JBB’s Final Thoughts Episode 8: You & Your Tech: It’s A Marriage Not A Friendship

JBB’s Final Thoughts Episode 8: You & Your Tech: It’s A Marriage Not A Friendship. Companies call it TCO, Total Cost of Ownership, I call it, Don’t buy tech because it’s cheap, unless you have the money to buy all … Continue reading JBB’s Final Thoughts Episode 8: You & Your Tech: It’s A Marriage Not A Friendship

6 Levels Towards Virtual Worlds

I’ve been thinking about the decades old promises of virtual reality and how my graduate students have responded to their first experiences with Second Life and thought that an info-graphic break down of virtual reality might help us approach the subject with less anxiety or frustration. It really comes down to thinking of the ol’ “right tool for the right job” mindset. BTW, this infographic/presentation was created with Piktochart. I’ll have a link to tool & presentation at the end of this post. Enjoy.
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iBooks Author & the Post-Website World

I just finished taking an extensive tutorial on the Apple product iBooks Author and it really got me thinking about the post website world. What I mean is that Apple has been trying for decades to create the right combination of tools to enable their users to unleash their creativity on the world. Among other problems, the chief conduit of sharing this creativity has been a mode of communication that was primarily designed to make it possible for scholars to access each others’ papers. In other words, from its inception, the Internet has a narrow set of tools meant to share text or highly compressed versions of other media. It’s remarkable how much can be shared via such small pipes and such non-artist-friendly tools. Apple’s last tool, iWeb, attempted to bridge the kind of page-layout tools used for magazines and graphic design with the limitations of html and the Internet. But as easy as these tools were to use I think Apple discovered that everyone did want to take pictures and make videos, but no one wanted to go through the hassle of putting up a website to post their creative works. But what could not be controlled on the Internet was quite a different thing if one were to use tablets, specifically iPads, as the means of sharing… But, realistically, we’re still dealing with more hassle than most are willing to deal with. I don’t think Apple cares about that or is under any delusion that the vast majority of wanna-be photographers or videographers are going to rush to iBooks Author to share their works. I think that tools like iPhoto and iMovie and the iPhone and iPad will continue to serve the needs of folks who just want to whip out the pictures from the weekend trip or videos from the vacation and YouTube and Facebook will continue to be the easiest way to share one’s work with friends and family. But what happens when one wants to create something more than snapshots from the weekend or something more involved than a 90-second video of the baby dancing? I know this problem well.

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The Oregon Trail: Official Movie Trailer

The more you know about the nascent computer education game the funnier this trailer is. I can’t tell you how many times I watched fourth graders lose everyone in their travel party because they shot more bison than they could eat or carry (or like the guy in the trailer, they spent all of their money on bullets and no other previsions). Good times in the computer lab.

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Video Fridays: Jane McGonigal: Gaming Can Make a Better World

I guess it’s gaming week. This selection, game designer, Jane McGonigal, goes well beyond the idea that gaming isn’t just a waste of time, but a part of human evolution and should be tapped to actually save our future…

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NGLB – No Gamer Left Behind

This is a blast from the past, going back over five-year ago, before anyone had heard of “gamification” or any such nonsense. The George Lucas Foundation as part of an Edutopia documentary explored the possible wealth of learning that might be accomplished through something that at that point was thought to be mindless anti-social entertainment: gaming and game design. More after the video… Enjoy.

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How the iPad will change education by Nick La Fountain

tug of the screen by woodleywonderworks

After the original iPad was released (back in 2010), one of my students wrote the following blog post about how the iPad will change education. 

How will the iPad change education? By Nick La Fountain

There has been a lot of talk around my campus about becoming a 1:1 school. In this vision we imagine each student owning a mobile device and integrating this device into curriculum. In the past our thoughts were limited to tablets, laptops and netbooks. While each has their pros and cons, neither really stood out as a clear winner. With the advent of the Apple iPad, it appears that there may be an opportunity to take our ideas to the next level.

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Sometimes What’s Broke in Education Can’t Be Fixed by Tech, Part 2: What Steve Jobs Said

Just before Apple announced it’s e-textbook/education event in late January, 9to5mac ran an article that harkened back to a 1996 Wired Magazine interview during which Steve Jobs famously said, “What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology.” Funny thing for someone to say who, in later years, was proud of the connection of this companies (Apple and NeXT) with education. In fact Phil Schiller began the January Apple event declaring that education and supporting education was in Apple’s DNA, beginning with putting Apple ][s in classrooms in the 1970s. And even though Schiller wanted us to focus on the newly minted iBooks 2, iBooks Author and the new iTunes U app, I could not help but notice that the salesmanship felt a bit forced with the iPad2 being continually promoted as the best possible realization of these new multimedia e-textbooks. It’s not that Schiller lacked Jobs’ reality-distortion-field as much as the message should have maintained the focus on what these new tools could empower educators and textbook authors to do without having to put so much emphasis on the already known qualities of the iPad2. Even though they pretended that the message was about how these new tools were going to revolutionize e-textbooks it kept feeling like an extended iPad commercial. Are they promoting a mission to change education or marketing a product? And how does all of this fit with Jobs’ comment about the failure(s) of education?

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