Tag Archive for iphone

iPhone HDR

I am very impressed with the new iPhone HDR feature. My phone now does automatically what Photoshop only recently gained the ability to do with manually captured photos.

Single image

HDR image

The best camera is the one you have!

Voice recognition still not yet there!

For how many years has it seemed that voice recognition was just about there? This year sees renewed interest in the software, especially for students who have graphomotor coordination issues. These students have difficulty getting the many ideas in their heads out onto paper or computer quickly enough.

Sometimes, the Dragon Dictation app for iPhone does pretty well. This time, it didn’t!

What it heard What I said
Alina’s Becky I figured out the problem with a smart card and science one turns out that it’s a setting in the displays preferences panel the gamma level which controls the blackness of the image I can set incorrectly so I will send you a how to Africa together but the good news is you can make the image look better just by taking a setting on your laptop talk to you soon. Bye-bye Aline and Becky,

I figured out the problem with the Smart Board in Science 1. Turns out that there is a setting in the Displays preferences panel — the gamma level — which controls the blackness of the image. It can be set incorrectly, so I will send you a how-to, or we can walk through it together, but the good news is you can make the image look better by changing a setting on your laptop.

Talk to you soon,


iPhone 4 First Impressions

I finally gave up my BlackBerry for an iPhone 4. I was perfectly happy with the BlackBerry for email, calendar, and taking photos but increasingly found myself in situations away from the office, during which a more capable device would have helped.

I had hoped that Android was equal to the iPhone, but reports of buggy early versions of ActiveSync and Facebook, compared to their mature iPhone counterparts, scared me off. Usability trumped joining an open app ecosystem.

BlackBerry just kept falling behind. For example, the community-contributed WordPress app required some arcane manual configuration on the phone, whereas the iPhone version Just Worked with only the blog URL!

The new device is fast, easy to use, and extremely capable. It’s a lot of fun, but I’m not getting carried away. Ultimately, it’s still a smartphone, and a computer is still far and away the most useful device.

Just two screens of apps so far! One pleasant surprise: the Comcast app provides fast access to voicemail messages and even DVR scheduling. Otherwise, my list of apps will look pretty familiar to iPhone veterans.

Phone reception has been flawless so far. I think we have it better here in Portland. Also, no “death grip” issues so far. That seems more like a juicy story for the press and a poorly handles PR moment for Apple than an actual issue for most users.

I ordered the phone through an AT&T store on Friday and received it on Wednesday.

Oh, and the iPhone costs me $40/month less than the BlackBerry, because it works without an enterprise server plan.

Post written entirely using WordPress for iPhone.

Never mind the toys

Oh, how many toys exist to consider.

Kindle! Nook! Reader!
iPhone! Droid! Nexus!
Ning! Twitter! Facebook!
Netbook! Apple tablet! XO tablet!
Smart Board! Active Board! Wiimote!
Google Apps! Chrome!

Education technology blogs appear obsessed with tracking the latest gadgets. Certainly, new product announcements provide a rich source of content for writers. It is easier to reflect on the latest company news and speculate on its effect on education than to consider the core question of education. How does one design rich learning opportunities that will make the greatest difference for students?

Face it: most of the devices above won’t make a bit of difference to teaching and learning. Let’s stop talking about the devices and start talking about students, teachers, and learning environments. I think Warlick has got it right. So does Larry Cuban. Tom Frizelle, too.

Some of our teachers have also got it right. Suspicious about education technology, they tend to shy away from trainings and conversations about computers in the classroom. It’s too bad, because ed tech professionals deserve our reputation for relentless optimism about new technologies. It’s up to us to sing a new tune: all about teaching and learning, all the time.

Let’s promote with our teachers only the technologies that show real promise and stick with them for at least a period of years. Focus on how a technology integrates with an existing, well-designed learning unit or activity. A little skepticism about new technologies may also help demonstrate our ability to think critically.

Forget the new toys. Let’s think deeply about our students, curriculum, and pedagogy.

