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Tag Archives: Gadgets

Fitbug – Another fitness tracker?!

So, I started using the Fitbug.  It seems simple.  It works with the iPhone + It links to my PingAn insurance company.  What does this mean?  It means that if I do a certain amount of fitness each day or each week I earn points.  These points get me things like: movie tickets, or even cash back rewards when I do online shopping.  How cool is that?  I was going to work out anyway.  Now there is more incentive.  I will tell you how things go here on the blog.  Keep posted.

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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Technology

 

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K.I.S.S.

If you don’t know what K.I.S.S. is an acronym for, it’s time to look it up here at Wikipedia.  Subject to that idea, I would like to comment on Keeping It Simple.  I assume that one of the reasons that Apple and Google have done so well is because they got rid of all the bells and whistles and made things clean.  Just thinking to myself the big difference between the two aforementioned companies versus the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo or AOL and I would state its clutter, or lack thereof.

A friend of mine came in to me today asking how to get rid of the “stupid dog” that is now on the Yahoo email message.  Something that was never there before has now appeared and it took some looking around to figure out how to remove a silly image that a grown man probably doesn’t want to send as part of all his emails.

To that degree, let’s talk about movies.  And by movies I actually mean the blockbusters.  What are most of the blockbusters coming out in?

You got it: 3D

I’m not sure about you, but after the first or second time, movies in 3D are not a thrill for me anymore.  In fact, I actually don’t like them.  But sometimes the 3D movie might be the only one that is available, or is the next available film.  What am I do to about this?  Why haven’t they kept it simple, stupid?  Now, to some relief there are glasses that turn 3D movies into 2D.  Woot!   Here’s how they work:

When you watch a 3D movie, there are actually two images being projected onto the screen. That’s why the screen is blurry when you look at it without glasses. In 3D glasses one of the lenses blocks one image and the other lens blocks the other image.

Thus, when you watch a 3D movie each of your eyes is seeing a slightly different image. Your brain combines those images together, creating the illusion of a 3D image.

2D Glasses block the same image with both lenses, so each eye gets the same picture resulting in a 2D image and an elimination of eyeball strain.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Technology

 

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I wonder when they will start making this?

The three coolest things I have seen lately are the Fujitzu 4 in 1 Bento Box, the Sixth Sense by Pranav Mistry and this concept phone, which is pretty slick.

All three devices are moving away from the touch keyboard the way we know it.  As I mentioned in the Bento Box article, I like the tactile feel of a nice keyboard, but I was sitting in an ISTEC meeting the other day taking notes on my iPad with the touchscreen keyboard, and I felt this was something I could get used to.  This would especially be true if it was not something that I was brought up with.

I was talking with a PYP computer teacher the other day and she was saying that little kids seem to have a much faster learning curve on an iPad versus computers with a traditional mouse and keyboard.  This idea led me to thinking about a question posed at the ISTEC meeting, “What are fundamental skills that all students should have by the time they graduate from high-school?” and a group member thought one part of the answer was “touch typing skills”

I wonder if this will actually be a skill set in the future.  I guess we will have to just wait and see.  In the meantime, I can’t wait to add more new gadgets that make my jaws drop when I see them to this list.  Enjoy the earlier jumps and the following video.

 
 

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I want that.

Bento box from Fujitsu.  I didn’t know I needed this before, but now I can’t see how I can live my life without it. I was writing posts about the 3:1 ratio that people need for the future, and now it seems that Fujitsu has heard what I was saying. From my understanding everything works in sync with itself: the notepad holds everything; the tablet becomes the keyboard; and the smart phone is the track-pad; plus more. Its sleek.

As we all know with technology, the first versions of everything are always cool, but I wonder what other companies have up their sleeves along these lines. I agree with the jump article which states tactile touch keyboards have something that a digital surface is missing.  All in all though, I like it.

Read more here.

 

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Kids don’t need to take notes in Tech class

This was a web clipping update that Jeff Utecht took “Colorado schools are beginning to write off cursive handwriting” found here at Coetail@Bkk.

I thought the clipping was interesting and also agreed.  In fact, I was just talking with another teacher about how I don’t usually allow students to hand in assignments that are hand written.  I like to read assignments that are typed “10 or 12pt Arial, Helvitica, Garamong or Times, single-spaced, narrow margins, double-sided”.¹  The reason for this is that I like the standard, easy to read font and the lest three traits are to save with paper.²

In my class I most often have students using a digital device to write notes.  More recently I have had a few ingenious [read: crafty or possibly even lazy] students who have asked if they could just take a photo of the board after I have written or typed notes, so just as this title suggests, they are no longer taking notes in my class.

Now that I allow students to be friends with me on Facebook I also often notice that notes, book clippings, photos of the board and many other things pertaining to assignments in classes are turning up as photos on walls.

It’s definitely a different world that we are living in.  I can’t even imagine if I asked my teachers back when I was in high school or elementary school if I could take a photo of the board and how they would have reacted.

As a teacher I can see the benefits of writing the notes.  Writing things down means that we are visually and physically processing all of the information.  Still, due to time constraints I will allow students to take photo notes with their gadgets … AND some actually even seem to refer back to these photos.  Cool.

When all is said and done I don’t think we should throw the baby out with the bath water.  I counter my argument with the fact that everyone will need to pick up a pen or pencil to fill in a form or write something down the old fashioned way.  In these cases, students do need to have knowledge of how to write with their hands.

I ponder this thought about the future, but what will happen to synaptic connections in the brain and also to our hands fine motor skills due to the fact that we are using them less and less for holding a pen?  I know that the art of penmanship has gone out the window, but will there be other consequences?

I think, as with everything, there is a time and a place.  Technology is allowing new and useful ways for students to change their habits.  It is up to the educator to decide in what amounts they will teach or allow certain skills.  I look forward to seeing the next ingenious and crafty strategies my own students bring to class, as it usually brings humor to my day and also makes me think.

¹I also insist upon: Headers with ‘ClassAssignment TitleStudent’s Name‘; Footers with Page Numbers styled bold2 ‘Page 3 of 42‘; the use of Headings and Subheadings to be referenced with a Table of Contents; and a Conservative Title page with an Abstract

²Most of the time I try to have students hand things in digitally through one-note, a wiki, a Ning, or through Google Docs.

 
 

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The latest gadgets in 2011. What are they?

It’s Feb 23rd, 2011.  How many of these things I will mention below will become a thing of the past or will become the “cool new thing that we don’t know how we did without it”?

Also, good to note are the terms memes and cloud computing.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Technology

 

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