June Gloom is Ending

My dear friends in the Los Angeles area refer to the the seasonal incoming of the clouds as a “June Gloom“, but I think it deserves another name as this meteorlogical phenomenon really shields us from the intense sun and heat of the summer hot months which are quickly approaching.  July and August can scortch the goodness out of any creature if you stay out too long without sunscreen, water, and a ball cap; and therefore, I am looking to rename this cloud layer as I believe it produces more than gloom for us Southern Californians.  I dont’ have a name yet, but I would appreciate some suggestions such as the June Shield or the Fun Fog.So for an update on the last entry about fed apps for a smart phone, I have to admit that I really did not find the Library of Congress app of much interest or use to me because it provides only general information and really does not have the interactive attraction of our most popular apps.  In fact, I am beginning to get concerned about how the actual term app is being used among smart phone users.  The term app which is an abbreviation of the computer science term application is supposed to provide some form of functionality and not just show the web which itself is a web application.

I believe that an app should definitely not “reinvent the wheel” by showing the same information that I can already get from my mozilla opera browser.  An app needs to engage someone with some sort of application rather than presenting, redistributing, or giving information.  Yes, those are the easiest apps to design and create, and that is why both the Android markets and the Iphone apps downloads are inundated with apps that really don’t do anything.  Engaging apps that keep users involded such as Words with friends or Google Sky can really keep those users invested in the application and searching for new interactions and updates.

And therefore, this leads me to an answer to a question recently posed to me about educational technology.  How do I envision technology in education?  While a difficult question to answer, I do understand the importance.  I think it is time to apply technology to education in more than just a presenting, redistributing, or giving of information.  We need to create learning spaces that allow students to create, design, develop, test, debug, evaluate, and do over again.  Just like we need great apps for our phones that engage us we need to develop learning spaces that allow our students to be engaged in the above actions.

By the way, this is happenning at the Archer School for Girls in Brentwood, CA and the Chandler School in Pasadena, CA.  Thank you very much for welcoming me into your schools and showing me excellent examples of technology in education.

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