cyberspace vibe. On my travels over the last few months I've collected an array of items (about 11k) and recently put up some selections in the Scho-Op, where all can share them for free. I've yet to post up any of my own failed adventures in scripting. The metaverse isn't yet ready for my rocket cow, nuclear chicken, Rather Ineffective Robot....

The Rocket Cow proved to be somewhat uncontrollable as a means of transport

Clash of Titans: The Rather Ineffective Robot squares up to Nuclear Chicken

....Or indeed the CowDis (a cow that behaves like a Tardis whilst singing Show me the Way by Peter Frampton).

It looks like a cow on the outside...wait what's that noise? Is it Peter Frampton?'s the CowDis dematerialisng

However, I have slowly got my 'cut and paste' script skills to a level commensurate with my building ones. These activities have given me a little bit of confidence to be able to help vistors to our teen grid island. I've also been practising typing 'I'm sorry terrible lag problem here ...I'll have to log out and get back to you' should they ask anything technical.

The Wiki is looking cool too (Rebbecca-big positive influence here) and lots of people using it-excellent. Lots of interesting input from interesting people, which is well...interesting. What next? well once we have undergone 'The Great Migration to TeenGrid' (see SchomePark discussions)I'd like to explore some Audio and Video streaming. Peter and I discussed this years ago as a Schome thing (net/shout/pod/cast etc) but this is much easier on SchomeBase, (ha!). So will Schome FM launch this year in a virtual environment? Will the CowDis be seen as a Papert-like leap forward in educational thinking or just a teleporting stadium-rock bovine sci-fi abberation. Watch this space.

Sid and Zed inflict their own brand of Schome Rock on unsuspecting music store customers. The store immediately empties. Could they be the in-world's Smashie and Nicey?

Are we sure this count's as research?


I'm sitting in Norway-there is snow here (When I say I what I mean is Kieron with arm twisted behind back and logged in as PeterT!)

Right, back in tropical Milton Keynes. Blistering heat followed by torrential rain-in fact all the weather here seems to be preceded by cliches. It wasn't like this in Norway. Anyway my Norway resolution has bnee to contribute more online. I'm more a blogger than a wikkier, so apologies for style.

Our Norway trip made me review some of the Schomey things I am currently involved with: Firstly there is the Robotics and Inclusion work. This is me being looked after by the nice people in the Open University Robotics Outreach Group. We ran a small project together. They did the work and I sat around and tried not to step on the equipment. This this has lead me to believe that Robotics has many strengths as a curriculum area and activity in term of developing inclusive educational practices. I'm currently writing up a paper on this but meantime there is a webcast and some conference papers that outline some of this work.[links to follow]

Secondly, I am v.keen on doing some schome work in a 3D virtual world, possibly Second Life. Peter and I are are currently in negotiations. There are excellent educational reasons for doing this, of which more anon, but currently all is a bit hush hush. In fact Peter might pull this section until we have confirmed details! Needless to say, yes I have read all of Neal Stephenson's work including Snow Crash, and Philp K. Dick's and William Gibson's stuff. And I think these sorts of ideas, plus an excellent OU course - (Learning Matters:Challenges of the information Age) which was too far ahead of its time - have really helped me think differently about learning, learning spaces and identity. Also you can get neat BMX bikes to ride around on in cyberspace (Peter - alias Schomer Simpson!)

Thirdly, our inital focus group work, Young People's visons of educational/learning futures, was very well received at IFIP in Norway (sorry to repeat Norway but have only just got back) and several researchers have asked for further details and plan to replicate aspects of the study in their own countries. So I'll look out for this happenning and possibly post up some international schomically inspired papers later in the year.

Right, I must go to Cost Co now and stock up on essential provisons. Next time I might mention symbols, ambient univeral technology and inclusive environments. Also reply to the excellent idea about communities having 'something for the members'. Spot On.

Meantime, there's always Wilko Johnson on YouTube

May 06

I do not exist

Yes you do - I've seen you.

Okay then, I'll admit I exist if someone can see me.

I'm interested in alternative methods of education, particularly more inclusive ways of 'doing' and assessing learning. I like the challenge of 'universal design'. I see Schome as the place where we can develop innovative assessment and learning experiences.

I have read Catherines critique of the Schome idea and I think some of these would be valid if schome remained totally virtual. However, I hope that the majority of schome related 'events' will be occuring in the real world and in real time. At the time of writing this we are just getting the ball rolling.

It's now several moths on from this inital discussion. The ball really does seen to be rolling now, rolling in 'the real world'.