These past two months have been complicated with job interviews, conferences, clients, and iOS7 application development, and I missed the mark in regards to writing on a weekly basis. In efforts to sincerely apologize, I want to give you an easy list of top ten current thoughts for the past two months this Spring of 2014. This is for my dedicated readers of this blog and other educational technology enthusiasts. As always this list is full of my professional observations and opinions.
1. Windows 8.1 computers that are purchased at Costco are a great choice to recommend as they have been well-tested. I have set up two of these computers recently for clients. One was an HP All in One, and the other was an HP Laptop. Clients were satisfied with price, functionality, and touch screen.
2. Based upon years of experience, I believe that Apple Computer products in schools will run more efficiently with less need for maintenance than a PC Environment. While I believe in great computers whether PC or MAC, I believe there will be less cost on maintenance and repair in an Apple campus, and I believe those savings will outweigh the initial startup costs of Apple products. Students, Faculty, Parents, and Support Staff are usually happier too as they can spend more time on the creative learning and application to subject matter.
3. I had the pleasure of testing Lenovo laptops at a recent conference, and they are well worth considering for PC users and PC organizations. Look at the Lenovo Yoga and the Lenovo Thinkpad series. I don’t believe they are sold at Costco, but they have great deals for educators at their site. If you have never heard of Lenovo then just remember that it is the old IBM brand.
4. 3D printing has great applications to the modern classroom for science, mathematics, architecture, and sculpting. I would suggest that schools invest in a 3D printer and that they find ways to use it in their curriculum.
5. Blogging is here to stay, and it is a great record for student portfolios. They can be made private, public, or in combinations to be shared with educators, scholarship advisers, donors, admissions representatives, and select users if privacy is a concern.
6. I hope you have heard of Google Apps for education, and I hope you have explored Outlook.com and One Drive from Microsoft. Both of these organizations are offering a great way to create, store, access anywhere, and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. There are free versions for individuals and better free versions for educational communities. Most people who are familiar with MS Office will be happy with One Drive.
7. Robotics is a great program to support, teach, and advise, and students can participate in competitions with big rewards. Get Started Today!
8. Computer programming jobs will continue to be available in the future as hardware technologies improve and as consumers demand the ease of product usage. Why we don’t teach more computer programming in our schools is beyond my comprehension. The students with computer programming backgrounds will be able to develop their ideas into prototypes in the future that will bring about new business for the US and the world.
9. I am still going to have a shameless plug for Zoombla, a math app for ages 8 and above. It is definitely not Zombie Math, but it will definitely force students to use and practice math skills. It also encourages face to face competition so that students are still communicating and using real time social skills in the classroom. Zoombla – Matt Moore
10. An entire generation uses facetime, skype, and gaming devices such as the Xbox and Wii to video conference daily, yet I still see a lot of schools not using video conferencing for educational purposes. Teachers should reach out to real time meetings with subject matter experts, authors, universities, and or other schools in distant locations. Why not? Isn’t collaboration a 21st century skill?
Have a great Spring! Perhaps I will find time to elaborate in the future. As always I appreciate your comments, suggestions, and advice.