Technology changes

lights

Image: campaignlive

The world changes. People used to crank cars to start them. They used to put washing through wringers to get rid of the water. There were lamp lighters in the street. Times change and life and things change with it. Apple’s iconic white MacBook is now vintage. Given it was plastic that might be the right way to go. There is speculation , though, that Apple will move away from its Macs altogether and go with tablets and phones. Macs have been popular with artists , musicians and advertisers. If Apple then improves the iPad Pro will that be enough? A lot of people use their phones and tablets in preference to a laptop or desktop. They like the portability of their device now. A year ago Apple had problems with its new OS Sierra which ought to have been dealt with by now. It’s just brought out a new phone with a different look at the mobile world. Apple never stops inventing and pushing the boundaries.

Meanwhile Microsoft has been working really hard on the Surface which is a laptop/tablet hybrid. It has had to improve the tablet functionality but it is now an  extremely successful device and the iPad Pro could line itself alongside and drive change through competition. iPads have a strong following and are familiar, reliable devices.

What then will  happen to those who need the serious capabilities of a computer? If you like MacBooks, then something like Linux Mint is an option. Apple Macs are built on Unix and so the change to Linux is quite easy. It’s not as slick as Unix , though, but it is easier to customise and can be made to be very slick. It really depends on what you want to do and the world is appearing to make device changes so that everyone has the device they need and that it’s a good one. Some mainly want to stream and look things up. Some need business applications and software. Some need high end graphics capabilities . Some need developer options and so on. We are all different and we are all in need of a good device which suits us. It’s also why you can’t be and know everything about technology. You have to share and you have to pursue what appeals to you . That is how we are moving the world forward now. Yes, there is competition , but collaboration has become a  far more important driver of future thinking and development.

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.

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.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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