Friday, March 05, 2010



This looks pretty exciting! Available in 2012 for under $100? One Laptop Per Child Version 3.
Flickr Slide Show

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Saturday, October 18, 2008


ILC 2008 conference

Last week I attended the first Innovative Learning Conference sponsored by CUE and FETC and held in the San Jose Convention Center. The attendance looked pretty low, but it was good to connect with a lot of California educators. I made my presentation on Voice and Reflection: Many Purposes of Digital Storytelling in ePortfolios. I also attended a lot of sessions on using cell phones in education and several sessions on PhotoStory, which looks like it is becoming the multimedia tool of choice for Windows XP users. I wonder why Microsoft hasn't released a Vista version of this software. That is the main reason that I elected to get Windows XP on my new HP netbook.

Speaking of netbooks, I attended a session on these small inexpensive laptops that are starting to be used in education. I was interested in the discussion of the next generation XO laptop with two touch-sensitive displays, to be released in 2010. No keyboard! Very interesting design! I'm getting used to "typing on the screen" of my iPhone. I wonder if this is the direction of small laptops. This week Apple announced updates of MacBooks. When asked about netbooks, here was Steve Jobs' response: "... that's a nascent market that's just getting started." Hmmm... I recently read about an Apple patent application for a multi-touch user interface. As they say, stay tuned!

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Saturday, September 13, 2008


A new tool/toy

I am writing this entry from my new "Netbook"--HP2133 (1 GB RAM, 120 GB HD, Windows Vista with Windows XP "downgrade"). I was grateful that when it installed the software, it automatically installed XP. It has no built-in DVD/CD. I suppose I could add one later through one of the two USB 2.0 ports. It is so small, that I could see taking it on all my trips. I'm still not sure about making presentations with this computer, since a lot of my presentations include video that is stored on my Mac laptop, and I NEVER have any problems hooking up my Mac to any projector. My goal over the next few months is to experiment with many of these netbooks to see how they can be used for e-portfolios in schools using Web 2.0 tools.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008


From my new iPhone

I started this message with one of the applications on my brand new iPhone, but was not able to write in this area, so I am finishing this entry the normal way! I stopped at the AT&T store near my home on Saturday afternoon, and they had just received another shipment of iPhones, so I got a black 16 GB model! I used the maps right away to navigate to another store; I just wish it had voice commands like my old Palm/TomTom GPS unit. I also found some new software, including Travel Tracker, one of my favorites on the Palm, only it doesn't update my calendar with flights, etc. I got a very quick response from the company that Apple has not opened the Calendar database up to 3rd parties as of yet.

I managed to get my MobileMe set up and am synching with only a few problems. I left ten years of my calendar on my Palm Desktop, and I can't figure out how to publish my iCal, but otherwise, the transition from my Palm SmartPhone has been pretty seamless. I will spend the next two weeks on vacation exploring Orlando with my new GPS, and playing with the faster G3 connectivity. I will also explore some of the many different iPhone applications that are available through the iTunes store. One of my complaints: you have to buy a software package before you try it out (to see if it works the way you like). I just wasted some money on a game; with most Palm software there was usually a trial period before payment was required. I am slowly getting used to entering text with my fingers, but I am still much more facile with a regular keyboard. So far, I've been able to open GoogleDocs through my iPhone, but haven't figured out if I can edit these files. On my Mac, I can't use Safari to edit in many of the Google tools, so the iPhone version of Safari probably has the same limitations. It also does not support Flash or Java, the underlying technology of many Web 2.0 applications. Exploring and comparing will be very interesting!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


One Laptop per Child

Today I ordered one of the OLPC XO laptops under the "Give One Get One" laptop giving program: I get one laptop to give to a child in my life, and another to a child in a developing country. This program was extended through December 31, 2007. Since my granddaughters already have their own used Mac laptops, this one might not be what they will use. However, I am intrigued by the possibilities, and I want to play with one, to see how they work and the potential to support my particular vision of web-based learning environments. When mine arrives in January, I will play and write up my impressions.


Saturday, January 13, 2007


Apple's iPhone in Education?

I visited MacWorld on Wednesday, and saw the iPhone. I also watched the podcast (downloaded to my iPod) of Steve Jobs' keynote address at MacWorld. I am ready to order one of those phones today, despite the fact that I just started using a Palm Treo SmartPhone. It's a good thing that the iPhone won't be available until June. Still, as I look at the features of this phone, I see an incredible tool to support learning! It's a tablet PC in the palm of your hand, complete with OS X and wifi access. It has all of the features that I want in a cell phone/iPod/handheld Internet device (for email, web browsing, maps, and searching). How soon will it have voice recognition for voice dialing, like many cell phones do? Will it interface with a Bluetooth keyboard for those of us who find it faster communicating with all of our fingers, not just one? Jobs used a specially-built iPhone with a video board, that projected its image to the presentation screen. Will that adaptation be available?

As I look at this device through the lens of my current research interests, I wonder: Would Apple consider making a version that works without the phone service, but uses the device on a classroom network? I could imagine a lot of ways that this device could be used to enhance learning. Right now, schools are paranoid about cell phones, with many K12 schools banning their use. But these schools also filter the Internet, so that these devices could safely be put into the service of learning. Online simulations, games, learning objects, widgets, blogs, a built-in digital camera to collect images; the capabilities of this device could far exceed the way Palms are currently being used in education today. I could imagine many ways that this device could become the next 1-1 platform for learning. I also see a tool that will support the many stages of ePortfolio development, including collection and reflection.

What do you think?

