iOS5 and ATV – A game changer?
If you are not an Apple fan then, with the iOS 5 update and if you have an Apple TV with the latest iOS update for it installed, you can mirror the iPad 2 screen wirelessly on the projector. There are a few things you need to sort out before you are able to do this since most projector in the classroom are not HDMI compatible.
How does this change the game?
Firstly, it tackles the issue which has been at the heart of education for decades, breaking down the hierarchical structure. Now, there is no need for anyone to be at the front of the classroom. Students and teachers alike can share and learn together! Sharples (2002) speculates ‘the tensions between personal technology and institutional education will increase as students breach the sealed world of the classroom by bringing in computers that are capable of communicating with the internet’ (p. 6). What Sharples (2002) here is talking about is the change brought about by students and their interaction with and use if different technologies and tools, which blurs the formal and informal learning context. While this change is driven by students and their use of the tools, can a similar change in the classroom be driven by replacing the primitive technologies that exist and are conducive to traditional learning and teaching paradigms? I argue, it is capable of ‘flipping the classroom’ given the right technological and pedagogical support is provided to the staff and students involved. The affordance of new technologies like ATV, iOS screen mirroring and AirPlay offer more opportunities than the whiteboard or the projector combined.
I am not arguing that technology itself is capable of driving change in the learning process rather the need to be creative and imaginative with these tools accompanied by the right pedagogy. The need to peak outside the ‘box’ and explore what else is possible, to try something different, to be able to think and conceptualise something that does not resemble the practice which is decades old. Something we all know is in a desperate need for change for the betterment of our learners and their/our future.
Some pictures from the event: https://picasaweb.google.com/vickel.narayan/Kaleidoscope
Have to say it was great fun being involved with the iPad session but draining at the same time!
Let’s call it Web Surfing 2.0 – the old way was browsing the net using a web browser, FireFox, Internet explorer, Opera, Safari etc. The browser was the portable to accessing information. Apps on the App store for the iPhone do the same but each service have there own version and with customisable options. You select the services you want delivered when you open the application on your iOS device. It has a more personal touch to what a browser can deliver. NZ Herald have an app for the iPad, TVNZ also have an app for portable Apple products. Will this change the way we have browsed the web since its invention, only time will tell. Portable devices have replaced desktop and laptops as the leader when it comes to accessing the web according to recent research done in USA.
Given the limitation of the browse on the iPad and other portable Apple products these apps allow the user more capabilities, for example Google Docs doesn’t function properly using iOS version of Safari but other Apps like Documents on the Go, Connect etc allow you to edit and create documents. Similarly blogging has always been seen as a primarily web based event because of browser capabilities on the iPad, blogging using the browse is not possible hence Apps like iBlog, Blogit, TypePad etc enables the user to perform these actions. Moblogging (Mobile blogging) is also gaining momentum, you compose a message and flick it to your unique Moblogging email address and your blogging platform does the rest. Portable Mobile devices are changing the way we have done things, enhancing the experience and delivering a more personalised experience.
In the project above we have selected Douments 2 for accessing Documents hosted on Google so enables the user to upload to Google from iPad. Documents 2 delivers functions like font formating (bold, italics, underline etc) and basic calculations while using Spreadsheet.
Buzz Buzz is an app for buzzing – service similar to Twitter – Google version of it. It takes Twitter a step further by allowing users to share pictures, videos, links etc and it is treated as a conversation unlike Twitter which treats every post as an individual blurb. Connecting Blogger to Buzz will automatically posts updates on Buzz hence people following you can quickly see what you been up to, for students it makes a huge difference – collaborative learning.
Okay so in brief this is the story …… I have an iPhone, iPad, a Netbook (Dell mini 9), MacBook Pro and and Mac Mini ….you would ask where do I use all this technology and what for:
So where does the iDock concept fit in the already long list of things at home and work?
Well the iDock is to solve the problem. The new iPhone 4 comes with a A4 processor (1GHz speed), 512MB RAM …… well if this is the way than future phones will be much faster with bigger RAM meaning almost as powerful as a normal desktop or a laptop or even faster …… let’s put it this way, there is more potential …. the number of apps on Apple store for iPhone is growing at an exponential rate … not just growing but growing with more features enabling the ability to do more on a cellphone. For example things possible on an iPhone: editing Videos, Audio, Pictures, Edit/Create Documents (excel, ppt, word an more), eMails, web browsing, entertainment (high end graphics better than same desktop and laptop games, geo-tagging, and more)
The iPhone (or other smartphones) will have the capability to perform complex and big tasks almost the same as a computer …… the iDock concept does what a docking station for a laptop does …. provides more power and ability such as USB ports, monitor out, printer port etc. The iDock will do the same and in doing so convert the iPhone into a desktop computer …. better, it allows the user to carry important documents and data on the phone and still have to power to do anything at anytime…… the iDock will provide a DVD drive, USB, Firewire and monitor out this of-course depends on Apple and other smartphone manufacturers to open the platform and upgrade the hardware in future handsets to allow these capabilities …… it’s not that we don’t have the technology or ability it’s more that we need time and perhaps vision from leading phone manufacturers to take this further.
How it will work?
Dock your iPhone on the iDock and away you go. Plug in the peripheral devices you use for example, USB keyboard, an external monitor and perhaps an external harddrive. The iDock is a dumb unit (meaning it has no operating system), the iPhone and the apps on the iPhone is the main unit. Although the iDock may have RAM and a processor to ease the load on the iPhone processor, it is to ‘enhance’ the ability on the iPhone. The apps on the iPhone are like apps you have on a desktop or laptop.
The way things are moving at the moment, you wouldn’t really need a huge processor to perform your tasks. Cloud computing is growing at the same rate as the smartphones are growing in power and ability perhaps leveraging off each others success and complementing each others strengths and weaknesses.
What is the future than?
The future is cloud computing and in mobile technology like smartphones. Ubiquitous computing – being everywhere and having the power of a computer and more in your hand.
I bought an iPad 3G in Singapore and have been using it for sometime now. Most of the free apps I was using on my iPhone cost money to use on the iPad :-(. This may change when iPads are available globally ……. my frustration still reminds with the limited browser capability on the iPad. I downloaded some paid apps that allows me to work around the limitations mainly being able to create/edit Google docs on the iPad. This however is a concern if we required students to use it. The 3G model gives me ability to run navigation apps. I found some apps I installed in Singapore really useful for moving around the city.
Here is a list of some apps I have on my iPad at the moment: