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Archive for the 'Hardware' Category

iPhone is perfect for ePortfolios!

UpdateI have recently initiated a new website called iPhone in Ed related to the relevance of iPhones as 21C learning tools.  iPhone in Education aims to collate, ed review and categorise applications made for the iPhone and specifically useful in teaching and learning.


Alas, cardiologist quite a few Mac related things have been ticking over in my mind. Or is this an open letter to Jonathan Ive? I’ve fantasised about iPhones place in education before; I’ve also publicly fantasised about ePortfolios before - please indulge me again.

Wiki/Blog server integrationRecently I attended a seminar by Professor Richard Kimbell from, pharm Director of Technology Education Research Unit, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. This seminar provided an opportunity for educators in W.A. to learn about the use of PDAs and other digital technologies to support assessment. The event was summarised thus:

Embedding ICT across the curriculum (i.e. getting it out of ICT suites) has been a notoriously difficult and frequently unsuccessful enterprise. Embedding ICT into assessment practice might therefore be thought to be even more tricky. The use of mobile / hand-held digital technologies transforms the debate and makes possible a complete re-visioning of the teaching/learning/assessing relationship. The e-scape pilot (just completed in 15 schools) provides glimpses into the possible futures for e-assessment.

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Boot Camp and Projector use


I am having a hard time using a digital projector on an iMac running Tiger. I can make it work on the OSX side but I can not make the projector connect on the Windows side. Any ideas? Thanks! Kris

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Please excuse the intrusion….

How do I join Aus Mac Ed?

AusMacEd uses a blogging system called WordPress to allow you to post directly to the website. First you need to register.

Register or log-in here:

Be sure to fill out all the fields of your profile. This will display next to the automated archive for all your posts. eg: http://ausmaced.org/author/paul-reid/ Your display name should be your full name; eg Steve Wozniak.
Now you can comment on the posts of other ‘Aus Mac Edders’. Your membership status is now “Author” allowing you to post and comment.

Once you are logged into the WordPress “Dashboard”, check basically if you click on “write post” you can get started contributing. Here are some more details:

How do I post to Aus Mac Ed?

NB: WordPress claims to be as a easy as sending an email - more detailed tutorials are available here.
To write a post on Wordpress you need to follow these steps:

  1. Log-in and click on “Write” in the sidebar.
  2. Give the post a “Title”. Copy and paste the text you have written offline into the WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor.
  3. a). Click on the “Chain-icon” in the WYSIWYG editor to add a link.b). Click on the “Indent-icon” to add a quote you have pulled from somewhere else.c). To add an image you need to browse to the image on your hard drive using the upload tab below the post editing box. Then click on the “Image” (tree) icon in the WYSIWYG editor menu to add an image to the WYSIWYG editor.

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iPhones in education

The big question is - will schools be buying them for Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) access during excursions and outside work? You bet - at least those with money will. It wasn’t until I came across this video, pill I understood what the web community is so amazed about. Kindy kids will be able to understand and operate that GUI! This montage from Rojo sums the combination up for a visual spatial learner like me:

iPhone new

Unfortunately, orthopedist being able to access rich media via the school WiFi network changes the boundaries for school ICT resources yet again. With the new wireless capabilities of hubs like AirPort Extreme digital portability enters yet another dimension - can our school infrastructure and systems keep up? This sort of change in expectation displays the need for scaleable network and storage solutions. Instead of portable notebook trolleys will we see racks of iPhones in the library? I’ll check back on this post in 2008 to see where we are at.

Update: Lot’s of other bloggers are thinking about the gaping hole iPhone could fill in education:

Chalkface Project predicts:
“that the iPhone, medications and its descendants and imitators, will replace desktops and laptops as the workhorse educational computing device.”

Electronicportfolios.org’s Dr. Helen Barrett hypothesises:
“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.”

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Turn MacBooks into a video camera

The Huckleberry mirror is a nifty tool for any MacBook or MacBook Pro doing the same as many educators have been doing with their iSight cameras. The MacBook screen effectively becomes a huge LCD with an Intel processor.

MacbookConsisting of an acrylic mirror and two durable plastic mounting brackets, weight loss Huckleberry for MacBook is placed above the screen to reflect the built-in camera’s field of view. Instead of filming yourself, health system it will now film what’s in front of you! The new Huckleberry II for MacBook Pro uses two mirrors to provide a full 180 degree change in camera direction.

