Archive for the Mobile Learning Category

Blogging with my IPhone

Posted in Mobile Learning on May 30, 2011 by Mister A
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Adam got a homer

I am trying to do a blog post from my iphone. I find it hard, though, to type in a non sideways keyboard. I just haven’t had much time for blogging lately as you can see from the picture below…I spend a lot of time at baseball games.

My son, Adam, knocked that ball over the fence for his first ever real homerun. It was very cool. I think blogging is important for me and maybe this wordpress app will help. And I just figured out how to turn the keyboard sideways.

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Blogging My Way Through a Construction Zone

Posted in Educational, Mobile Learning, Prime Number Posts, Vacation with tags , , on October 15, 2009 by Mister A

The only time I have time for blogging any more is when I am driving on a highway, flying on a plane, or riding on a bus.  I just started a new teaching position as a gifted and talented specialist and I feel as if I haven’t got a clue what I am doing.  I think everyone should feel like that once in a while because I believe that is when real learning occurs.

My last post was about microblogging in the classroom and my students have been doing just that during this quarter of school.  We are using a tool called Shout.em which is very similar to Edmodo.  Some of the kids really “get” microblogging and are asking questions, sharing information, making connections, and getting to know one another in a new way.  Other students are not sure and some see it as a big waste of time.  There is an old saying that goes something like this:

“Contempt prior to investigation will lead a man to everlasting ignorance.”

This attitude seems pervasive with people who do not see the purpose behind the connected learning applications like shout em, moodlechat, Quest Atlantis, Second Life, Reaction Grid, etherpad, etc. can provide.  I am finding that the students who investigate with an open mind, in most cases, find the purpose behind connected, anywhere, anytime learning applications and begin utilizing them to enhance their own learning.  When email, fax machines, telephones, automobiles, nose hair trimmers, and toasters were first introduced many people didn’t see their purpose either…until they decided to investigate them with an open mind.

Blogging from Joanie’s Minivan

Posted in classroom tools, Educational, Mobile Learning, Vacation on August 1, 2009 by Mister A

Seems like the only time I blog anymore is from a fast moving vehicle.  I guess if I am not sitting in a car or a plane traveling to a new destination…I would just as soon be on my bicycle riding up a hill.  I am in my car with my wife and two sons heading to Lincoln City, Oregon to spend some time with Joanie’s family.  Her parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary…so I thought I had better go.

Picture 4On my last trip out here to moodlebootcamp, several teacher friends told me about this game/activity called geocaching.  They explained it to me and it sounded very cool.  Geocachers search all over the place for hidden treasures called geocaches.  The coordinates of each Cache are loaded on Geocaching.com and you can actually load them on your Ipod or Iphone with their application.  There are several different types of Geocaches, but I have only found one kind so far.  When you find the cache, there is a notebook inside for you to sign that says you found it.  When you return home you can log your find, or non-find in some cases, on the Geocaching.com website.  Some of the Geocaches are far more well hidden than others, but actually finding the geocache is really quite rewarding.  It could be compared to completing a difficult and arduous quest in World of Warcraft.

Geocache at Hidden Lake

Geocache at Hidden Lake

When I went to the Geocache.com web site, it was boggling to my mind how many geocaches were placed around my hometown.  I investigated a little further and found that people place them at the end of terribly long and strenuous hikes…but man…those hikes have some kind of a view.  We went for a family hike earlier this week and found a very beautiful mountain lake with a geocache hidden in some rocks right next to it.  There was one other cache up there that I did not have time to hike up to…but I know I will go back again for that one.  Our district just purchased several GPS devices for teachers to begin using and geocaching will be an excellent way to incorporate those devices into my classroom.  I found an excellent blog that was entirely about classroom uses of Geocaching if anyone is interested in ways to utilize this awesome technology in their own classroom.  This blog contains an excellent video that describes in far more detail exactly what geocaching is if my description was not enough.

On a personal note, We are going to hike up to Multnomah Falls on our way to the coast tomorrow.  I found four Geocaches on Geocaching.com and uploaded them onto my GPS device.  My two boys, joanie, and I are going to do some geocaching before we head to the beach.

Blogging on a bus 2

Posted in Educational, Mobile Learning on July 23, 2009 by Mister A

I recently purchased a wireless card from Verizon and let me tell you, it has totally increased my ability to learn on an anytime, anywhere basis.  I spent several hours on a bus to and from a workshop called Moodlebootcamp at a place called Pack Forest near Eatonville, WA.  It is the most productive traveling I have ever done.  On the way there, I wrote two blog posts, re-connected with numerous twitter and plurk friends, tweeked several Moodle Tasks I have been working on in a course I am creating, and I even played a little World of Warcraft.  On the way home I continued customizing Moodle tasks and started planning a workshop I hope to conduct in the fall.

Blue Acer

Blue Acer

I am writing this blog post an Acer Aspire One Netbook that costs less than $300.00usd.  I believe similar machines will soon cost under $200.00usd.  My wireless card is a little pricey, but I would gladly pay the amount I am paying to get productive things done at times when in the past, productivity was impossible.  I beginning to truly love my time writing in and posting to my blog anytime I want…even as I move across three states coming to and from a workshop.  Learning anytime, anywhere, anything will only become increasingly possible as we continue moving through this century.  The ability to learn in a mobile way will only become more efficient and inexpensive over the next few years for our students.

Are we ready to let our kids take advantage of these increasingly inexpensive technologies by allowing them to utilize mobile devices in and out of our classrooms for learning, sharing, and collaboration purposes?  According to many of the teachers I know, we are not.  Mobile devices and the communication they produce are nothing more than a distraction to the learning process is what many teachers I know profess.  Perhaps we should be teaching them HOW to utilize those devices as learning tools instead of forbidding students from having them anywhere near our classrooms.