I hold a special place in my heart for Mr. Rogers. Besides growing up watching him, his old family homestead is near where I grew up in Pennsylvania. The McFeely Farm, about a few miles or so from my folks, on Buttermilk Falls, in Western Pennsylvania. Fred Rogers spent many of his summers at the farm here and the falls. Now, even Mr. Rogers gets the mashup treatment. A very popular viral video, with a great message!
Ok, so this is pretty cool! Samsung came out with a way to harness the power of Near Field Communication, the radio communication technology that you find on new phones. I mentioned my new Galaxy Nexus and Google Wallet, which allows you to create an account, put money on it, then tap your phone to the little payment pads in certain businesses (Sheetz is one!!) and pay. Pretty cool. You can also use it for sending apps to other people’s phones who have NFC.
Like Bluetooth, though, NFC looked to die an early death as those two functions showed the limit of the technology. Until Samsung released their TecTiles. These stickers allow you to program certain functions that when you put your phone over them, they complete a task. Like switching off your wifi and Bluetooth to save batteries. Or sending a pre-arrange text message. Or any other variety of tasks. So that got me thinking, what about in the education space, especially if NFC comes to tablets.
- Have students tap a ‘wifi on’ when the teacher wants them to use it and tapping when he/she doesn’t.
- Tap for a certain bookmark or website
- Tap for a calendar of test/report assignment dates
- Tap for homework assignment
Yeah, lots of possibilities for this in the education space. I will need to buy some to test them out!
So the curious rumor going around is that Microsoft will release Microsoft Office this fall for Android and iOS as an app. My question is do we need or want it? I would venture to say most people using Android (I cannot speak for iOS users) use Google Apps. With the tight integration of the app and the desktop, I cannot see introducing another app to use documents. Every time I receive a document through email, I can open it in Google Apps. I do not doubt some people will buy it, but again, is this the best use of Microsoft’s resources? Or maybe they just hired some Android and Apple developers. Time will tell how this venture works out for Microsoft, but again, I am not confident. Just like their whole Windows 8 strategy. Make your new OS similar to your yet to be released tablet software. Hmm…
Love small little simulation apps. While not a huge amount of learning potential here, this app represents a nice little app for a tablet you can park in front of a student.
The premise is you move things around to get a box in a designated area. Similar to the Apparatus app we reviewed awhile back. What intrigues me, although I did not get this far yet, is the statement in the image ‘you can change the gravity on all levels now.’
A good little app to install for your students. A creative teacher could get this easily integrated into their lessons…
As we move further and further along, I continue to question the full desktop and full laptop deployment in schools. Except for a few cases, our Adobe Digital Media lab in one high school, an AutoCAD lab in another, I am doubting the need to continue to keep up with full blown labs. That is what makes things like the Samsung Chromebooks and new Chromebox all the more intriguing. We bought a 1st gen Chromebook, and while myself and my ITFs could use it easily, since we are in the Google ecosystem, we worried about teacher utilizing a browser only OS. Now with the word that Chrome OS will move to a windowing OS, we will look at it a little more.
Also, these Chromeboxes definitely hold promise. I can see some of these in classrooms, hooked up to a monitor, giving students the web access they need. If powered enough, these can be a decent option for us!