Updates from September, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Andrew T Schwab 3:25 pm on September 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    No iPhone 5 For Me! Why I’m Sticking With The 4S For Now 

    This time lat year, I traded in my iPhone 4 for the 4S and I remember the difference being significant enough to have been totally worth it. Primarily the improved camera speed and not having to use a case to make a phone call were the big wins for me. Forgetting for a moment that I managed to scratch the screen in the first two weeks because I couldn’t bring myself to ZAGG the retina display; I could justify an upgrade in my own mind just so I don’t have to relive that horror every time I notice the scratches (which truthfully is not very often anymore). I’ve been seriously re-considering my initial impulse to upgrade just because a new iPhone is out. In fact I’ve decided not to upgrade right now.

    Maybe it has something to do with the intriguing options out there from the android camp (Galaxy S III anyone?) or maybe it’s that I find the stretched out iPhone 5 oddly proportioned. Whatever the reason I’m just not feeling the need to upgrade like I did with the 4. The 4S is a great smartphone whereas the 4 had issues. My 4S is going to run iOS 6 when it comes out and the four apps I use daily will continue to do what I need them to do. The iPhone 5 for all the hype offers little incentive for me at the moment. I’m not even all that jazzed about the new camera improvements.  I recently bought a Sony NEX 5N and am getting more serious about taking pictures of the kids and I’m trying not to pull out my phone for that anymore.

    So no, I won’t have the newest, fastest, thinnest iPhone and I’m perfectly ok with that (really, I am). The iPhone 5S may be another matter entirely. I guess I’ll have to wait a year to find out. Now where’s my iPad Mini?

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    • Josh Meredith 6:26 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I agree. The 5 is the first new iPhone that doesn’t excite me enough to upgrade.

      The odd proportion is the main thing I hold against the 5. I think the 4/4s screen size is perfect, so changing the body dimensions into something so oddly unattractive in order to accomodate a larger screen is a deal breaker.

      Aside from appearance, none of the technical improvements are all that exciting.

      The only thing I’m intrigued by is iOS 6, and I’ll be able to get that on my 4s.

  • Andrew T Schwab 7:21 pm on September 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Nation’s Report Card Implies Students Are in Trouble Come 2014 

    I read this article today and what jumped out at me immediately was this passage:

    However, the percentage of eighth-grade students rated as proficient declined significantly. In 2007, the last time the writing test was administered, 35 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient or above, compared with 27 percent in 2011. However, the proportion of 12th-graders proficient and above rose slightly, from 25 to 27 percent.

    That looks like a significant drop in eighth grade writing proficiency. The article goes on to explain:

    NAEP moved from the traditional handwritten tests — still administered to its youngest group, fourth-graders — to computers because of the significant role they play in writing and the prevalence of computers in students’ lives.

    I wonder if a lack of access to technology classes and computers might have something to do with the drop off in eighth grade scores. High School’s have historically offered students computer classes and it is common for writing to take place in computer labs at the secondary level verses with pen and paper in the lower grades so it makes sense that we wouldn’t see a drop off at the 12th grade level.

    Now throw the Common Core assessments into the mix when we start testing all students using adaptive computer based tests in 2014. What’s going to happen to writing scores in the lower grades then? How about math scores? Do our elementary students know how to test on a computer? How much computer time do they experience during the school day? Do elementary schools even have computer labs? I know many of mine do not. Even my middle schools are challenged with providing computer access to students.

    We should be coming up with plans to address student technology access now. We need to be redesigning curriculum and classroom instruction practices to provide students the skills they need to successfully navigate these computer based tests. We cannot continue to treat technology as a bolted on afterthought. It must be fully integrated into classroom instruction. Yes budgets are bad but we can’t just put our heads in the sand and hope 2014 comes and goes without computerized testing. Common Core is coming. Adaptive Computer Based testing is coming. Whether it’s 2 years from now or 4, it’s going to happen.

    Regardless of what you think about the common core standards and state testing, we owe it to our kids to start preparing them for this now while there is still time. Otherwise, come testing time they’ll be sitting down to type an essay and navigate math problems in front of a computer potentially for the very first time. And that’s just not fair.

