Tablet ergonomics

As with any other new technology it takes a while for research to be done and then the data to be analysed so we can put it to good use. There is now some solid research information available about tablet ergonomics, what to look out for, what to pay attention to and how to change your posture and usage so you are not putting unnecessary strain on different parts of your body. The ergonomics blog looks particularly at the problems which might occur for children and there is a lot of good information and sensible practice advised. It is important to notice children’s use of tablets and then help teach them the better way of going about using their tablets. digitaltrends look at the impact of the tablet on your neck which is the biggest area of concern. It’s important to get good information about tablet ergonomics so you can use it for yourself and then pass it on.

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DIY Tablet Stylus

Not totally as convenient as a normal stylus because of the water….but…greater sensitivity and fun to make. Great way to use old pens so it’s about recycling. Great way to learn some science so there we have STEAM and saving the planet in one little stylus. According to the comments she is using the You Doodle app which is free.

Troubleshooting tablet technology

aussieoutagesWhen things go wrong on a tablet or phone you have to keep calm and troubleshoot:

1. Check you have battery resources
2. Check you are connected to wifi/mobile provider if you should be
3. Check national and international outages
4. Close all the open apps
5. Turn off phone/ tablet and turn on again
6. Turn off modem, count to 10 and on again
7. If it is one app then delete it and reinstall it
8. Google like mad to see what the workarounds are.

The aussieoutages site is a good place to go in Australia because it lets you know if there is an issue. For the first time ever I had a problem on my iPad air. Instagram would start opening and then pop shut. Nothing. On my android phone there was no issue so I knew it wasn’t really an Instagram problem per se. I went to aussieoutages and sure enough there were a lot of people having a problem. There can be network conflicts which can create problems and with our current weather there could be things which affect wifi delivery. It was odd it was one device. This afternoon it started working again just fine and that was when I had gone to my iPad ready to delete the app and try reinstalling it. I had just used my phone in the meantime.

Tablets in the classroom

The Pedagogy Podcast

Image: The Pedagogy Podcast 

Teachers are not the media stereo type, vacuous nincompoops with 50s hairdos in front of perfectly groomed, smiling students with their hands up as they teach from the board often with their arms folded or a weirdo lean. Teachers, in my experience , are real people with a wide variety of exceptional talents and competencies who hone in on detail. They are like Patrick Trowse (@wklifebalance) whom I got to know in the #aussieED teacher chats on a Sunday night. Teachers are sociable and they want to learn. Over a year ago Patrick started his blog wklifebalance and I just pointed him in the right direction. The blog is valuable because he looks at the sorts of things which affect the work – life balance of teachers, how to stay healthy and how to manage a very demanding, rigorous job. Since then he has grown and developed himself into a podcaster and his podcasts are well made, interesting and about the sorts of things which teachers need to know and manage. You cannot replace experience. You cannot beat information from someone who has been through the process and you cannot do without podcasts! I load up a USB stick with all sorts of podcasts. They help me to keep my other language skills up, they teach me about health and ecology and they provide things to think about and practical ideas for education.I play them in my car as I commute. Patrick’s podcast on tablets in a classroom, where he speaks with a technician, is invaluable because it covers the issues The podcasts on The Pedagogy Podcasts are then reinforced with written information to check and consider. That is a teacher. A teacher knows you have to provide information in multiple modes so everyone can learn.

You can tick the boxes on the Professional Standards for Patrick as he develops himself, collaborates with others and shares his knowledge:

1.1 Lead colleagues to select and develop teaching strategies to improve student learning using knowledge of the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students.
1.3 Evaluate and revise school learning and teaching programs, using expert and community knowledge and experience, to meet the needs of students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
2.1 Lead initiatives within the school to evaluate and improve knowledge of content and teaching strategies and demonstrate exemplary teaching of subjects using effective, research-based learning and teaching programs.
2.2 Lead initiatives that utilise comprehensive content knowledge to improve the selection and sequencing of content into coherently organised learning and teaching programs.
2.6 Lead and support colleagues within the school to select and use ICT with effective teaching strategies to expand learning opportunities and content knowledge for all students.
3.1 Demonstrate exemplary practice and high expectations and lead colleagues to encourage students to pursue challenging goals in all aspects of their education.
3.3 Work with colleagues to review, modify and expand their repertoire of teaching strategies to enable students to use knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.
3.4 Model exemplary skills and lead colleagues in selecting, creating and evaluating resources, including ICT, for application by teachers within or beyond the school.
4.2 Initiate strategies and lead colleagues to implement effective classroom management and promote student responsibility for learning.
4.5 Review or implement new policies and strategies to ensure the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.
6.3 Implement professional dialogue within the school or professional learning network(s) that is informed by feedback, analysis of current research and practice to improve the educational outcomes of students.
6.4 Advocate, participate in and lead strategies to support high-quality professional learning opportunities for colleagues that focus on improved student learning.
7.4 Take a leadership role in professional and community networks and support the involvement of colleagues in external learning opportunities.

In 2016 the Professional Standards are supporting and encouraging teachers to develop and share their skills. In 2016 a contemporary teacher can use technology to improve themselves, improve others and engage with the real world in a way which benefits others and impacts on student learning in an effective way. It is all based on sharing and collaboration. Creating the content, joining the dots and getting feedback.

Not giving up my desktop!

desktopWe take a lot for granted. We are surrounded by technology and we use it all the time. There are those who have made a lifestyle choice of not engaging with it, but most of us are reliant on our phones, tablets and computers. 5 weeks ago my life came together in such a way I was provided with the opportunity to forgo my desktop and live life on my iPad. I had 10 minutes a day to get banking and blogging done and that was it, basically. I thought it would be a good experiment for me to see what would happen because I love my technology. My observation now is I do not have the breadth and complexity of interaction and development if I confine myself to a tablet. My desktop provides a richer and more complex experience. Much of what I discovered is going to sound negative but the overall effect of the last 5 weeks was not negative. I have learnt a lot about how technology impacts and how tablets impact.

1. I have constantly had sore, tired eyes. Back lit screen of the iPad?
2. Tablet is very portable and I quickly engage with it.
3. I do not trust a tablet for banking and other sensitive sites.
4. Flipboard and Zite are my best friends and no, I do not want to migrate Zite to Flipboard.
5. Twitter has a different feel on iPad and is tackier. Much prefer Tweetdeck on my desktop.
6. I connect far less on the iPad.
7. Facebook is okay on the iPad but prefer my desktop feed and experience.
8. Games on the iPad have come a long way and they are good on the iPad.
9. My activities on a desktop are more complex , utilise my skills better and I manage it better.
10. Mail apps on the iPad are efficient and effective.

I have watched students on the iPad and they navigate them quickly and effectively. I don’t , partly because I have osteoarthritis and I just do not get the feedback though my fingers on a touch screen. People have watched me tap or swipe and don’t understand why nothing happens. I can’t always feel the glass properly and so I have a nice little stylus which plugs into the earphone socket so I don’t lose it. Ever grateful at school, even though I rarely use the photocopier, that they have had the sense to supply a stylus with the touch screen. I can see my students copy and paste, type, cut, retype, insert images at lightnigh speed. That is me on a desktop. In the end, it is important to use the technology which serves you best and whioch you adapt to well. So I can’t see my desktop becoming obsolete and it would impact on my life if I couldn’t access a desktop. I have noticed there has been a big push of the extemely popular HayDay sites for the developers to provide a computer version but they want to confine it to mobile technology. That cuts back access and experience options for some people. I don’t think we shall have matured as a technology society until all devices can run all software safely and well. Quite a challenge!

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