Summer Relearmixing

So here we are at the end of the school year.  I’ve decided to start another blog.  Why another blog when I already have one that I haven’t written a blog post in a while?  Well, this one will be non-family related stuff – basically education & technology related stuff.

This year, the principal at my school has embarked on a journey for us to become a hub of technology of secondary education.  Part of this is bringing mobile devices – iPads – into the hands of teachers and students.

What are we going to do with them?  Well, I’m not too sure just yet.  I’ve been given an iPad to explore and experiment with over the summer.  I will definitely be thinking of how this device can benefit the learning of the students and how teachers can best use it.

Also, another motive for me to have this blog is to put things down in writing – to write to the anonymous public out there as a public record of my thoughts and opinion.

Anyone who knows me and knows my opinion on computing, I’m a big FOSS – Free & Open Source Software advocate and user.  Apple computers are at the opposite end of computing which I prefer to use as it is a closed ecosystem, tightly controlled by Apple Inc.

Nonetheless, I cannot deny the fact that it is a very polished product with a lot of potential to use in the educational environment.  If anything like I tell my students, it is not the hardware or software that is important to learn, but it is the computing concepts that you learn and that you can apply elsewhere which is important.

If I were to spend my own hard-earned money on a tablet device, right now the top two devices would be the Asus Transformer or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

For me, the Transformer has the advantage of the optional dock which is a keyboard, touch pad, extra ports and secondary battery.  I like this optional feature.

The downside of the GTab for me is the lack of ports on the device itself – no external microSD slot, no HDMI and no USB unless you use the multi-pin connector.

But alas, I don’t have an extra $500 or so to spend on my own tablet.  But who am I to complain, I’ll use the iPad assigned for me for now. :D

Oh, and another project I’d like to do (other than post more in this blog), is to play with Google App Inventor and make apps for my phone.  In an ideal world, I’d teach this in my programming class and have my students build their own apps.

Well, that’s what I plan on doing this summer.  We’ll see how it goes…

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