Monday, October 04, 2010

I like this one

IMG_5856, originally uploaded by mdb0769.

Picking the best instructional strategy is almost as confusing as picking out the perfect pumpkin. How do you make that decission?

Monday, September 06, 2010

iPad and Polarized Sunglass Don't Mix

While traveling during the Labor Day weekend, I discovered something about the iPad. I have a pair of aviator polarized sunglasses that I am fond of wearing. Bausch & Lomb are famous for darkly tinted lenses and they are comfortable. So, what does that have to do with an iPad?

Well, I had to think for a few seconds before I understood what I was observing. I taught physics early in my teaching career and remembered the hours spent trying to demonstrate the concepts of optics to high school students. Polarization of white light is a complex concept to master. But, while reading a webpage on the iPad in the bright sunshine made me thank the writers of the science curriculum.

I would have probably blamed Apple for building a defective device. When I rotated the iPad from the landscape orientation to the portrait orientation, the iPad screen when dark. Hum! Was there something wrong with the motion sensor in the iPad? Was the battery defective? Was the screen leaking? None of the above!

It was basic physics. When two polarized lenses (my Bausch & Lomb shades) and the screen on the iPad are oriented at 90 degrees from each other, light rays are blocked by the lenses.

Sent from an iPad

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

iPad Running Windows 7 and Word?

The complaint I heard loud and clear from a parent about having Apple computers was "why a Mac"? He was quick to point out that the hospital where his wife worked used only PC and his CAD software was PC only. Schools are facing horrible budgets and still must not leave any teachers or children behind. What if you could actually run serious number crunching programs the school already owns, and edit videos on whatever computer or device available. The iPad has it limits but lots of potential with creative IT. I have changed my mind about using the iPad. After watching a demo from the folks at Citrix, my head is spinning. Their cloud computing solution looks promising. I am not sure about how it would perform with 600-700 devices trying to access it at one time, day after day. Using a server based portal, learners could fire up their iPad, iPhone, MacBook, netbook, or even legacy or refurbished PC desktops, and wirelessly launch Word, Excel, or CAD software. Take a look at this video and with a little imagination, think about how a state-wide initiative could deliver software solutions to the classrooms and run on whatever device the student has available. Droid phones, Blackberry, and Windows based phones.

Maybe instead of the school buying/leasing computers, we should instead invest in cloud computing solutions. Then, allow the kids and their parents decide PC, MAC, smartphone, netbook, tablet, or android. My biggest concern, is that does not address the digital divide. Who will help those kids in homes with that still do not have any of the above?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow Melt

I am testing to see if this blog post will include this picture. I have have several students with Blackberry smartphones and Droids and such. One educational use would be to post stories about sports events, classroom projects, and even video clips to illustrate what they are learning.

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Snow! and Stuff

Snow cancelled our family and friends plans to move out the contents of a relative's apartment this weekend. We probably could have made the journey, but it was too risky. On the news last night, we heard a report of a major highway accident along the road we would have needed to travel. So, we realized we had made a wise decision in "scrubbing" our travel plans. This week will be a busy one.

I am very excited that the school I work at will be a total 1:1 laptop school soon. Our 7th graders are in their second year of implementation, and this school year we added 7th and 8th grade. Classroom carts will be rolled out this coming week.