Passing the Laura Ingalls Test

Writing for Slate.com, Linda Perlstein recently proposed the Laura Ingalls test. Imagine if this prairie girl were to time travel to the present day and consider how she would respond to modern-day technology. If you brought her to an Apple Store or handed her a cell phone, she wouldn’t know what to make of it. Yet, if you brought her to the nearest 5th grade classroom, she would immediately recognize it as a school, something nearly unchanged from her time. Perlstein then asks her readers to describe the ideal modern-day classroom. Their ideas are recorded as comments to her post.

Continue reading “Passing the Laura Ingalls Test”

Labeling iPods

For our first day of winter vacation, my wife and I spent some time in my classroom bar-coding and labeling my iPods. We also labeled each slot in the cart.

That process went fairly quickly, but I also wanted to upgrade all of the iPods to iOS 4.2.1. That took much more time because I could only do one device at a time. However, by following these directions from Fraser Speirs on how to save the update file locally, I saved close to 10 minutes each device.

Photo of my iPods in the drawer of my Bretford Cart

Close-up photo of my drawer with labels.

“IWBs Do Not Hold a Candle to Mobile Learning Devices”

IWBs do not hold a candle to mobile learning devices which students KEEP and get to take home, as well as use in the classroom – if our goal is learning which meets individual needs. It’s harder, it’s messier, it’s filled with more questions, but it’s also the RIGHT path we should follow in the 21st century classroom and the blended 21st century learning environment.

Wesley Fryer in response to a post on the Tech & Learning blog about interactive white boards.

iPods Unboxed

With the help of my super-supportive wife, we managed to finally get the first set of 20 iPods unboxed and into Cart2D2 for charging. I love the look of the LED lights in the drawer while charging.

Photo of my iPods finally placed into my Bretford cart

On the other hand, the look of 20 devices in iTunes for syncing is a little intimidating. I’m not looking forward to upgrading 20 devices to iOS 4.2.

Screenshot of 20 iPods syncing in iTunes

The Battle for the Interactive White Board: The Kids Surrender

This article includes my main concern about interactive white boards before going on to describe a few uses of the technology:

The fact is, there’s only one Interactive White Board per classroom, and there may be 25 or more students. There is never going to be enough time in one class period to let everyone have-at-it on the white board.

My principal asked me just the other day why I wasn’t trying to get a IWB. My response was that I prefer technology that can be put in the hands of every student.

Great Cyber Monday Deal!

I just purchased cases for my iPod Touches thanks to this tip from OS X Daily. This premium black soft gel silicone skin case normally sells for $29.99 but is currently listed at $2.39. I’m a littler worried that the Amazon reviews are so divided. It has roughly the same number of 5 star and 1 star reviews so people must either love it or hate it. Still, this find is a relief because I was starting to worry I wouldn’t find cases in my price range.

Data to Digest on Thanksgiving

Here are some interesting statistics about the growth of mobile computing. From a recent post by LukeW on networked device ownership:

  • 85% of Americans own cell phones but only 59% have personal computers.
  • 75% of teens own a cell phone.

Meanwhile, The Unofficial Apple Weblog recently linked to a Nielsen survey citing that 31% of kids 6-12 and would want an iPad as their next gift and 29% would want an iPod Touch. Both of those devices are rated higher than gaming devices such as a Nintendo DS or a PlayStation Portable and much higher than a Wii or Xbox 360.

Kids today clearly have a preference for mobile devices.