Not Yet

If you’ve read my posts about our disruptive innovation project, the iPad Project, where we purchased an iPad for our 7th grade son to take to school, you’ll know that we met resistance, yet have worked with the school so that he’s allowed to have it.

Being the fair parents we are, we asked our 10th grade daughter if she wanted one. Her school is working towards a BYOT policy, but as the previous post stated, the mindset at her school is far from ready for this.

I have to say I was impressed with her response. While of course she’d love her own iPad, she said there’s no way she could have it at school yet. Teachers weren’t ready, wouldn’t let her use it. Kids would make a big deal out of it. She’d never really get to use it.

I guess that disruptive innovation project will have to wait. In the meantime, my daughter misses out on all the great things that can happen with approriate use of learning technology.

Bring Your Own Learning Technology – or Pencil

Bring Your Own Learning Technology

I saw that phrase in an article from the Columbus, Ohio paper about schools using cell phones in class. It’s a great way to set an atmosphere in a school about cell phone use.

I’m sure not seeing this in my kids’ schools yet. One district is moving in that direction – they have a draft of a BYOT policy, and plans to move that way. However, in talking to my daughters 5 teachers this trimester, it is very obvious that the mindshift that has to happen has not.

There are signs posted in each classroom about no cell phones. Teachers talk about how they confiscate phones that are out. When asked, teachers only talk about the distraction factor. (hmmm – maybe their class is boring?)

I also asked if they post class materials and schedules online. Wow. One teacher said he didn’t know how to, he’d never been trained. (Failure on the school’s part.) Another teacher told me – brace yourself – that it was important for students to learn to WRITE DOWN the assignments to get ready for college.

That shocked me to say the least. So, I got online and messaged a couple of friends who are professors. Yes, real professors at real community colleges, small liberal arts schools, and major universities. Guess what. ALL OF THEM use online course management tools. Every one of them posts class information, resources, schedules and more online. It is expected. Students manage to manage their learning – even with the horrible crutch of having the material online. I guess this high school teaching students to write things down – as opposed to teaching them to manage their learning online – is really getting them ready for college (uh, sarcasm mine.)  



Pic Monkey

I found a new friend to make my life easier.

I do a fair amount of simple photo editing, like resizing, cropping, etc., for the various websites I help manage. It is not always convenient to go to my main computer to launch Photoshop, and who can afford to have Photoshop installed on all devices? 

Don’t get me wrong. I do love my Photoshop. But you don’t always need layers, effects and so on. However, some of the other “simple” photo editors don’t let me do the resizing and cropping the way I want. I want pixels, dammit! Don’t talk to me about 3 x 5 prints!

Pic Monkey to the rescue. A Chrome add-on or stand alone, Pic Monkey gives me pixels! Lets me resize, crop and edit happily.

I’m happy.