RSS

Tag Archives: iPhone

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.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Technology

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Technology and Self-Control – The necessary new skill

Regarding the article, “The Flight from Conversation”, I would argue against Turkle’s (2012) endorsement that, “My students tell me about an important new skill: it involves maintaining eye contact with someone while you text someone else; it’s hard, but it can be done.”  Wouldn’t the important new skill be putting the device away and paying attention to the person with whom you are making eye contact?

Image representing Google Glass as depicted in...

But things get worse (better?).  Right now smart phone devices are only handheld; however, Google is planning to release Google Glass to the public in 2014.  Jeff Utecht just said last week at the ECIS 2013 conference that some students at Singapore American School already have it.  Wow.  Cool.  Really?

As educators, Utecht points out we need to ask ourselves, “How is this Google Glass device and ones like it going to change the way I do things in my classroom?”  Our natural responses to most new technologies is to ban it.  However, will this be the best solution for something that is so powerful and will continue to change the way we do business in school.  How do we ban something that eventually doesn’t look like Google glass, but only like a pair of reading glasses?  This will happen as technologies get smaller and smaller.  How do we ban technologies when they are planted directly into humans and are interfacing with the brain?  Utecht posits this to be around the corner as well.

How do we start to work towards this future?

Googleable and Not Googleable

As an educator, starting Monday, if you are not doing this already, stop teaching the stuff that is “Googleable” (McIntosh, 2013), “Wikipediaable”, “Wolfram-Alphaable”, “Khan Academyable”, “Youtubeable”, and “MOOCable”.  As McIntosh explains in the previous link, put a board on your wall in the classroom: “Googleable” and “Not Googleable” questions.  When students ask the former type of question, ask them to write the inquiry down on a sticky note and post it on that board.  Inform the student they need to find that answer and come back to the class with the response.  This is where the iPhone 5Ss, Galaxy S4s, HTC Ones, and dare I say, Google Glasses will come in handy.  We, as educators, can have students use these devices to our advantage.  For the other types of questions, the “Not Googleables”, let’s write those questions down too, post them on the wall, and delve into them.  They are deep.  They need conversation, guidance, and debate. 

However, I digress, the article was about the dystopian future, like the one illustrated in the movie Wall-e.  We are becoming disconnected in real life as we become connected to the ‘people cloud’.  If you have ever watched Star-Trek, we are becoming the Borg – lifeless, robot-like humans, who are getting assimilated into “the hive”.
So the bigger question is “how do we battle this?”
I would argue that my job description in the near future will turn from “tech integrator” to “tech disintegrator”.  We are adopting and adapting technology at an exponential rate.  We need to step back and start having talks about “How much is too much?” and “How do we manage these devices and the disconnections they are creating in everyday life?”  We need to model real-life connection when we are in life.  We also might need to start calling a spade a spade.  By this, I mean, we need to ask our colleagues, friends, family, and lovers to put down the device and be with us.  At the same time, we need to be ready to do the same when someone says this to us.
I love the ideas that Turkle puts forth, which are “At home, we can create sacred spaces: the kitchen, the dining room. We can make our cars “device-free zones.” We can demonstrate the value of conversation to our children. And we can do the same thing at work. There we are so busy communicating that we often don’t have time to talk to one another about what really matters. Employees asked for casual Fridays; perhaps managers should introduce conversational Thursdays.”
For those with less will-power, we can start by putting limits for ourselves on devices and internet.
Try scheduling your router:
For controlling kids devices, try something like this:
To lock your Samsung Galaxy S4 at certain times: http://www.ekoob.com/time-limit-apps-for-android-13470/
We shouldn’t need this, but some of us do.  This brings me back to my original argument, which was that the new skill is not learning how to make eye contact while testing to someone else, but it is having the will-power to put the device away while you are with your loved ones, your family, your friends, your colleagues, and having the courage to put it away when you are only with your self.
 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Education, Technology

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Image

Comparisons

Comparisons

In comparing the products, this is how I would juxtapose them.

Twitter is to iPod Shuffle, as Instagram is to iPod Nano, as Tumblr is to iPhone, as WordPress is to iPad.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Most Important New Technology Since the Smart Phone Arrives December 2012

Will this be the change of technology as we know it or will it be passed by for some reason?  This device is like the technology I have seen in the movie Minority Report with Tom Cruise.  It is definitely a game changer for games and probably operating systems.  I would love to try it myself.  It is supposed to retail for only $70.00.  Wow!  If you or someone you know gets their hands on one, tell me what you think.

See on www.technologyreview.com

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Google to teach speaking

Attention:

You might not sound as smart as you think, especially if you consider how you sound in a foreign country.  Maybe you think your pronunciation is great, but you can’t understand why no one gets what you are trying to say.  There are things that you can do to practice.  One of the best sources I have recently been referred on to was Rosetta Stone (RS).  The reason I like it is because the software ensures reading, writing, connecting thoughts, listening AND SPEAKING!

