Monday, November 15, 2010

NYTimes article on hand held devices in classrooms.

Hand Held Devices Find a Place in College Classrooms

An interesting read for two reasons... While this article talks about using clicker devices made specifically for the classroom, it mentions that this can be done on the iphone/ipad. eclicker is one implementation. I didn't download this since it's $10 for the host software (it would be free for the student-side software) and I don't have students with ipads to test this out on, but interesting nonetheless.

Second reason I found this interesting is that it seems like some colleges are finally catching up with K-12 education in seeing the benefit of students being actively engaged in class (versus passively listening to a lecture). I know Arizona State has been doing this in their intro astronomy classes for years (I took a 4-day course for astronomy teachers a number of years back taught by ASU profs who did "group work" in a 150/200 student lecture class. While we don't have the challenge of teaching classes with 100 students, I could see this still having benefits for quick formative assessments and as a way to get quiet students actively participating (along with the game show novelty that shouldn't be underestimated).


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just getting my feet wet

As someone who has never had an ipod or any MP3 player really, I broke my unfamiliarity with podcasts by downloading and listening to one.  I know, welcome to the 2000's, but this was a major milestone for me.  Emboldened by my emerging technical prowess (and the gift cards) I took to the web in search of amazing apps.  After getting lost a sea of sites like "the top 5 apps for history teachers", I settled on a trio of youtube videos featuring an elementary school teacher (which of course I can't find now to link).  Many of his chosen apps are geared to younger kids but I did learn about and download two voice recognition apps - Dragon and PaperDesk.  
-Margaret Lane

Student App Scout

Senior student and tech-wiz extraordinaire, Angelica Ortiz, is going to be doing some iPad app scouting, testing and evaluation for us over the next several months. She is a great student test user because she loves to explore and tinker with this stuff-within an hour of getting her iPad she had several apps installed.

If you see her around campus, ask her the question, "What have you learned on your iPad?" She'll also be doing periodic blog posts and videos here at our site.

Some of the apps that she likes right now include:
Draw free
Virtuoso piano
Mandala hang drum
iBooks (she has huck Finn and don quijote, two books she is currently reading in a couple of her classes).

-submitted by Matt Montagne

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"The perfect two egg omelette" or, making a YouTube video on my iPhone.

After watching Tony Vincent's superb k12 online conference presentation, I was inspired to download and install the sonic pics app for iPhone. I had this crazy idea about creating an interactive multimedia library of food recipes with my advisory. As a way to "eat my own dogfood," I went ahead and created a YouTube video of the steps that I use to make my world famous two egg omelette (more craziness here of course). I am quite impressed with the ease of use and the quality of the media as it lives at YouTube.

Anyway, as it turns out, such a simple little app has value. I introduced this as an option to the juniors as they are preparing to engage in their profile projects-some students very well may decide to use iPod touch/iPhone and sonic pics to assemble and produce their learning object for this project.

Learn more about the sonic pics app for iPod touch/iPhone here. As far as a rating on the sonic pics app-I give it a 5/5 stars.

-submitted by Matt

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

faster than a speeding bullet

Yesterday I had my students pull out their laptops so they could give me some quick, written feedback on a new project we were experimenting with. As they sat around waiting for what felt like forever for their 'puters to boot up, I marveled at how, in contrast, my Ipad was ready for action at all times. I started to think about the video Nanci sent around of Eric Mazur (the physics prof) using technology in his big lecture classes, and found myself wondering if perhaps I should have my students keep their laptops open and available all period. Perhaps part of my daily greeting should include "saquen sus computadoras, por favor."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 8, 2010

NaNoWriMo on an iPad

For the 6th year I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Writing an average of 1667 words per day to get to 50,000 in 30 days is a challenge. Technology should help with this challenge, not get in the way. I did some research into file transfers, different writing programs, and other options, and this is what I have come up with: Elements for iPad ($5) Drop box (free up to 2G storage limit), and text edit on my laptop.

Since the goal of this project is to write, write fast, not edit at all, and keep track of how many words I have written, the lack of editing ability in these programs is not important, the almost instant portability is. Elements saves everything on the iPad in dropbox. Those files are then automatically available to my laptop dropbox, or if I needed, any computer via the web. The only problem I have found so far is needing to save and close the file on the laptop before opening it on the ipad, or I might lose the new stuff. That happened once, now I am more careful. And once in a while I have had times when drop box for the iPad does not seem to update in real time, I have to open Drop Box first, to force the download. (And I can't get a word count in text edit on the laptop, but I can cut and paste into Word for a quick count, and maybe not checking my wordcount all the time is a good thing.)

Maybe I still don't have the settings right, so I am going to keep playing with it. This is not a solution for any serious editing, or for producing final versions, because of the limits of these basic editing programs. But for initial content creation, for this blog post, or anything, I can see getting addicted to this kind of connectivity.

I am also going to check out using MobleMe for similar work, once I have a few minutes to set it up. And after I finish my daily 1667 words!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Menlo Park