Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tech thoughts

I have not published a post in a while but have not been avoiding technology! This post is simply to talk about some of my recent thoughts and discoveries.

ISTE10 was a blast! I find the ad-hoc conversations with educators in queues waiting for sessions to open, in restaurants, and on the floor while resting and planning the next session to attend, were probably the most important for me. I was able to ask questions and share my thoughts with everyone from classroom teachers just starting their technology journey, to the respected keynotes like Bernie Dodge, Dave Warlick, and Hall Davidson.  I love to talk (no surprise there!) and learned so much from these conversations and questions with ed-tech colleagues.

The Apple iPad is still highest on my list of useful technology tools! Although I have the new iPhone 4 now, and love the new iOS4 with the ability to put apps into folders, I know this same capability will be coming to the iPad in a few months, and will make the iPad even that much better. There were hundreds of iPads at ISTE10,  everyone shared their favorite apps for support of teaching and learning, and that sharing was invaluable! I have been carrying the iPad everywhere, and with the 3G version, I can be very productive. The only real sticking point for me is trying to use the desktop version of Google Docs on the iPad. It still lacks some key things, like the ability to scroll and the ability to create a share to a document. I am hoping a future update to Google Docs will allow these functions to be usable on the iPad. The mobile version of Google Docs works great for most things, but I need the desktop version to administer the domain and complete some other tasks. However, as more and more apps are developed or redesigned to take advantage of the iPad's larger screen, it is definitely becoming a laptop replacement for me.

I have also been spending quality time with my new iPhone4. The resolution is beautiful and the real-time videoconferencing app, Facetime, is really a lot of fun to work with and I can see its potential power to support teaching and learning. I will be taking a look at some of the Android phones for classroom use (without the cell service) and comparing them to the iPod Touch and the iPad. The Touch is rumored to be having a refresh in the fall, with a camera, Facetime, and some other updates. Time will tell what will be the best 1-to-1 device for students for information access and some creation ability, too.

What are your recent technology discoveries? Please share!

Photo credit: 
Andrea Wiggins