Tag Archives: iphone

Uses of the iPhone/iPod/iPad in the Classroom

I came across a short presentation by Grace Poli from Union City High School on Slideshare.net. The presentaion focuses on practical ways for using the iPod Touch in class, but of courses the uses of all of Apple’s mobile devices are interchangeable most of the time since they have similar technical specifications.

Here are some highlights and resources from the presentation.

Resources and Ideas

  • Apple Learning Interchange – http://ali.apple.com
  • Learning in Hand – http://learninginhand.com
  • iPods in Education Webcast – http://macenterprise.org
  • iPods in Education: The Potential for Language Acquisition – http://e2t2.binghamton.edu/pdfs/ iPod_Lang_Acquisition_whitepaper.pdf

Unexpected Uses of the iPods


1. Train Doctors to Save Lives – American College of Cardiology indicates iPods are used to listen to recorded heart sounds to teach medical students how to better recognize different conditions 2. Bring Criminals to Justice – United States federal district court has started using iPods to hold copies of wiretap transmissions in a large drug-conspiracy case 3. Get Yourself Into Serious Shape – TrailRunner is a free program that helps you plan your route and then loads your iPods with maps, distances, and time goals

4. Tour Around Great Cities – iSubwayMaps lets you download subway maps from 24 major cities across the globe. They range from New York City, Paris, and Berlin to Moscow, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Audio tours of New York and Paris downloard Soundwalk narrated by a celebrity for $12.

5. Calculate the Right Tip – TipKalc helps you figure out the tip and grand total

6. Record Flight data – LoPresti Speed announced plans to use iPods as flight data recorders in light aircrafts (will have the ability to record over 500 hours of flight time data)

7. Throw a Meaner Curveball – Pitcher for the Houston Astros, started using video iPod to review pitching frame by frame to improved overall techniques 8. Learn Foreign Language – University students are using iPods to record lectures, take notes, and even create electronic flash cards 9. Memory Stick – save your Microsoft office files 10. Wikipedia – download one of the largest encyclopedias on your iPod (FREE)

More ideas from other practitioners can be found in the Apple Interchange Learning Community which I highlighted in a previous post.

Apple’s Mobile Devices and Education

Apple is known for supporting educational uses of its technologies.

On Apple Learning Interchange Community, for instance, teachers can find news and share lesson plans and ideas on different subjects.

Of course, Apple also supports the use of their mobile devices for learning, and here is their official website dedicated to just that: showcase different ways the iPhone/iPod Touch can be used to support Education.

“iPod touch and iPhone are perfect for on-the-go learning. But don’t let their small size fool you. These devices put thousands of apps and countless possibilities in your pocket.”

Also noteworthy is their website showcasing educational uses of the iPad. This website highlights features and uses such as:

  1. Web-ready apps (Safari, Mail, Maps)
  2. Multimedia access (music, videos, websites)
  3. Management apps (Calendar, Notes)
  4. iWork for document creation/editing (Pages, Keynote, Numbers)
  5. eBooks
  6. Accessibility-readiness (screen reader built in)
  7. iTunesU (academic content readily available on iTunes)

The iPad being somewhat cost-effective,  more portable, and “closed” (not allowing as much student tampering and access to inappropriate content) can be some of the good reasons to adopt the device in educational settings.

“Your school day gets more productive — and more fun — when you can page through websites, write an email, flick through photos, or watch a movie with just the touch of a finger.”

GroceryiQ – Grocery Shopping at Your Fingertips

My wife and I installed the GroceryiQ app on our iPhones this past week. Perhaps one of the most useful apps I’ve ever installed.

We have a centrally shared shopping list that gets updated dynamically across our iPhones. so, when we add or check off any items, it gets updated immediately for both of us. If we want to divide and conquer, we go to separate areas of the store and get it done more quickly while having fun. Shopping fun? Yes: this app lets you scan items’ barcodes and add them automatically to your list, or you can just start typing an item’s name and it autosuggests entries for you.

Next: they need to make it more of a game with a point system. Would sure be fun to do a “shopping scavenger hunt” for products, for instance, with my wife and friends in my network.

Augmented Reality and Learning

The dawn of augmented reality on a consumer level presents many possibilities for marketing, tourism and virtually any area of expertise. But what would be its impact in Education and learning in general?
Would the possibility of adding a layer of information and rich media atop an individual’s view of the world via his/her mobile device’s camera mean we are taking the next step toward “push” mobile learning (information automatically being displayed as available at the learners’ location)?

This could mean 2 things, at least:

1. Information readily available about places, people, objects anywhere, anytime.
2. Not just information devouring but also real, contextual learning opportunities via an immediate 4-dimensional, layered view of the world.

With easy access, people can start gathering information on just about anything and any place on Earth and make that readily available for others walking the path that has been covered with digital breadcrumbs.

With augmented reality on mobile devices, the world becomes one more layer  with overlapped layers of information just-in-time and in real time.

Essential iPhone Apps for Students and Educators

MacWorld published the “Ten Essential Back to School iPhone Apps”. While they chose very good apps, they might have left out a few other interesting apps as well. A possible improvement on the “top X apps for students” post idea would be to have different school levels (Pre-school, Middle School, High School, Higher Ed., etc.)  AND different subjects in subcategories (General Apps, History, Math, Politics, Books, etc.) as well and list the apps that pertain to those categories only. This process would probably make it even more useful for students’ specific needs.

I still think that Education iPhone apps have to do a lot of catching-up to do in order to achieve the same level of excellence of other apps such as the games we now see on the iPhone.

However, there are some other good apps out there for Education such as the “100 Words Series” to help you sound smart in that test or paper. The iPhone seems to be a good platform for word lists and dictionaries, thesaurus-like lists, etc. (even Dictionary.com has their own apps).

