So you use a variety of Android devices. It only makes sense to use Google Books to access content. Google Books has come out with some new features, including read-aloud. Check out the video for more!
Yup, it’s that time of year…lots of countdowns and looks toward 2013. We definitely enjoyed a good year with Android in 2012. Finally got some decent devices. From the Samsung Galaxy Tab series to the Amazon and Barnes and Noble lines, and finishing with the Nexus 7 at year’s end. In our schools we use these for any number of reasons, productivity with our Principals to the Wireless Generation assessments with the Nexus 7. So much so that we purchased 200 of these devices. So going forward, where will 2013 take us?
1. Google coming out with a purchasing plan for schools. Right now, that’s a big reason for schools not to go with Android. Apple has its licensing/mass purchasing program to a science. Even Barnes & Nobles has a way to use purchase orders to purchase content for nooks. Google, not so much. In order for these devices to really take off, there needs to be some program. And not just buying gift cards. Hopefully Google has something in place soon!
2. A mobile device manager that allows more control. We are looking at a variety of MDMs to keep track of our devices. Meraki has a nice one (free!) and we have been looking at AirWatch, Symantec, and others. We will need to choose one and go with it in 2013.
3. Devices. What will CES, the big consumer show in January share with us? The Nexus 7 definitely fills a nitch. What will the next device built on it show us?
Image from http://www.soft9000.com/blog9000/index.php?entry=entry111111-090652
We hope you all have a safe, restful Christmas and New Year. We’ll take a break, but will continue kicking out the free and open source posts in 2013.
image from: http://www.freefoto.com/preview/90-02-59/Christmas-Tree
The internet gives a powerful tool to us–a way to utilize a huge amount of data. For instance death and birth rates in the US in real time. Yeah, just head over to https://googledrive.com/host/0B_n1OLMaOursZUwxSUpsX1JFb1E/ and see this simulation using US Census data. Pretty powerful. Does not matter if you use a tablet or PC, Apple or Android or Windows. One of the truly equal resources out there.
So how can you use this? Gosh, in so many ways. Economics classes to hypothesize about amounts of money given to both birth and death programs. How about Sociology to see the graying of certain parts of the country. Civics and Government–we’re talking about this fiscal cliff, right, well pose the question about how many people would be affected. So many great higher level thinking things you could focus on.
In our district we continue to plan for the inevitable…BYOD. Bring your own device. Allowing students and staff to bring in their laptops, tablets, netbooks, and phones and using school system connectivity. To plan for it, we completed a massive upgrade of our wireless LANs at each school, adding about 40-50 N WAPs to each school. Now we have pretty good connectivity, including ‘guest access’ which is just to the internet and not on our network.
So now what? Do we just open the flood gates? And if so, who deals with troubleshooting to get these devices online? My staff cannot, as we’re not at each school everyday. Teachers? Some could, but some could not, even with training. This is one of the large issues, as we do not want the technical side of things to bog down the educational opportunity.
And speaking of–if students bring in their own devices, does that just improve achievement, maybe through osmosis? No. What is the educational benefit? Again, some teachers will just roll with this. In other classrooms, students having devices will just be a distraction. If teachers cannot control the class without devices, what happens when many of them bring in their own?
Just some thinking out loud, but showing where we currently find ourselves. We continue to move down this path, but we are not sure where that will lead us. We want to make sure we provide the infrastructure needed, but now we need to focus on the PD side of things.