Gower Macmarathon 2010: Story of the Day

Personal success but failure for mobile technology!

8.27 (BST 7.27 GMT): On the Bus at Bracelet Bay, Mumbles. First trip report filed with Audioboo.fm:

#### Stage One: Rhossilli to Port Eynon, 7 Miles

09.22: Rhossilli, at the start of the walk, I filed my second report filed on AudioBoo.fm. There was no reception for quite a while!
Chris at the Starthttp://boos.audioboo.fm/swf/fullsize_player.swf

Worm's Head, from the other side The first stage of the walk, the coastal path between Rhossilli and Port Eynon is a distance of seven miles. There where a couple of ascents and descents that were made quite treacherous by the heavy rain that fell on the Thursday and Friday before the walk. Indeed, coast guards were in attendance on someone, possibly one of the Gower Macmillan walkers, who had come a cropper on the first muddy descent near Mewslade Bay. There was even a helicopter! No photographs, because we thought we had to be at Oxwich by 1.00 and so weren’t dawdling!

Stage 2: Port Eynon to Oxwich, 3 Miles

We arrived at Port Eynon at around 12.00. A cup of tea was very welcome. I tried to tweet a status report, but there was no signal.
Port Eynon

We arrived in Oxwich at around 13.25. We’d walked about ten miles from the start in around 4 hours five minutes. This made our pace around 2.5 miles a hour, which isn’t bad for the terrain. There was time to take on water before the next stretch which was to head out across Oxwich Bay to pass Old Tor into three Cliffs Bay at low tide. It was a welcome opportunity to take off my boots!

Chris at Oxwich Bay

Stage 3: Oxwich to Southgate, 4.5 miles

At around 14.11 we rounded the Great Tor and crossed into Three Cliffs Bay. The signal was good so I made another AudioBoo.fm report from the sea. Unfortunately the connection failed while uploading and I think the phone must have kept trying because my iPhone was dead by Caswell!http://boos.audioboo.fm/swf/fullsize_player.swfMe in the Sea at Great Tor

Overlooking Three Cliffs Bay
From Three Cliffs there’s a steep climb on sand dunes up to the cliffs above Pobbles Beach and it was about 15.00 when I had a chance to take this photo looking back over Three Cliffs bay, probably the most photographed spot in Gower. Southgate wasn’t far from here and we stopped for a coffee at around 15.30.

Stage 5: Southgate to Caswell, 4 miles.

On leaving Southgate, the Macmarathon walker has 14.5 miles behind and only 7.5 in front. It’s well over half way but there are still a few challenges on this picturesque stretch of the South Gower. The path descends through wood toward Pwlldu and crosses a bridge at Brandy Cove before rising again to meet the main road into Caswell.
Pwlldu Bay

Final Stage: Caswell to Mumbles, 3.5 Miles

After a cup of tea at Caswell, we knew it was nearly over! We hiked over the coastal path out of Caswell, pausing for this photograph at 17.20.
On the Path Towards Langland
We entered Langland at about 17.35 and arrived at Mumbles Cricket club at around 18.05. Some 8 hours 45 minutes after the start. Tired, but not exhausted!
Chris at the Finish

Technology Issues

I wanted this trip to be a chance to try Twitter location feature and AudioBoo.fm. With no network coverage in South Gower, Twitter was a non-starter. Even though I recorded a couple of AudioBoo tracks, I wasn’t able to post the last one until the next day when the phone was recharged and I was back home on WiFi. So in future, I’ll have to rely on the built-in camera and audio recorder and upload reports after the event. Luckily, my camera has a decent clock and I was able to get the timings from the pictures that I took with it. I had to reconstruct the location information from the OS map.

More on the trip

I have published the complete set of photos on both Facebook and Flickr. Renate and I are still taking sponsorship and you’ll find the appeal page on-line at Just Giving. Thanks to all who have already contributed.

Ideas for posts

Apart from one or two errors, the translation of my scrawl on the left to the text on the right is pretty good!The 17th annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology ALT-C 2010 has just ended. And though I did not attend, I was fairly fully engaged with the keynote and invited sessions that were streamed via CrowdVine in Elluminate and will be made available on the ALT-C channel on YouTube.

Reflection starts now and I thought that I would use my newest e-learning gadget, my [LiveScribe Echo](http://www.livescribe.com/uk/) pen, and trial copy of [MyScript for LiveScribe](http://www.visionobjects.com/en/webstore/myscript-for-livescribe/description/) to jot down and post some ideas for possible topics for this or the [Swansea Learning Lab Community](http://llcommunity.blogspot.com/) blog.
Here is the list of possible blogging topics (mostly questions rather than answers note):
How to engage with Twitter.
Why don’t academics use technology?
Is the lecture dead?
What can we learn from the hole in the wall?
Should students be telling us what to do?
Carrot and sticks: could we change academics attitudes to effective ICT [for learning]?
Remote attendance at conferences – could it be better than being there?
Using LiveScribe or similar in lectures (as a lecturer rather than as a student).

Hopefully, this page will serve as a reminder to think about and write some of these up over the coming academic year.
The discussion will no doubt continue for a few days yet in the Twitterverse (tag [#altc2010](http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23altc2010)), on [Cloud Works](http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloudscape/view/1987), and in [Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/#!/ALTC2010).

ALT-C 2010: Donald Clark Keynote: Don’t lecture me – Cloudworks (#altc2010)

One advantage of not being at the ALT-C conference is that I can only attend the keynotes and invited speaker sessions on Eluminate. I therefore have a lot of time to watch the twitter stream and curate the links. Cloudworks has a “cloud” for all the talks at this year’s ALT-C gathering (in Nottingham) and I’ve been busy adding references and links to the cloud for Donald Clark’s keynote — a lecture on the evils of lectures that really got the attendees — present and remote — going!

One question that I always have is why keynote speakers rarely feel the need to provide their slides!

Podcast of the Week #6: Digital Planet

Digital Planet from the BBC World Service was one of the earliest podcasts that I picked up when I got my first MP3 player — which wasn’t an iPod! I’ve been listening to it every week for several years and it’s never short of informative. It’s a technology podcast, similar to The Guardian’s TechWeekly (see POTW #2), so it covers the latest news from Google, Apple and Microsoft and the various technology shows and conferences. But it’s Unique Selling Point is that, because it’s a BBC World Service programme, it has a global viewpoint which covers the developing world as much as what’s happening in silicon valley. Digital Planet is presented by Gareth Michell with excellent punditry from “technology expert” Bill Thompson who also blogs independently and occasionally for BBC Technology News (e.g. Clicking the Blue ‘e’).

Like a lot of podcasts, there is an active community around a Facebook group and both Gareth (@garethm) and Bill (@billt) tweet.

If you like this, you might also like the OU Digital Planet website, the BBC Technology News website and BBC Click.

Doing a Macmillan

It’s a repost, but I thought I’d remind my faithful readers that I’ll be taking part in the Gower Macmarathon in a week’s time. Renate and I have been doing some training in West Yorkshire (where coincidentally there where a number of excellent real-ale pubs) and both expect to be fit enough. The Gower Macmarathon is a sponsored 22 mile walk from Rhossilli to Mumbles in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. You’ll find my Just Giving widget to the right of this post and it’d be great if we could get to our modest target of £200. If you are reading this by email or RSS feed, the direct URL is: http://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Jobling. Thanks to those supporters who have already contributed!

Hopefully, I’ll be tweeting on-route so you can follow our progress on the day! I hope to have a blog posting after the event!