Archive for the “hardware” Category

steve …. now iDied

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One of the interesting learnings for me this ULearn was the much greater focus on mobile technologies in the classroom. I went to an interesting session in the last round with a principal and teacher from Melbourne about their 1:1 programme – see earlier post.

I must admit that I have been rather cynical about 1:1 programmes previously as it seems to me that it is the SOCIAL construction of knowledge that is an essential part of ‘making it stick’.  Kids 1:1 with their own laptop is NOT particularly social.  It also assumes that ICT pushes the learning buttons for all the kids – just like art might, or PE, or dance?  Everyone, really?! The bang for buck from laptops has not seemed to be there till now…  The price point was simply too high.  Also the pedagogy proposed seemed to focus on very time consuming things that while flashy and cool to look at seemed to be of negligible worth as artifacts of LEARNING.  Clay-mation comes to mind.  They show mastery of a production technique more than sharing the learning of a concept.

Increasingly though Moores Law is coming to the fore and you can get a very powerful mobile device of some sort – laptop, iPad, etc – for well under $1000 these days. One of the slides last week showed a comparison between the iPhone4 and the coloured iMac – the Phone wins on specs, and well and truely on price and size!

I have put together a table comparing the different mobile options for the classroom and comparing features. Please feel free to have a look and add any further information and criteria here

The growth in focus on the iPad is particularly interesting at the moment I reckon. It seems to me that the limiting factor of no camera, or usb port to add peripherals are MAJOR limiting factors in the classroom. Adding video or image from an external camera would seem to be a hugely cumbersome process currently and unnecessarily complicated. Not being able to use it while it is charging – as pointed out to me by a teacher from school with one today – is also potentially a huge issue.

I am really keen to encourage our kids to utilise more technology at school, particularly at the senior school level (Y7/8). So what are the issues with device choice? What have others found?
I know our son gets HUGE use out of an iPod Touch in his secondary classroom.

But what would you add to the Google Doc to help inform our choice/s?  What thinking am I missing?

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Laurimar school – Melbourne.
Growing very fast and 300ish kids at the moment and soon to be 600+ and 900+ in near future.
Microsofts vision for 2019

Support site with lots of information HERE. This is well worth having a look through!

Gone for an ASI 10″ tablet netbook. Making it clear to community etc that the technology will change and will upgrade at some point. Very robust option chosen.
* Absolutely essential to get rock-solid wireless in place.
* Pedagogical support essential as well.
* relationship with providers – servicing, etc – essential as well!
* practical things like storage, invoicing families, etc all good to think through WELL.

100% uptake from families …. but took careful planning and ‘selling’ to staff and community.
$296pa per unit – includes insurance ($50 excess) and all other costs. 3yr warranty. Have to factor in Tec support as well.

* software licensing issues – school has licensing that individuals can’t access as cheaply.
* leasing v’s owning a the end of the lease period. Parents can purchase at end of period at market cost.

Edustar – free image (mac or PC) supplied by Victorian govt – LINK

Digital Portfolio integral part of programme.

iPad programme – going for iPads (probably) next time/ from now on.

Ongoing monitoring essential as well!

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The iPhone is one of those things you either love or love to hate. Like any leading edge piece of technology each model is soon out of date and the initial purchase cost is frankly insanely high. Having said that though they are also insanely cool and a wonderful piece of design and engineering.
Like any technology they are out of date AT launch – the next model is following closely behind and we are always give the minimum spec list to make them desirable and put the punters on an update cycle and NOT what is wanted or needed. Apple are particularly good at marketing and particularly predatory in their specs.  The put people on a treadmill of upgrades and replacement through software and hardware upgrades.

The NZPF conference last week was full of iPhones and talking to some colleagues who USE them rather them rather than simply HAVE one, they do make a big difference to their productivity, particularly of you have a mac laptop.

This is an interesting graphic though …. hmmmmm.

The  spec list I have been looking for:
* 64gb – though could live with 32gb
* n wireless capable – so it doesn’t slow down our whole network and is as fast as possible
* good camera and video
* multitasking
* GPS that WORKS well off-road and outside cell coverage
* effective tethering capability

…. and plans that you don’t have to take out a mortgage to afford.

For those of you with one, what do you actually use? What plan is sufficient? What apps are the ‘essential’ ones?

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Site Macosxhints has this about how to turn pdf’s and websites into iBooks.  Even works!

If you want to quickly add a document or a web page to your ‘Books’ collection in iTunes, all you need to do is to create an alias of iTunes and drag it to ~/Library/PDF Services [that is the system one not the user!]. Now, when you’re browsing the web or viewing documents and you decide that you want to read them later on a portable Apple device just hit Print, click the PDF button on the bottom left corner of the window and choose iTunes. iTunes will launch and receive the PDF. Next, sync your device and you’re ready to go.

Great for an iPad/iPhone/iPod

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Promo vid remix … very funny!

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This is just incredible. The VERY scary bit is that if we are seeing this then the stuff that is happening in the back rooms and labs around the world will be leaving this in the dust. Like the fact that every piece of technology we have in our lives is out-of-date when we look at what is just about to come on stream. And even more so it you can get insight into the development labs.

What about an OS for a computer that worked like this?
A tablet/iPhone type product with this built in?
The potential for education? Massive.


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