A more balanced view of the MacBook Pro The MacBook Pro, My Mid-Life-Crisis Laptop. I got one at the turn of the year and love it. Hope it lasts nearly as long as the 2008 MacBook it replaces.
iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.
Worth noting, although these are free already on new devices. This will help classes like mine whose iOS devices are on their second Apple ID.
Also good for distributing through MDM, which seems to be the idea.
Basically because they were the first computers I use. In addition I’ve years worth of shortcuts, kludge and scripts that help my workflow.
But I’ve often discussed this with other educators and often suggested that macs are cheaper. This is usually scoffed at, not too surprising given the shelf price. They do last a long time though.
I was pretty disappointed when North Lanarkshire decided to mostly switch away from macs a couple of years ago.
I saw this in my feed reader today:
IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they’re also three times more expensive. That’s right, depending on the model, IBM is saving anywhere from $273 – $543 per Mac compared to a PC, over a four-year lifespan
Debate over: IBM confirms that Macs are $535 less expensive than PCs | Jamf
The range is a little less impressive than the headline but enough to keep me on the mac track for my next purchase.
featured image: my own. Color Classic, run through some filtering app long enough ago so that I’ve forgotten.
TL:DR or Highlights
- A chat with Jenni Robertson about meraki and VPP
- John Hurst’s talk, a flavour of which is in this boo: Audioboo / An open approach to web filters
- Ian Wilson‘s demo bossjock
- OscarStringer: making iMovie title screens with Explain Everything
- Joe Moretti Showbie, looks like the best thing on the iPad for handing out and gathering in work from pupils.
- Dalry Primary School
I’ve spent the last couple of days at Dalry Primary School for the Apple Regional Training Centre Conference. I’ve been to two or three ADE events but this was my first RTC.
Apart from the obvious focus on pedagogy and learning other than tech, the main subject was the iPad, not much about macs other than as content creators, iBook Author, for the iPads.
The school itself was a pretty amazing building. The school is a ‘flagship’ building and worth looking at inside and out (pictures here).
The first day consisted of a series of half hour presentations, the stand outs, for me, were:
- Jenni Robertson from Edinburgh talking about how they delivered courses on the other side of Scotland. Afterwards, in conversation, Jenni explained how they use Meraki and volume purchasing . some of the North Lanarkshire schools already use Meraki, but Jenni had a good model for covering a whole authority. They way Edinburgh has accessed VPP sounds as if it might be possible in other LAs too.
- Torstan B Stauch, demoed AppShed which allows you to Build HTML5, iPhone and Android apps online for schools, education and business, and looks like it is worth following up.
- John Hurst HT of Lever House Primary School tyalked about his schools approach to education, having taken control of their networking from the LA without Going Academy; risk assessment, outdoor fun, starting fires, getting mud between your toes and more. This was a great presentation and I managed to get a quick audioboo with John later for edutalk talking about filters:
We hope to have John as a guest on Radio #EDUtalk next session.
- Babar Baig and Kim Byrding talked about an app WriteReader, but their Danish approach to getting very young children to record their activities was fascinating. A combination of taking photos and have a go writing was great.
Ian Wilson, Mark Bunyan and Mike Watson gave a quick fire Golden Nuggets section with some great app suggestions and ideas for using them.
Many of these are captured on twitter, and I’ve bundled a lot of the tweets I made or liked during the first day into Storify #AppleRTC Thursday 13 June 2013..
One of the most interesting was Ian Wilson‘s demo of bossjock, I’d looked at that before but turned it down due to price. If I had a class I’d buy it in an instant now. Really good for audio storytelling with sound effects.
Another goodie was sent to me from my NLC colleague Ian, PULP-O-MIZER: the custom pulp magazine cover generator with which I knocked up a quick cover(works on an ipad) in a couple of minutes and tweeted as a golden nugget.
This last activity was the only audience participation in the first day via twitter. This would be my only criticism, given that one of the themes was: Conversations, collaboration and community, a semi-formalised sharing for all participants, would I am sure, have produced some interesting stuff. But there is only some much time and almost everything we heard was of value, a good day.
Most of day two was spent in three different workshop sessions, in order I took them:
Oscar Stringer covered the workflow for Keynote to Explain Everything to iMovie and iBooks Author.
One great tip was to use Explain Everything to create, credit or the end animations for import into iMovie, dead simple and very effective, this example took about 2 minutes to make
Although I used iBook Author a bit last year it was nice to have a refresh of the basics and to hear the answer to our problem of importing books over Wifi to ipad: don’t make the books so big. iTunes U would seem to be the way to go, splitting the books up into chapters. The guy siting next to me in the session had a nice example of this.
We also saw a new version of wallwisher, Padlet which works really well on the iPad for classroom collaboration.
Next Dalry Primary HT Maureen Denningberg talked to the, mostly english, attendees giving an overview of Scottish Education and CfE. A few english folk now seem to be looking for a job in Scotland.
We then were allowed to tour the school and chat to the pupils. Given the unique design of the school and the integration of technology I think the pupils are used to this. There are some interesting reviews on the school website.
My final workshop of the day was with Joe Moretti. After a discussion of how to introduce iPads to staff, most of the session was dedicated to Showbie which badges itself Assignment workflow for iPad. This was the best piece of information I got in the whole show. Joe went through the basic features of the app, giving us the chance to act as pupils. We:
- Joined a Class
- Received Tasks
- Submitted work (from any app that can use ‘open in’ or from the camera roll, camera or via direct text or audio)
- Got feedback, in lots of different ways, stand out was by the teacher recording direct audio. how quick and easy it that!
All this with the free version of Showbie which the devs have assured us will always be around and keep at least the same feature set. Although nothing lasts forever 1, showbie takes so little effort to set up for such valuable results it would be daft not to use it if you have a few ipads in class.
Joe has an iPad app Teaching With ICT which covers Essential Settings, Book Creator, Showbie, Pages, Explain Everything, Puppet Pals and iFiles. This would be a good starter selection for any classroom, based on this session would be well worth getting. I’ve certainly bought it as a thank you for the intro to Showbie.
After the piratebox’s first non appearance, I was hoping that here might be an opportunity to give it a wee go. A previous ADE conference I had attended made me think the Golden Nugget session would be a bit like TeachMeet nano presentations so I packed the box. Turned out this was not so.
I must not have been inviting enough, or there was more interest official stuff going on or perhaps apple fans lack a pirate attitude? My only disappointment of the two days. I did see the lights on the box flicker a connection or two, but no one uploaded anything or left a note in the chat. I still hope that the pirate box will one day sail distributing and gathering booty. I am also wondering about using it to distribute content, say iBooks to a class without slowing the main network down.
There was also a fair bit of information on the Apple Regional Training Centres setup and it was good to clap eyes on the folk supporting the program and find out what is going on in other centres.
An introduction to Apple’s Hypercard. Guests include Apple Fellow and Hypercard creator Bill Atkinson, Hypercard senior engineer Dan Winkler, author of “The Complete Hypercard Handbook” Danny Goodman, and Robert Stein, Publisher of Voyager Company. Demonstrations include Hypercard 1.0, Complete Car Cost Guide, Focal Point, Laserstacks, and National Galllery of Art. Originally broadcast in 1987.
HyperCard: One of my favourite things.
At the weekend I was down at the ADE conference in Liverpool. I drove (was driven down) on Saturday morning with Ian and Ann, colleagues from North Lan.
Saturday kicked off with an intro by Jim Elder, a side screen was displaying Adecon09 – twazzup and we were encouraged to tweet during the conference. Jim handed over to apple’s John Hickey do gave the Key Education Message from Apple. He touched on a lot of things, the challenges and changes facing Education, not surprisingly his slides were minimal and powerful/ He touched on the fact that many aspects of apple design were driven or suited to the Education market before going on to talk about he changes in Education, and the need for thinking ahead and being ready for change. The demand for skills has changes, learners now need creativity and innovation and to be able to communicate and collaborate.
John spoke about the skills and standards of young people showing a 10 year old video blogger with bags of confidence and editing skills. He spoke about how you people understand elements of video editing and demnmand a certain standard from themselves. I am not sure this holds for all the learners I know, just as a good reader may not be a writer, a consumer of film may not know or understand much about editing. Some of the tweeters were sad that books were losing out as a source of information. I was struck with the parallels with what Derek Robertson spoke about at the Scottish Learning Festival (blogged) and I am still of the opinion that there is a place for all types of communication.
After lunch we broke into ‘stage’ groups to discuss the mornings presentations and look at the ADE online community. Later in the afternoon there was the “The Golden Nugget” session, we again broke into groups and everyone had a chance to talk about some piece of tech or learning for 3 minutes, the groups voted and the best were shown to the whole conference, a light-hearted vote lead to he winner getting a new nano. My group saw some nice things, geo tagging from Adam Burt, comic life as frames for picture in picture movies, and a lovely wee tip for getting 4 frame animated gifs out of Photobooth. I talked about SLFtalk and posterous which Ian described as very interesting but completely incomprehensible, so I guess I might have gone a little quickly. The overall winner showed an iphone game SmackTalk which seemed to make a gunnipig talk:
SmackTalk! is a voice-altering app that features an animated guinea pig, puppy, kitten, and chihuahua that repeat what you say in high-pitched Squeaky voices, or low-pitched Freaky voices
I’ve been gathering links to some of the nuggets from other rooms from the twitter feed, but I hope someone in each room collected them and will share it.
Although the competition was good fun I am not sure if I like that or the splitting up of the groups to different rooms as much as all in together. I am sure I’ve missed some great ideas.
This is a twitter search to get all the links: #adecon09 since:2009-10-02 until:2009-10-05 filter:links – Twitter Search from the conference tweets.
Saturday evening was dinner and karaoke, hard to speak, but I had a few interesting discussions, including one with arch geotagger Adam Burt who kindly handed me som interesting apple scripts.
On Sunday John Hickey was back on stage, now talking about Snow Leopard Server. This was really interesting, I’ve recently started using Leopard Wiki server (here and ICT & TS Podcast) and was keen to find out what was new. Quite a lot as it turns out.
Wiki Server 2 has had quite a few features added, it is now optimised for iphone/touch which fits well with the mobile anywhere/anytime learning message we are getting. The other big feature is the addition of QuickLook. If you have a mac with leopard or snow leopard you are probably used to Quicklook, select a file in the finder and hit the spacebar, you get a preview of the document, many formats are supported including MS doc, powerpoint, movie, audio, images and most apple app files. When this was announce I though it would just be some sort of lightbox effect for images, but was surprised to find out it will let users with a recent browser preview all sorts of files including MS documents even if they do not have a copy of the application need to open the file.
Podcast Producer 2, podcast producer is a server setup to process media and post it to podcasts on a wiki server in all sorts of interesting ways. It can add an introduction to movies, process media for different platforms, submit to itunes and more. Mac come with an application Podcast Capture for submitting, or recording and submitting, media to Podcast Producer. Podcast Capture now has a web version allowing Windows pcs to submit podcasts to the server.. Podcast Producer is controlled by xml workflows, I did a bit of editing and modifying these at a very simple level and struggled quite a bit. Podcast Producer 2 now comes with a Visual workflow creator, no more xml.
Finally we heard from Bill Rankin and George Saltsman of Abilene Christian University in Texas. They took us through some changes in learning and distribution of information, Miles Berry summarised nicely on twitter:
#adecon09 Problem in the middle ages was accessing information, problem in the print age was finding information. Problem now filtering?
They then explained that ACU provides iphone or ipod touch to all freshmans in 2009. iPhone_first – Abilene Christian University. They had a lot of analysis to show the positive effects of the devices so far and showed their mobile platform: ACU provides iphone or ipod touch to all freshmans 2009. They provide a web based app: ACU
This was a really exciting presentation and I’ve not really started to digest all of the information of which there is a lot online: ACU Connected: Mobile Learning. I believe that the slides, which were beautiful as well as informative will be made available.
That pretty much wrapped up the conference, the major drawback being the fact that I didn’t have enough conversations, looking back over the twitter stream I realise I missed a lot of chances, next time I’ll take another body.
As well as twittering I published ADE Conference photos, Ade conference 1 (audio) and ADEcon09 Sunday (audio too) on my posterous. Im using adecon09 as a tag on Delicious, hopefully others will too. I am following the tags on various services.