Archive for the ‘Mobile’ category

Fixed Camera Stand for Tourists

July 25th, 2013

It was one thing to hand a disposable camera off to a random stranger to take your picture on a vacation, but with phones and tablets being the number one vacation camera right now, it’s a little much to hand over your device to someone who could just bolt while you’re still posing (imagine the amount of data – even contact info alone – carried on devices).

Check out the Sunpoles on Enoshima (in Japan). Put your camera or smartphone on the pedestal and set the timer. Now you also have a bit more control over the photo and don’t have to rely on someone trying to fit your feet in the photo even though you’re really tall (not that I’ve experienced that, right?).

Photo by John Sypal

Voice-to-text may be just as dangerous as visual texting

April 23rd, 2013

A recent study at Texas A & M suggests that using voice commands to dictate a text message while driving may be just as dangerous as looking at the phone to do it. There are two factors involved. First, the driver’s brain is still distracted, especially if the voice recognition software is not recognizing voice. Second, drivers sometimes have more of a false sense of security when they use voice-to-text, leading them to not be as cautious.

I’ll be curious to see how Google Glass impacts this. (Another factor then would be distracted pedestrians in crosswalks.)

Flipboard vs. Feedly

March 22nd, 2013

I am a huge fan of Flipboard. Normally, when I think of RSS readers, I think of a chaotic swarm of information. Flipboard simplifies what’s current on the Internet into a visually-pleasing set of squares based on categories. The issue that I have with it, though, is that it’s a little limited on some of the features that I have come to appreciate in Google Reader. Since Google Reader is being discontinued, I thought that I would see what all of the buzz about Feedly was.

Here are my thoughts after spending a few days with Feedly. I do the vast majority of my Internet reading on my phone, so that’s the context of the comments.

Flipboard allows you to add RSS (and Twitter and…) feeds, which is great. The limitation, though, is that Flipboard only gives you four screens (six feeds (in beautiful big boxes) per screen) of information. There are preset categories like News or Technology that you can use, but those (to the best of my knowledge) are not customizable. You can add more feeds, but they hang out off in the wilderness a few clicks away. For scrolling through news quickly, those feeds will be missed.

Feedly is more customizable as long as you use the Google Chrome or Firefox plug-in on a computer to get it started (which was kinda annoying since, like I said, I run most of this off of my phone). In the plug-in you can create as many categories as you want and sort the information based on the number of articles to read and how many times you like to read from certain categories. You can even get categories to show you bar graphs for buttons as to which ones contain more unread information.

Both Feedly and Flipboard display graphics from feeds in a nice manner. Both have widgets that display on your device’s home screen. Feedly’s main negative, though, is that it lags a bit more than Flipboard. Jon Virtes from Flipboard says that the speed of the app is the reason why they probably won’t add more pages to Flipboard.

The final verdict? If you’re just going to read a few general categories like Business or Politics, go with Flipboard. If you want to separate feeds into umbrella categories like Teaching Ideas, School Leadership, and Typography, go with Feedly.

Google is accepting applications for Google Glass testers

February 20th, 2013

Wearable technology has been a fascination of mine since I first saw a Scientific American story about Steve Mann‘s attempt to be a cyborg.

Now Google Glass is looking to make some of that technology available to consumers and they need people to test out the devices. You can find out more details about the application by clicking here.

Here’s the catch:

Explorers will each need to pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person, in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.


Pixorial: Free Video Editing Software

December 19th, 2012

Yes, I’m a huge fan of Premiere, Final Cut, and iMovie (Movie Maker’s decent, but I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan), but sometimes students don’t have access to those applications. More and more we’re seeing webapps that offer full features to rival what you would have had to download mere years ago. Thankfully there are webapps that work well and are free; Pixorial is one of those.

Pixorial allows you to upload videos, trim them, add titles and music, and then share them online (from what I can tell there’s no DVD authoring). Sure, you probably won’t use it for a dance recital, but Pixorial seems to offer what we need for video assignments with students. The fact that there are Android and iOS apps that help with uploading is a big plus for me. Add to that the ability to incorporate your Google Drive and it looks promising. I’ll have to try it out more when finals are over.

Can we get more people to choose the stairs by making it fun to do?

November 2nd, 2012

There were quite a number of great ideas presented by Zachary Walker today at the BER conference. I’ll be posting some of the ways that we’re using them as we go through the remainder of the school year, but one that I wanted to share right now was this video from Volkswagen about motivation to do what’s right compared to what’s easy:

Send Your Parachute

February 24th, 2012

So, seeing the art direction for the Hunger Games movie got me intrigued, but I still wasn’t sold on the movie being awesome.

If you read my review when I got the ARC of Catching Fire, you’ll remember that I really liked the social commentary that was in book two of the series – specifically, a commentary on consumerism without concern for those that are going hungry.

The Hunger Games team did the best possible promotion, in my opinion. They are using their media hype force to educate about world hunger and hopefully alleviate starvation at home and abroad.

Check out their Send Your Parachute (fans of the book will get the cool reference) campaign trailer. You can text to donate to World Food Programme and Feeding America.

Mobile 2012

January 31st, 2012

Are you interested in mobile learning, whether it’s on a tablet, a phone, or something else? AZK12 is hosting Mobile 2012 April 11-13.

Check out the list of speakers:
Jaime Casap
Eric Marcos
Janet Wozniak
Tony Vincent

I’ve attended a conference with Tony before and chatted with him. He definitely knows his stuff. And the Wozniak last name should sound familiar in connection to Apple…