Archive for the “hardware” Category

From the Google blog:

Quickoffice has been a part of the Google family for over a year now and we’ve been focused on making it easier for you to get work done in Drive — no matter what type of document you need to work with. Converting old files to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides is still the easiest way to share and work together, and we’re working every day to make the files you convert look better. But sometimes the people you work with haven’t gone Google yet, so we made the Quickoffice mobile apps free for Google Apps for Business customers. And today we’re making Quickoffice available for free to everyone: students, businesses, nonprofits, governments, consumers and anyone with a Google Account.

via Official Enterprise Blog: Freeing Quickoffice for everyone.

VERY handy for those who work across platforms and operating systems.  


While we’re on the topic of free stuff, if you sign in to your Google Account from the new Quickoffice app for Android or iOS by September 26, 2013, an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage will be added to your account for two years (look for it in the next few weeks.)

…. and there is no such thing as to much free online storage!

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Ignore the numbers, the key thing is the trend in the graph:


Moores Law is alive and well

I was reading something (I now can't find again to reference…. grrrr!) the other day that was claiming that the new iPhone5 has the same computing grunt as you needed a MacPro desktop machine to achieve less than a decade ago.  And that this is the first time that this has happened …. come wihin the decade timeframe.

So the smartphone/device that kids have in their pockets in a year or so will be pretty stunning I am thinking.  BIG implications for the classroom.  Time to get with the programme or get left in the dust (or run over by the bus?)

The iPad mini that is due to drop in a couple of weeks if the rumours are true will be an interesting beast too I think.  I know our son did a lot of work at school on an iPod touch before they rolled out their BYOD programme.  Just the transactional find stuff, confirm stuff, sorts of things … but levering the connectivity.

Do you really need a 'computer' when you have all the power these devices have?  When you can now upload files from a menu structure in iOS6 (finally!!) it enables the effective use of things like learning management systems and the like from an iPad too.  What can you do on a laptop that you can't do on a tablet device?  Or should the question be what do you actually want or need to do …?  It seems like the tablet/smartphone is going to be the 'computer' of choice for an increasing number of people.



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This from Doug Johnson is gold!

The premise can be applied to any sort of inovation or proposed change too I would be thinking.  I would add though does it address a need of a specific group or a wider audience?  And is that need real or perceived?

The full post from Doug is worth a look too (as usual!).

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Snap internet, the Christchurch company have just launched this site targetting schools for their UFB connection.  They have a 12 month connection term which is promising.  At purely face value this may be worth a look for anyone wanting a short-term solution until the N4L comes online.

Worth the phone call anyway …

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Infographic below sums it all up well.  Some interesting numbers (Source):

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I LOVE this piece about the space tablets fill in the technology arena, especially when thinking about the classroom:


When I eat, I use the utensil that best serves my needs.

I do not ask silly questions, like whether a spoon is a liquid consumption device and a fork is a solids consumption device. I do not ask whether a knife does “real” work just because it does not, ordinarily, convey food to my mouth. I do not obsess on the exceptionally rare times when I may use my spoon as a fork, my fork as a knife or my knife as a fork. Instead, I simply use the right tool at the right time.

When I compute, I use the device that best serves my needs.

I do not ask silly questions, like whether a tablet is a consumption device. I do not ask whether a phone or a tablet does “real” work. I do not obsess on the exceptionally rare times when I may use my phone as a tablet, my tablet as a notebook or my notebook as a tablet. Instead, I simply use the right tool at the right time.

The more time I am spending around schools this year the more I am completely convinced about the importance of a MIX of technologies in the classroom.  Some tools are best for some things and some for others.  A laptop can be overkill, expensive and cumbersome for some tasks – think taking a photo of your artwork for a blog post or portfolio.  Just as a tablet is slow and cumbersome for other things that require straight out computing grunt.

But just like the cutlery analogy in this post each has their use – a knife, is not a fork, is not a spoon.  None of them pretend to be the other either.  And also you just choose the best for the job and quickly don't even notice the cutlery if you are eating a good meal!  Shouldn't our technology in schools be the same?

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everything you want to know about how much it will cost to connect to UFB – with CallPlus.  Gives some idea of what the costs to schools for UFB will be.


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I posted a while ago about how the Android tablets certainly weren't iPads and that they didn't seem to cut it as an educational tool …. it is beginning to look as if they may be proving me wrong?

Darren Coxen posted this morning about his experiences with his brand new Nexus7 Tablet:

Setting it up is a dream: it takes minutes to configure and sign up to your Google account, and seconds to connect to the wireless. From opening to using took me less than 5 minutes: important if thinking about using these devices at an institutional level and therefore setting up hundreds. Much quicker than the iPad, that's for sure.

The user interface is very nice indeed; the Nexus moves between apps smoothly with no discernable lag. I tried out a much cheaper 7″ tablet a while back and have to say that the Nexus blows it out of the water. It is as smooth as the iPad, which is saying something. The display is not retina, but because of the size of screen looks as bright and sharp as the new iPad.

It has a few really nice touches that work intuitively and cleverly – swipe down for the Android version of notification centre (called the notification shade), swipe up for Google Cards, which are personalised to you (for example, when you're about to leave for work you can swipe up to see the traffic information for your journey home). Within the notification shade you can toggle screen rotate on and off – personally I think the Nexus works best for all but word processing in portrait mode.

And this is where I think the Nexus beats the iPad – it is so nice to hold. It fits far better into one hand than the iPad, leaving the other hand free to navigate. The page size on the internet is decent enough, and for things like email and books it is spot on. For students, I can genuinely say that the Nexus could well be a better device. And it fits into a decent sized pocket, which is more than you can say for the iPad.


There are other nice features, such as the face detect unlock (great for kids who are rubbish at remembering passcodes) and your play library on one page. It seems, on first look, to do everything you'd want a device for schools to do. And all for about a half of the price of the iPad.

…. and he concludes that he will be going for them for 2013.  This is a powerful conclusion from someone who has just finished a year with iPads on a trial.  It is worth reading the last few posts from Darren about the issues they have found and the rationale behind the change, particularly if you are looking to purchase tablets any time soon.

Now I just need to actually get my hands on one of these puppies myself 🙂

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