     
    • Arnie 10:21 am on September 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I hear you stating that the nature of the new testing will be so new for our students that they will not be able to do well on them. In addition, you suggest that it is too late to do much to correct this problem in the early years of the new testing regimen.

      Fair enough. That may be true. What is quite true is that students will continue to have very limited computer access at most schools in the USA.

      As for the test results trending down from 2007 to 2011, NAEP states that due to the changes enacted in the 2011 test, those results should not be compared to previous test results. Still, I think it is reasonable to conclude that a 20% score drop is not good.

      Finally, my conclusion from all this is even more bleak than your own. I think that the newest NAEP data (2011) is simply more accurate. Our kids are in fact even more behind than we had feared.

  • Andrew T Schwab 8:15 am on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Google Apps for Education: Pros & Cons From An IT Guy 

    I’ve been recommending schools go Google since 2007. Below is why, with some issues I’ve run into along the way.

    Pros:

    1. No more Outlook to Install. Ever.
    2. Web based, works with all browsers, even IE (not IE 6 though but you really should upgrades those. You know who you are)
    3. Real-time doc collaboration. You must see it to believe it.
    4. No more servers to manage. Yay!
    5. So easy to manage you can assign a teacher to manage their school’s email domain. Really.
    6. Integrates with Chromebooks, if you like chromebooks.
    7. Free Anti-SPAM included
    8. Works with MS Office (Yes, teachers can continue to use Office 2003 if they want to)
    9. Google Drive client for Mac and Windows
    10. Great potential for 21st Century Pedagogy in mixed OS BYOD and 1:1 environments.

    Cons:

    1. It’s not made by Microsoft.
    2. DirSync and Password Sync with AD take some elbow grease to setup
    3. It’s not MS Office or Outlook. (People eventually notice, even when you tell them you’re upgrading to the “new” outlook web access with office)
    4. So easy to setup and manage even a teacher can do it, and probably already has.
    5. It’s a totally new way of thinking about documents and collaboration that disrupts traditional workflows and forces people to change. (might actually be a pro)
    6. Archiving options are basically Google Vault or Google Vault
    7. Uses Your Bandwidth
    8. No Google Drive for Linux (not a problem unless you run linux)
    9. Updates often, making training more challenging. But then we should all be adaptive Just In Time Learners, right?
    10. Occasionally it breaks for a few minutes and there is nothing you can do but get a coffee while you wait for someone else to fix it.

    You can learn more at Google Apps for Education.

     
    • Stephen 8:39 am on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      have you tried comparing this to Microsoft’s equivalent offerings?

    • Diane Speake Main 12:31 am on September 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I love these Pros and . . . Other Pros.

    • Jeremy 6:07 pm on September 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Not a fan of “even a teacher” comments.

    • Seth 6:30 am on September 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      So you’re saying they’re aren’t any cons?

    • Linkgard - Google Apps Reseller 4:33 am on October 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      In terms of bandwidth, it is debatable at how much bandwidth Google Apps uses. Especially for things like email, we’ve seen many of our customers reduce their bandwidth since Gmail doesn’t automatically pull attachments.

  • Andrew T Schwab 8:09 pm on September 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    rebootED Episode 3: The Web Is The Operating System 

    In this episode we discuss Chris Drew’s post about trends in Ed Tech investment and take a trip to Finland for a minute. Then we talk MOOC and Google Power Searching and more…

    rebootED Episode 3: The Web Is The Operating System

    past episodes:

    rebootED The Pilot Episode

    Episode 1: Is Football Better For Learning Than High School?

    Episode 2: The D10 Caterpillar Reform Plan

    If you like any of them, follow my co-host on twitter @_NOD55  and check out my other podcast, small school Big Tech with Danny Silva.

    PS. If you do follow @_NOD55, tell him to hurry up and get the http://www.rebootedpodcast.com web site built so you can RSS the episodes!

    Podcast theme music by Kevin MacLeod

     
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