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Friday, September 01, 2006


Video iPod

I just bought a new 30 GB 5G iPod that plays video. This replaces a five year-old 5 GB 1G version and a two-year-old 40 GB 3G version that I gave to my daughter. I also bought the Belkin TuneTalk voice recorder that connects to the bottom of the iPod. The cable that connects the iPod to a TV was also ordered. I loaded my music and then learned how to convert all of my movies so that they would play on the iPod. Works great through iTunes. I've also uploaded a few of my photos, but will organize more of them into folders in iPhoto, and then upload the folders. I also downloaded iWriter that lets me create interactive content that can be uploaded to the iPod, my .Mac accounts, or just a folder that can be uploaded to any web server. It has an iPod preview window so that the content and navigation can be checked. I intend to see how I can incorporate these tools into the development of ePortfolios. The first project that I will develop will be an iPod version of my last paper, Purposes of Digital Stories in ePortfolios. A new learning opportunity! I will post the first project here.

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Friday, June 03, 2005


Palm LifeDrive

I am making this entry on my brand new Palm LifeDrive. It is a Palm with a 4 GB hard drive! It also has WiFi and Bluetooth. I've already made a call through my cell phone, but I'm using the WiFi right now. I'm using my wireless keyboard as well. I have my Comcast e-mail account set up and I have sent and received e-mail over WiFi. The web page browsing is strange, but I'm using the standard Blogger page. I love learning new toys!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005


10 Years Ago

Last Friday, I filled out the paperwork to officially retire from the University of Alaska. I am presently cleaning out a few boxes that were still here in storage, going through old files since 1992! One folder held an especially poignant document: the purchase order for the first web server in the School of Education, dated May of 1995! Ten years ago this month. It was from that web server that I published my first pages on electronic portfolios, using the URL. That Mac web server had a 1 GB hard drive, and ran steadily for about 4 years before it was retired. I now have a flash drive in my purse with that much storage! My how technology changed over the last ten years! I just read an online article about the new standards for HD DVDs being debated by the tech companies: up to 30 GB per side!


Thursday, February 10, 2005


A New Computer!

When Apple announced the upgrades to their PowerBook line on January 31, I submitted my order before breakfast. Then I followed the FedEx tracking page as my new computer left Shanghai, through Anchorage and Memphis until it was finally delivered to my home early last Tuesday morning. In the setup process, Apple lets you transfer all the data from your other computer. In less that two hours, all my files and data were transfered, and I thought I was looking at my older computer, of course with a larger hard drive, a SuperDrive and almost 3x as fast! And of course the new iLife software. I am in heaven! Now, I feel like I can get back to work with a reliable computer!


Thursday, December 23, 2004


Computer years?

If a dog year is equivalent to seven human years, what is the equivalent of computer life? 20 human years for every computer year? 25? I have a laptop that is showing its age. It hasn't worked right since it came back from repair a month ago. It freezes intermittently when I am typing. Apple blames the 3rd party memory that I say worked flawlessly for 18 months before this last trip in for repair. I think it has something to do with the keyboard or mother board. Thus, not much activity on this blog, and I am way behind on e-mail since returning from New Zealand. I guess I can blame the Holidays also. As I wrote earlier about my laptop addiction, it is really hard to be without a usable laptop. I have decided that I will need a backup when I get my new one, maybe during MacWorld. I've also asked Santa for a Bluetooth keyboard that will work with my PDA and my computers.


Monday, November 22, 2004


Laptop Addiction

One of the reasons that I haven't written a lot in my blog in the last four weeks is my three-week trip with sporadic WWW access, beginning with the EuroPortfolio Conference in France, and then sending my Mac laptop in for repair when I returned last week. I received it back today, and I cannot believe the sense of loss I felt during the week it took to get repaired. I still had access to computers at home and away... even a Windows XP laptop to warm my lap last week, and take on my trip to Vancouver. But it just wasn't the same as my Mac OS X G4 laptop. Then when my computer came back, the memory had been removed (a 3rd party upgrade!) and was sitting in little bags in the box. That was not the problem to be repaired! After I settled my anger down, and the man on the 800 number walked me through putting the memory back into the computer, I was back in business. My computer booted up, and there was the picture of my granchildren (my desktop background image). My anxiety slowly faded, and the laptop was comfortably back in my lap. Is there a 12-step program for laptop addiction?

It is almost frightening to realize how attached I am to this little computer... I spend more time with it than I do members of my family. But I also have to remember how much it connects me to the rest of the world: through iChat that kept me connected by voice to my daughter when she was living in Hungary and Alaska; through e-mail, that is my combination "to-do" list and professional communication tool; with my web publishing program, that helps me share my ideas with the world on my website; with my blogs for reflecting on my work and rarely (as in this post) on my feelings. I was able to function with those tools on other computers, since they had most of the same software or used web-based software, but it wasn't the same: a different keyboard means a lack of fluency when you communicate with your fingers (I've been touch typing for decades). I also find using web-mail to be less productive than using a desktop program where I have maintained e-mail files, many dating back for five years or more. Even though I made backups before I sent the computer off for repair, it just wasn't the same!

I'm planning to replace this laptop in the next few months, probably after I go to MacWorld, maybe even before Christmas. I've had this computer for over 2 and a half years, a record for me and laptops (I always wrote a new one into all my grants)! But I want a faster processor, larger hard drive, Bluetooth and a DVD recorder. I'm trying to decide which size to get: the small 12" screen which is even lighter and more portable, or the 15" screen, which is the one I have now... the size of the screen that works best with my middle-aged eyes. Whichever one I get, I know I will get just as attached as this one.


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