Educational uses For Huckleberry:
Capture movies direct iMovie HD.
Create stop-motion/clay-mation video in iStopMotion.
Scan your media with Delicious Library.
Take pictures in Photo Booth.

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What happened last year!

Leopard2006 had a lot to offer, information pills but the biggest story from ‘the year that was‘, according to Scott Stevenson, is that Apple finally got out of the shadow of its early success with the original Mac in the 80s, and has redefined what it means to be Apple Computer. Not only is the iPod a true cultural phenomenon, but 2006 can lay claim to the most Macs ever sold in a single quarter!

Scott over at Theocacao offers a good read in his write up of The Year in Mac Development.

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IT Survey of High School Students

In a school survey of all year 8 - 10 students at my school late last year I discovered the following:

  • 81% of our students had a portable mp3 player
  • The brand the majority of those students with mp3 players owned was the iPod (70%)

More of Blitto’s Survey Results:

  • 49. Do you have a computer at home? 91% yes
  • 50. Do you have Internet at home? 88% yes
  • 51. Do you have Broadband/ADSL Internet at home? 79% yes
  • 52. Do you have a portable mp3 music player? 81% yes
  • 53. Is your portable mp3 player an iPod? 70% yes
  • 54. Do you download/listen to Podcasts? 55% yes

An interesting little article on iPods for you:

The iPod is inching closer and closer to the roll of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). With that in mind, for sale let’s look at some of the things you might want to try using your own iPod or MP3 player outside of the usual look and listen. Note that while most of the suggestions below mention the Apple iPod, many of these options are still available for other MP3 player brands.”
Scroll down to “Feature story: Get more out of your iPod

Rod Blitvich

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Choose Your Own Adventure on an iPod

5773-15-1 When talking about wiki I always like to refer colleagues to the Terry The Tennisball Wiki by students of Grade 3-4 in Geelong in a fellow called Mr Pearce’s class. To my mind this wiki is in essence like a mini Choose Your Own Adventure story.
The CYOB format for storytelling is an engaging writing and reading literacy tool at teachers disposal. Students with iPods may be interested in downloading a free version of a story called ‘The Abominable Snowman’ from this website.

You head to the Himalaya in search of the mythical abominable snowman. But when your climbing partner Carlos goes missing, public health your search takes a very different turn.
* Read by series author and founder R. A. Montgomery
* Original text (116 pages)
* Exciting full color illustrations & sound effects
* Windows & Mac iPod compatible

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Apple Can’t Wait For Bureaucracy

AirPort ExtremeThe new Airport Extreme is something that all schools who are using wireless networks have craved for. One of the biggest issues in schools, website like this are classes of students in a small area accessing the network through just a couple of wireless access points. If students are logging onto a server this can be extremely slow due to the lack of throughput (data transfer) from a lmited wireless bandwidth. A compromise is always needed to improve the connection such as having local logins rather than server homes, cough or making a specific computer image to make the best use of the network that is often going against what you are trying to achieve with technology, view reducing what is copied to the server in the case of OSX server, you can choose which folders are sychronised while Windows profiles are a different matter (if anyone wants more on this subject just make a comment).

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More educational software for iPod

IwriterAs more schools and students use iPods, pharmacist educators are adding to their repertoire of teaching strategies moving beyond just podcasts. Tools such as iWriter for creating learning programs and iLingo for language translation are specifically being written for these devices. A current sourceforge called Encyclopodia project allows iPod users to download and browse Wikipedia on your iPod. While the interface screenshots look a little naff, read more it is interesting for the simple fact that the worlds largest and most dynamic user generated encyclopedia can now be carried around in ones pocket!

Encyclopodia is a free software project that brings the Wikipedia, rubella which is one of the largest encyclopedias in the world, to the Apple iPod. Encyclopodia can be installed on iPod genarations one to four, as well as on iPod Minis and Photo iPods.

This may be the closest we’ve come yet to the Hitchhikers Guide. Weighing in at a >800mb download the Wikipedia eBook carries with it some heavy issues like bias and source reliability. However, with appropriate critical literacy skills students of all ages will continue to find Wikipedia a good starting point in their research. Even Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales warns against it’s use as the be-all-and-end-all resource in educational settings:

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