It does not translate words for you.  At first I thought this was a silly way of learning, but after going through the RS system for a while I realized that building upon reference ideas and then repeating them was a great way to learn.  The drawback, however, is the cost.  (£149.00)  In that case, I have a workaround answer for you, but I will get to that after I have shown you proof that the RS system works.

Proof:

While researching for proof that Rosetta Stone was the best way to learn online or off out on the market, I found some contrasting evidence.  Some people spoke very highly of the product, such as these reviews:

Without a doubt the highest praise went to the ease with which reviewers were learning. Courses were described as being instinctive and natural, even though many had been skeptical about there being no English on the Rosetta Stone software. A lot of learners said that their children were also following their course and were enjoying the quizzes and games. Rosetta Stone seems to be engaging for any age group. The pace seemed to be appropriate, and many users liked a feature of the CD-ROM where it automatically started each session with a quick review of what was previously studied.  (http://www.therosettastonereviews.com/)

Rosetta Stone helps you learn 31 various languages spoken all round the world. It dishes some different and interesting techniques to get accomplish to the languages you want in your armory. People who want to study languages difficult to understand for fun or individuals who loves incomprehensible languages, should also give Rosetta Stone a try.  (http://judgesreviews.com/software/rosetta-stone-reviews)

However, this review was only a partial glimpse:

Some people will get benefit out of Rosetta Stone. I can see how it would happen. I did indeed learn something from this program, including having my first ever conversation in Dutch, which gave me an enormous boost of confidence.(http://www.fluentin3months.com/rosetta-stone-review/)

A further read of this same reviewing would show you this review as well:

Injecting this confidence is something that Rosetta Stone does very well but to be honest the time would have been much better spent on other tasks.  (http://www.fluentin3months.com/rosetta-stone-review/)

With that said, I have to personally say that I can see the benefit and enjoyment factor present with the RS method.  If you have time, it is worth giving it a try to see if the slightly expensive system is worth it to you.  If not, read on and maybe I have some alternative solutions.

Strategy:

There are many free websites to learn another language.  A good example of an English site for this is learn-english-online.org  Like most, it allows you to read, to write and sometimes even listen, but the sites do not include speaking.

Along comes Google!

I figured this out when my wife, who is not a native English speaker was trying to use the Google VoiceSearch found when you are using Chrome as your browser.

She was having the toughest time.  It was a little funny, especially when I heard what she was trying to say and what was coming up on Google.  For example, she might try to say, “Samui, Thailand” and it comes up, “Simile Highland”.  It takes some practice.  Sometimes it is even necessary for me, as a native English speaker to hear what she is saying and tell her to say the word(s) with more enunciation or inflection on a certain part.  How Google works well, is it confirms automatically where I might say to her, as her teacher, that she is saying something incorrectly, but she doesn’t hear it herself.  She might insist she is saying it correctly, but I have no proof.

Well, now I do.

This Google App is available on iPhones, iPads and I am sure lots of other devices.  Because of this, it means teachers can carry it around for students who are trying to pronounce something for immediate confirmation about whether what they are saying is said correctly or not.

All-in-all, I love the idea.  I hope to apply it through technology integration in classrooms, by carrying around a smart phone and pulling it out when the need is there.

Who says we should ban phones in schools?  With enough ingenuity there are plenty of authentic applications for them.  Now, if I can justify spending $15,000 for Microsoft’s MS Surface Table to the school, that would be neat.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Is your website fitting iPhones, iPads and computers?

Are you taking into account that people have one and possibly even all of the following devices?  iPhones, iPads, and Computers.  If so, you need to see for yourself what your site looks like on them.

I just looked at my site on my new iPad2 (woot woot) and found out that my formatted table columns at width 600 pixels needed to be changed to 100%, along with the square images being brought from 200 pixels down to 150 pixels for them to fit properly.

In order for the site to load nicely on the iPhone there is a plugin for WordPress called WPTouch found here.

At the present moment Skype for iPad is just an iPhone version enlarged 2x and then pixelated.  It bugs me.  Skype: Do Something!

Mint.com is supposed to have a beautiful little gadget for iPhone, but for the iPad: No such luck.  Get with it!

Some items I have found for the iPad that I am really enjoying are listed in an article here.

Back to my original thesis, designers need to concern themselves with every and all gadgets out there.  We used to be concerned mostly with one browser to the next, one operating system to the next, but now we are concerned with all sorts of viewing sizes.  The main ones are the smart-phones, the tablets, and the notebooks, aka – the 3:1

 
 

Tags: , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: