Why I still want MS and HS to have a Laptop

Why I still want MS and HS to have a Laptop

I received a tweet a couple days ago asking why I still believed laptops, in this case MacBooks, are the right choice for middle school and high school students. @jutecht Why did you select iPads for the primary and MacBook Pros for Middle and Hi? I’d love to hear your strategy! @cindybrock — Bradford G. Saron (@bradfordgs) January 26, 2012 Now before I begin, let me state that I firmly believe a 1:1 (one computer per student) program no matter what the connected device (device connected to the Internet) is better than no 1:1 program at all. If a school can only afford an iPad for ever student then that’s the best choice. However, many schools, especially here internationally and private schools in the states, have the option to buy either an iPad or a MacBook and for them I am recommending MacBooks for Middle School and High School 1:1 programs. Consumption vs Creation by umpcportal.com At the end of the day the iPad is designed for the consumption of information. This is not the shift I’m looking for in education. Yes…you can create some things on the iPad but it doesn’t take long to max out the iPad’s creative potential. I am not talking creating music, or taking a video. I’m talking the mashup of videos from different sources, the creation of music from different sources as well as the programs and apps I want students to be creating today. Apple sees the iPad as a consumption device, and it does a really really good job of it, giving the consumer a beautiful interface to consume through. Apple’s latest announcement where they unveiled iBook Author I think just makes this point stronger. You create the textbook, or any book for that matter, on the computer and you consume the information on the iPad. As much as I want digital textbooks, what I really want is students to create their own books. For middle school and high school students I want them creating sophisticated projects, I want them collaborating, like I’m doing today on a Google Doc using the built in chat feature. I want them making apps, videos, and music…not the kind that get a couple views, but the kind that go viral. If you want to plan for the future by torres21 Now if you really want to plan for the future, and by that I mean...

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A 5 country brain dump

I find myself sitting here in Kota Kinabaul, Malaysisa reflecting on what has been a 5 country, I don’t know how many presentation, month. From Bahrain to Iowa with Asia and Australia in between, it’s been an amazing month of travel and I find myself thinking and reflecting on all I’ve been talking about and learning along the way. So here’s my brain dump of themes that keep emerging for me: The future is mobile Whether in the heartland of America, or the deserts of the Middle East and Africa, moble phones are the future of connectivity. We’re also seeing this with Apple’s iPad and the ability to connect to a 3G connection. My guess….every mobile device in 3 years will have the built in ability to connect via a celluar network. We’re already doing this, but it will just become part of the hardware of every mobile device. What this will do to/for places like Africa and a large part of the developing word I can only imagine…….but it excites me. Society expects us to be connected I’ve been preaching this everywhere this month as it came out of the TED Talk I did back in September. i think we need to stop making excuses for all of us spending to much time connected and just realize this is now the world we live in. Once we own this fact then we can start having some deep discussions around how do we teach in this new society, how do we communicate, and how do we live in a world that is constantly connected? We continue to have conversations about being “balanced” and I agree that we need to find ways to get off the computer and get reconnected with nature. But balance in the term of 50/50 is not going to happen and it hasn’t been that way for a long time. TVs are in our homes, gaming systems have been around now for 30 years, and we all have a cell phone or soon will. We are now in a time where being connected is the norm and being disconnected is not. We need to make this shift in our thinking. We need to consiously think about disconnecting, taking trips with no connective devices, which goes again societies rules right now and that’s what makes it difficult. A goal of every family should be to take 1...

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SIM Unlocked iPhone now works on AT&T GoPhone Plans

Update: This same process works for iOS 4.2.1 the latest version for the iPhone Finally….after 3 years of searching for a good plan that short timers that come to the US for business or pleasure can use with their iPhone and take advantage of all it has to offer is here. Now…of course they don’t make it straight forward as in purchase a SIM Card, drop it in the phone and you’re good to go. No, that would be to easy for the good old phone companies of the USA. They need to make it a little more difficult than that, but it’s not too bad. First let’s talk about the Pre-Paid Plan. In October of this year (2010) AT&T launched a new GoPhone service that finally makes sense for short time visitors to use their service while in the US. Their new $2 a day plan for unlimited talk and text is a great deal. Basically as soon as you make or receive a call you are charged $2. But then the rest of the day you can call or text as much as you want for that $2. There is also a Pre-Paid monthly plan for $60 ($2×30)…which is basically the same. But if there is a day you don’t use your phone on the $2 plan then you come out ahead. Here’s the break down in the new Pre-Paid plans as of October 2010 (download full brochure here): Now, for those traveling for a short time in the states like I do this works out great. Not the cheapest in the world…but after crunching some numbers it is actually going to be cheaper than my wife’s Pre-Paid plan with T-Mobile that she pays per-minute on. So Step 1 is to walk into a AT&T store and ask for a GoPhone Plan. You can put money on your account based on how long you plan to stay in the US. Here are the different options: Now I chose to put $100 on my phone and push it out to a year so that I can keep the same phone number year after year…which is what I’ve been looking for. So I have $100 to spend between now and Oct. of 2012….on the $2/day plan that’s basically 50 days in the next year I have to be in the States. Seeing that I spend a minimum of 60...

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Do you support People or Platforms?

As I sit here in my hotel room an hour away from starting my official Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) training this question keeps popping into my head. Do you support People or Platforms? It’s an interesting question…that I continue to reflect on. We all have strengths and weaknesses in the computer programs/platforms that we know. But do we some time support the platform rather than the people? Is there a difference? Can you support people without supporting a platform? Just some questions that are running through my head as I start my 5 day training on everything...

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The iPad: Not the Right Product for Education

I’ve been reflecting the last couple days on Apple’s new iPad. The product that, before it’s announcement, some had claim would revolutionize education. If it does…..it will be a shock to me. I have nothing against Apple (I’m typing on a MacBook that I love), I just think this piece of hardware is not what we need in education. I had high hopes for this new piece of technology. Enough to stay up until 3am on a school night to watch the live announcement. Throughout the keynote, I was waiting to be wowed by something new, something different, something that would allow me to produce content in a new way. But it didn’t come. Leading up to the keynote I was watching TWIT.TV and their coverage. I don’t remember who said it, but one of the host said something to the effect of: “It will be interesting to see what they come out with, when you start with the questions ‘How do we allow people to consumer media?'” It’s a great question and I think the iPad nails that question on the head. If you want a new way to consume information, it’s a great piece of technology that allows you to do that. We already have ways to consumer information in education. Consuming information has never been our issue. What we need help with is teaching students how to become producers of information and knowledge. I wrote about this almost two years ago in a post titled “Moving from Consumers to Producers of Information” and have created a presentation that I give by the same name that has been well received. I have no doubt that the iPad is a great consumer device, but I want my students to be able to produce videos podcasts and blog posts. I want them to be able to edit wikis with full editing features (Safari browser does not support many WYSIWYG Editors….including the one built in Moodle…an online course program used by a lot of schools). I want my students to becoming producers of knowledge not just consumers of it. We already have ways in which we consume information that work….I think…pretty well. Apple’s own iPad website states: The best way to experience the web, email, photos, and videos. That might be so, but what’s the best way to create web pages, emails, photos, and videos. That’s the device I want....

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