The iPhone Paradox

I’ve had an iPod Touch for the last six months to get to know the iPhone OS and its legions of apps. Yes, the range of apps is extremely impressive. I downloaded these the other day. Here’s the rub, though. If I don’t regularly visit these sites on my computer, what’s the chance that I would visit them on an iPhone? When would I actually have an opportunity to do this?

iPhone vs. BlackBerry

Reading edutech blogs, one might think that the iPhone is the only mobile platform out there. As a happy BlackBerry user, I have resisted the urge to try out what is apparently the greatest device ever. Nonetheless, running a school tech department, I felt an obligation to at least try one out. Fortunately, we came into a free iPod Touch as a result of our annual, huge order from Apple.

ipod blackberry

Before you get too excited, let me state for the record that the iPhone is a more capable device than the Blackberry. It can do more (and do it better). Its graphics are superior, the screen is larger, and the glass keyboard isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The camera shoots better pictures, and you can watch TV shows on it. RSS and Twitter text is more readable and easier to navigate.

Now that we have got that out of the way (phew!), let us consider a different question. What functions do I need in my mobile device?

On my Blackberry, I run:

  1. Phone
  2. Mail
  3. Calendar
  4. Address book
  5. Notes
  6. Tasks
  7. GMail for a hosted domain
  8. Google Maps
  9. TwitterBerry
  10. Facebook
  11. Google News
  12. NewsGator Reader (RSS)
  13. Opera web browser
  14. Camera

In other words, I can interact with practically all of my information sources from this device. I can blog, twit, photo, and so on. I can pay attention to either work or personal mail, depending on the day of the week. I suppose I could play music, but ever since I shortened my commute to 5 min, I don’t need to. When consuming information, I prefer text to audio and video, or at most a page of text supplemented with other media.

I paid $0 for the Pearl with a new AT&T service contract.

Adding the handheld to our school BlackBerry Enterprise Server took about 5 minutes.

I recharge the battery every other day.

To download new BlackBerry applications, I typically just Google what I want and download it from the manufacturer’s web site (i.e., like any other download). Click Install, and I’ve got the application.

iPod Touch

I spent about 20 minutes trying to determine whether I could avoid registering the product with Apple and still download the 2.0 software update. I could not.

$9.95 for the software update for a device we just purchased? I couldn’t just pay the fee and download the software. I also had to create an iTunes Store account in order to pay the fee.

Applications are only available through Apple. That seems scary. Every installation requires my iTunes password, even for free products. Why?

Apple says that they now fully support mail for Exchange servers. Except that it doesn’t work for me. Microsoft Entourage can access our Exchange server great through HTTP. Why can’t this iPod?

If I want push email, we have to install an Exchange ActiveSync server. I doubt this is as simple as Apple’s diagram might suggest.


Let’s focus on teaching and learning

It’s easy to get seduced by all the gadgetry out there, but this takes time away from our main purpose of building capacity to support teaching and learning. I’ll stick with the BlackBerry (for now).

Consumer pressure on IT departments

Last week’s New York Times article titled “Blackberry’s Quest: Fend Off the iPhone” explained the pressure that the iPhone is placing on Research In Motion to add consumer-friendly features to new Blackberry devices. The following statement caught my eye, due to its implications for school laptop programs.

Indeed, R.I.M.’s allure to carriers and corporations may be irresistible and impossible for Apple to weaken, even if Apple improves iPhone security. But some analysts still wonder what will happen to the BlackBerry’s dominance when everyday consumers start driving growth in the smartphone market.

We have seen a similar pressure arrive here at school. Students choose their own laptop platform when they enter the high school. Historically, their choice mirrored their parents’ platform adoption: about two-thirds PC. Two years ago, the platforms drew even — 50/50 PC and Mac. Last year, 90% of students chose Macintosh.

Though we have understood for a while that Apple’s popularity has skyrocketed here, we have to this point limited our analysis to the computers’ “cool factor”, the iPod, the new acceptability of Mac to Intel parents, and the good Mac experiences these students have had in their earlier years. The Times article underscores a broader trend. Our experience with Apple may repeat itself in other areas as students and teachers apply their consumer experiences to their work at school. We may need to stay abreast of technology developments beyond the realm of business.

TiVo is another good example. Many teachers now expect a different interaction with television than before, thanks to the rise of DVR in the home. Now, we have two TiVo devices on campus, though we have had to learn how to operate them within a network environment, with its increased challenges.