It’s actually Christmas morning here (1.36am to be precise!), but it’s still Friday in parts of the world so I’m feeling justified, if not a little bit crazy, for getting School’s out Friday out at this time. This is North Point Community Church’s iBand, playing Christmas tunes using iPads and iPhones. Just imagine if a group of kids could do something like this for a school music concert. There’s another thing to dwell on for the 2011 school year! Thanks Allanah for sending me this link tonight. You saved me a lot time searching for something. : )
Christmas Eve party is over, dishes are done, presents are wrapped. Time for bed methinks!
Merry Christmas to you all, loyal readers, whoever you are. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season. : )
I do love my iPhone. It’s changed the way I interact with the Web. I like the fact that I can easily check my work email and personal gmail accounts easily, and I can check in with Twitter via either the Tweetdeck or Twitter app. I can do a quick web search easily via my Google app (I prefer that to Safari) and I can check into this blog via the WordPress app. The Google Maps app has proved invaluable as I try and find my way around locations. Even though it’s slightly disconcerting knowing the satellites are tracking my every move, knowing that the blue circle has me heading in the right direction has given me peace of mind on many occasions. I can even check the developments happening with the Australian Curriculum via the new app released from ACARA. Sometimes I read downloads from Amazon using the Kindle app, and the other night I was watching the latest TED Talks when I was having trouble sleeping.
What I’m loving at the moment is an app called Words with Friends, which is a game of scrabble that can be played by people who’ve signed up to the site. It was introduced to me the other week by my friend Melanie who lives in New York. We had known each other online through our association with the international PLP cohort, and met when I was in New York in January this year. We shared some very fun times together and have remained in contact via Twitter and email. Melanie suggested that I download the Words with Friends app so that we could engage in a game of scrabble. Simple idea, but a lovely one. Because of our time zone difference, it’s not played at a frenetic pace, just once a day, but we can send messages to one another and know that we are doing something together, despite the physical distance that separates us.
I’m happy to let you know that Melanie is trouncing me right now, but I’m enjoying trying to figure out how to play my letters in the most strategic way possible. My competitive spirit and sheer desperation led to me search on Google for ‘scrabble help’. I discovered ‘Win every game‘, and it’s helped me score 40 points for my last move! Pssst… don’t tell Melanie!!
I posted a little while back about the iPhone and the love affair I’m having with it. That love affair continues, but not without a slight bitter aftertaste at the moment. Last week, the iPhone and I engaged in some heavy duty handling while I was in Sydney, and now I’m faced with, horror of horrors, restriction of service due to exceeding my credit cap.
I feel a bit stupid really. You hear about kids who get a phone and run up exhorbitant bills and here I am, a seemingly responsible adult, doing just that!
So, the upshot of all this is that I’ll be reviewing my plan and upgrading so that I can continue to check email, update Twitter, browse webpages, download and use apps, and maybe, just maybe, find some time to call a friend or two on the phone. It really is an amazing device. Take a look at Josh Catone’s post, ‘Back to School: Top 10 iPhone Apps for Students’. Some great Apps are featured and I think you’ll see why we should be embracing these devices and allowing use of them in classrooms. My son and daughter received iTouch’s for Christmas; to my way of thinking, they should be permitted to access school networks and use these devices in school for educational purposes. Now, just need to convince them to download a few of these Apps rather than Bubblewrap or Papertoss!
I’m on camp at the moment and the iPhone has come into its own for me. I’ve only had it for a week and a half, but already I am viewing mobile technologies and their relevance for education in a whole new light.
The phone has become my digital camera for camp happy snaps. I can upload the pictures easily to my computer for the blog I am writing for the parents. It’s even taken video of my daughter’s efforts on the giant swing. It’s my instant weather update. In the heat we are experiencing I am able to check the CFA updates to see if fire conditions might be an issue for us. I can stay connected to school and my online network through the access I have to email and twitter. If I wanted to, I could read Macbeth or A Christmas Carol (or any other out of copyright book!) through the Stanza application. I can access the iPod within it and listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In the tent my Just Light application is acting as a torch so I can locate what I need in the dark. The Google Maps application assisted us on the first day when our bus driver got lost and we couldn’t find the camp location. Google got us there!
Why on earth wouldn’t any student who has one of these powerful tools in their pocket not be using it in classrooms today? Why would any school ban them from access to information they can use for the course they are studying? My iPhone has been configured to my school’s network so that it will tap into it when I’m there. My thinking is that we should be doing the same for the students. Rather than ban, let’s embrace and support them in using these tools to their maximum potential. I know that I have only tapped the surface of what it can do. Can’t wait to see what more I can learn.