Nintendo DS strikes right note for teaching

My shiny new DS lite

My wife is a maths teacher, and I have a new DS lite. This means that she now has a DS fat, and we can play Brain Training competitions against one another from our single cartridge.

Inspired by a bit of ad-hoc wireless play (during which she soundly thrashed me several times), she took her new DS into school, and set the kids a competition to see who could get the most Brain Training sums correct in the shortest amount of time – using a webcam to project the game as they play onto the whiteboard. Obviously this generated a great amount of excitement and it was sums-a-gogo for the rest of the lesson.

At the end of the lesson she asked the kids to bring in their own DS the next day, if they had one – eight did and they played the competition against one another. Absolute genius. Talk about next-gen classroom interaction and introducing games as a teaching method!

Barcamp Bristol was brilliant

photo of my slot on the timetable

The first Barcamp Bristol ran on Friday evening and all-day Saturday and was completely ace.

Many many thanks to Laura, Alex and Tim for doing the organising and for pulling together such a great mix of people, talks and pure fun!

My talk, “A very personal webserver”, was about the port Nokia have made of Apache2 to the Symbian OS – that is to say, you can now run a webserver from your phone and use their port of Python plus mod_python (and a number of other modules) to expose any data already on your phone to the outside world over HTTP. I’ll make another post about it, but for now my slides are on slideshare and I’ll put the original OpenOffice Impress file up here, too.

As is traditional we played Werewolf, three rounds, but there weren’t many of us playing so I ended up as a Seer (throat ripped out), then a Werewolf (killed by a baying mob), and a Werewolf again (feasted on villagers ‘til the end of time). Many thanks to Pete for, I strongly suspect, throwing the last game for the sake of sportsmanship 🙂

Anyway, I got to meet lots of bright, local people, learn lots of new things, and drink free beer. I’m not really sure how it could have been any better.

There are loads of photos on Flickr tagged with “barcampbristol” (I’m the one in the bright red tee).

BBC Podcasts list to OPML

This is a stupid Greasemonkey script which looks at a BBC podcast listings page and generates an OPML file. It’s a 20 minute hack and so is hard-coded for the Radio 4 podcasts – another five minutes should fix this. For the time being, try it out here.

I wanted to be able to import the file into my N95 so that I could browse them and import the ones I wanted. It seems to have done the job.