Friday, November 2, 2012
Most schools these days have a computer teacher. Or a technology coordinator. Sometimes both are the same person. Some schools have neither. It is imperative that all schools have both, not only in title, but two different people doing the two vastly different tasks. But they both need to teach...
The last few years have seen a boom in the idea, terminology, and philosophy of the “student centered” or “child centered” classroom - basically, taking the teacher and making them secondary to the learning environment, crafting the room and the instruction around the needs of the students, not those of the teacher. It is easy to argue one way or the other. When I rolled out the iPad program at my school, PS 10 in Brooklyn, I was 100% the ardent supporter of the “teacher centered” model. When it came to iPads, students took a back seat.
Every year, at least a dozen times a year, I get asked if I “teach typing.” Why do I place that in quotation marks? Because in general, when people ask, they are referring to basic keyboarding skills. Home keys and such. And no, I don’t “teach typing.” But that doesn’t mean I don’t teach students how to type. But what is more important is that I teach far more than typing. I see students once a week and in my professional opinion, with over nine years’ experience as a computer teacher, “teaching typing” is a waste of time. Time is better spent on technical skills, core technology knowledge base, and creative productivity.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Mr. Joe, as I mentioned previously, is not only an art app connoisseur but he uses his iPad constantly, fully integrating in within his instructional framework. So, when Mr. Joe forwards an app suggestion I listen and download...
Mr. Joe, as he is known, has already maxed out a 16 GB iPad and is on his way to maxing out his 64 GB (not sure what we'll give him when that happens...). He is not only an art app connoisseur but he uses his iPad throughout the day for demonstrations, tactile interaction, as an overall added resource to a traditional art classroom. He usually ends the day with about 27% of battery life left...
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
I was happy. Technically, I still am happy. Although today it's more annoyed.
In the immortal words of Paul Harvery, and now, the rest of the story...
I went in to Verizon Wireless at 7pm last Wednesday. They confirmed my phone was dead and put in for a replacement to be shipped to me. They were honest that since it was late in the day so I probably wouldn't get it until FRiday. No worries. Thursday around noon my replacement shows up. Way to go Verizon!
Fire up the replacement and I get:
I figure it can't connect because I'm at work and we are behind a proxy server. No worries, I'll do it at home.
At home, on my Verizon DSL I fire up the replacement and get:
Long story short (too late?), Verizon is sending me another new one. Should be here tomorrow. Almost a week without a phone. Aside from the annoyance of spending hours on the phone trying to resolve this, not having a phone is still not that bad. My life is pretty well synced and backed up across my devices and the only thing I haven't done since my phone died is check Facebook... so it isn't bad at all...
Thursday, March 15, 2012
About 2 weeks ago my iPhone starting losing its ability to keep a charge. The battery would charge just fine, but within an hour it would be 50% drained. Epic battery drainage.
This rapid charge/rapid drain wasn't a big deal since I have iOS device chargers coming out of my ears. I have my iPhone, my primary iPad, my back-up iPad (used for testing settings, apps, etc), the iPod Nano I wear on my wrist, not to mention the 4 standard iPods my wife and I share (oh, yeah, she has an iPhone too). Having chargers handy isn't a concern...
Monday, March 12, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
As teachers we are always creating rubrics. Rubrics for assignments, rubrics for projects, rubrics for units. With upwards of 30 students in a class keeping the weight of the rubric paper to a minimum is key. In addition, how do you ensure the parents are seeing the results and staying informed & connected to their child's learning?
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Two of the biggest questions/complaints I get is "why can't I use Microsoft Office on the iPad?" and "I like Windows, why can't it be like Windows?"
(yes, I do get both questions, repeatedly, I have yet to convert all the masses)
As a devout Mac guy my answer is "why would you want too?"
(yes, I hate it when people answer a question with a question but in this case I feel it's warranted).
The biggest issue I see with iPad adoption is users wanting to replicate their traditional computing environment ion the iPad. As any seasoned iPad user will tell you, that is not possible. But that same iPad guru will tell you it's better that way.
Word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, all the Microsoft Office platforms can be used within the native iPad environment with specific iPad app, but for those users who are insistant on mimicking the Windows environment there is OnLive Desktop...
Monday, February 6, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
It's a very cool little how-to drawing app that teaches the basics of drawing on the premise that everything starts out looking like a butt.
The app comes with 3 free tutorials and in-app purchase ability for up to 24 more (each $0.99).
Below is a quick video of the opening page and my first attempt at the Gorrilla.
The app has spoken instructions and a guidebok of how to draw, which also features a voice-over option (very nice for students who may struggle with reading).
A very nicely done app with basic free functions. Buying all the drawing tutorials would cost a pretty penny but the freebies & ability to free-draw are enough to make it a worthy download, especially for those working with lower-grade students.
Click here for the iTunes page to download...
... Sector 33 (iTunes link) is NASA's new flight simulator inspired app on the iOS platform.
It reminds me a lot of the game FlightControl except a lot more realistic and far more mathematically accurate. This has great potential for engaging a wide range of students as it appeals to multiple interests. (math, gaming, simulations, aviation)
As with the original NASA app, Sector 33 if free!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
I hope the title stresses the point that I am in no way claiming to be any sort of economist.
I had a thought while waiting for my car to get serviced this weekend. Nothing like the smell of gasoline & motor oil to get the thought juices flowing....
Dropbox is an amazing service/utility/app that allows you to store things in the cloud and sync all your files to local systems with Dropbox installed. For me it's the best of both worlds; cloud computing with access anywhere but with synced local files allowing me to work without an Internet connection.
But how to sync photos & videos I take with my iPad or iPhone...