For Educators, check out this list of “Top 50 Apps for Educators” from the Online Education Database.

Waze, the Driver-generated GPS – Crowdsourcing Navigation – Free GPS for the iPhone

Yeah, the concept of crowdsourcing has been everyone. The wisdom of the crowd is something that has been more in evidence lately and Web 2.0 technologies allow for people to get together and collaborate on products, websites, information gathering, etc.

Now it’s the navigation systems’ turn. With Waze, drivers submit new routes, traffic updates and more on ever-evolving maps.

And it’s free for the iPhone.

From their official website:

“What are waze drivers building?

Waze is a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road.
100% powered by users, the more you drive, the better it gets. Join the community of drivers in your area today!”

iPhone Educational Apps

A while back I thought of creating a blog to review only educational apps for the iPhone.
Suddenly I noticed that not only did just a few developers try to create educational apps but also the quality of those that are there isn’t what you’d expect…

So, I’m still considering reviewing a few iPhone apps for learning, but if educational developers don’t learn to create good apps it will be a tough job…

The state of the so-called “Education” apps on the iPhone is hazy. So many applications for the iPhone utilize the revolutionary technologies available for that platform (such as the Shazam app that recognizes which music is playing at an environment and populates the app’s screen with metadata on that song, or the Aurora Feint series that utilizes the accelerometer to control the blocks on the screen), etc.

The educational apps are still on the “flash card” side of things… let’s see what INNOVATIVE ed apps will appear in the upcoming months, years, decades… ;)

Apple and the iPhone – When the Customer doesn’t Matter…

“…because we’re too good for you…”

That is the vibe I get from Apple with this whole iPhone 3G shortage fiasco, or circus…

Everyone that reads my blog posts here knows that I have been quite disappointed with the customer care at Apple and their attitude towards the shortage and their customers. Well, today I got the “icing on the cake” on “great” policies from Apple.

I had “backordered”, that is, stupidly let AT&T charge my credit card for an iPhone that was going to be shipped to the store for me in 10-20 days — which was shipped in a week’s time (today). I got an email alert and went there to grab the iPhone, of course, not so excited to have it anymore. Not after waiting in line once at the Palo Alto store when I was in CA for an hour to find out “my corporate” discount wasn’t going to transfer, left the line and canceled the discount… got back in line the next day (it was too late that same day) and found out that my wife is the primary account holder and they couldn’t sell it to me even though I had proof of our relationship and her documents… mmm… leaving that alone (I already blogged about it)…

Back to the AT&T store: I got there, did everything and left with my iPhone. As soon as I called my wife (should have been me… seriously) I noticed there was a little “ringing” in the voice and all… I went back to the store: defective! So, I learned Apple doesn’t even ship enough iPhones to AT&T stores in case of a defective device like mine. Two options: get a refund and go back to the “backordering” process after re-chargin my credit card OR going to the Apple Store to replace the unit. I asked the AT&T guy to call Apple to find out if they had at least enough replacement units. THEY TOLD HIM THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SAY WHETHER THEY HAVE iPHONES OR NOT, if that is the case!!!! Now, what kind of stupid store can’t even say whether they have more units or not (once they find out a costumer has a defective unit)???? Apple is STUPID, “geniuses”!!! Seriously: they wanted me to drive to the store to then FIND OUT THE SAME WAY I WOULD OVER THE PHONE if they have or not iPhones to replace mine!!! What kind of crappy policy is that?! Costumers in the first place! Apple got it all “right”! If it wasn’t an excellent device (with it’s flaws and all), I wouldn’t have gotten back to the “backorder”… but it is a good phone… so… I hope other companies soon catch up on the technology quality Apple has (HP seems to be getting close for Windows-based machines), because in the costumer care side Apple is stupid…

Screen Capture – iPhone 2.0

Wondering how to get some screen shots of your iPhone’s applications to create tutorials or maybe just to show off on your blog? The iPhone 2.0 platform has a built-in screen capture functionality. Explained here by Gizmodo.


Is it really all about the users?

I have been really disappointed with the whole sales process for the iPhone 3G. While Apple’s design and advance technologies are impressive, it is fairly disappointing that they still don’t understand it is about the costumer. We’re in the era of the prosumers, crowdsourcing. The whole iMonopoly or is a practice that (help me out here those who understand economy) might not work in the future. People want freedom, they are paying for a product, they want to use it the way they want to. Why impose a limit of 1 device per user at all costs? They had plenty of time to get the amount of iPhones out there in the market, but they prefer to control the market (even knowing that their costumers will pay for it anyway).

When you call AT&T stores, the automated message says you should “get iReady before going to the stores due to high demand”… well, maybe Apple and AT&T should have gotten their iAct together before starting sales, iTested the servers, and given better iCostumer treatment. Instead of trying to turn everyone into iSuckers by asking them wait for ours to them find out they don’t have enough devices or that they can’t iActivate the phone. And what a tasteless pun: “iReady”… ha    ha… 

Why not offer the same activation options as AT&T? My wife and I have a discount on our plan which can only be maintained if we buy the iPhone at the AT&T store. To get it activated at the Apple Store we’d have to deactivate the discount to then, call AT&T to reactivate the discount on our plan.

Anyways, Apple needs to stop having this attitude of iCanDoWhatever because they will still buy my products… it is all about the customers and I have encountered quite a few people that are upset with Apples policies and services lately… the whole MacBook Intel systems haven’t really been the “greatest” thin on Earth… anyway…

“i” am starting not to like Apple as much… already iHated iPhoto, for instance… now it’s worse…

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