theMolisticView

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My Rant…

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Today I received an email asking me to basically hand over everything I know and have done in teaching my students how to produce mobile phone applications. This blatant forced robbery of intellectual property drives me crazy. What makes matters worse in my opinion is that I have already provided these people with a clear outline as to what is required and the substantial costs involved in delivering such exciting learning outcomes for students which go far above those required by any current syllabus in NSW.

Obviously I understand that as an employee all works I create for my job belong to my employer however, in this case I say no! Why? The cost incurred by me to deliver this content for my students, which I am happy to absorb for them to have a better education. There is no way known to me that my employer would pay the money required to teach just 20 stage 5 students how to develop mobile phone apps on just one platform yet alone all three. On top this there is the fact that to do any mobile phone development you have obfuscate the school internet connection.

I won’t list the reasons why you wouldn’t use Google’s Android as I am sure even @Benpaddlejones would admit how hard that is to implement as a school teacher in our system, so i’ll just demonstrate the cost per school for iOS iPhone development.

  1. 13″ Macbook Pro $1,349.
  2. Current iPhone $799
  3. Developer account $99 USD (to unlock the phone so as to test applications on the device)
  4. Developer tools free

note: before anyone says you can just use the free tools and the phone emulator, yes you can however the emulators have restrictions and are not as authentic or as valuable to students when they actually run their own app on a phone or device.

So if you want my stuff for mobile phone development for stage 5, remburse me a little and I’ll help out, until then use Google search and see if you can afford to offer this across the states high schools.

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June 14th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

My take on SWSR

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Firstly I would like to thank the organisers for such a great venue and the WiFi provided. 7MB down was awesome and i’m sure others like my self who do not have such luxuries took advantage of this.

SWSR at ANZ Stadium

SWSR at ANZ Stadium

One of the first things to catch my eye was that my tweets with the #inspire2011 tag were not showing on the big screen. I guess someone has blocked someone, some where along the line.

The four keynote speakers were awesome to say the least this year. For me I wanted to hear Will Richardson. Will was one of the first prominent educationalists I followed on twitter. Having heard both Will and Steve Haragdon speak I was a little miffed. I have friends who live in New York State and in Washington State in the US. When I speak to them they only talk of how bad education is in their local public schools. Repeatedly it is that they have none or limited funding, old technology computing systems which are virtually unusable, and old text books that everyone works from in crowded rooms and so on. Steve and Will spoke like they had full access to modern technology in classrooms, were they could blog, connect to people outside their education system and more to improve what their students were learning.

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April 2nd, 2011 at 3:36 am

Fireworks for DER NSW

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Shortly before term 1 holidays, I was asked if I could come up with a presentation concept for a conference coming later in the year. I racked my brain throughout the day, trying to workout what would be the technology basis for the presentation, I went home and still couldn’t narrow down on a concept which I thought would capture both teacher’s via the conference and then their students when the took the idea back to their school’s.

The next day back at school and it was time for one of my favourite classes, Year 12 Multimedia. During the lesson I noticed one of the less motivated students, still trying to piece together her design in PhotoShop. I went asked her, ‘what is the problem, you’ve been working on this for over 10 weeks’. Her answer was not as surprising as it may read given her interest, and class attendance during the course, ‘I am not confident in making the web site from scratch with only images and no starting code’. My short answer was for her to continue in PhotoShop with her design, so it was ready for the start of term 2.

At home later that night, I was going through an external hard drive and stumbled across a folder of videos from Lynda.com [When you purchase the Adobe software, a bonus on registering your product was a months free subscription to www.lynda.com]. I saw the folder named CS4_Fireworks, and it dawned on me, ‘hey theres a video in there of exporting a web page from an image mock-up’.

I opened the folder and started filtering through the videos, soon I came across the three which were of my memories. A quick search of http://www.adobe.com/devnet/ and there was more information about using Fireworks for producing web pages.

Now I have to profess, I only use three Adobe applications regularly. They are 1. PhotoShop 2. Acrobat Pro Extended 3. Flash. I rarely use any other products from the CS suite of apps.

Soon after I was having troubles organising Blogs and Wiki’s for my other classes, at the same time there was a lot of chat on my PLN through Twitter regarding the new BlogED Blog tool. I was soon allowed to look at a live example of a BlogED. I had a quick look through the code using my browsers tools. It was a fairly simple layout, wouldn’t be to hard to reproduce in a Multimedia Stage 5 lesson.

I then thought about this a little further, and quickly came to thinking this would be an excellent idea, but instead of going the normal route of PhotoShop > Dreamweaver, use Fireworks. I got to planning a 5 week schedule and thought this would make an excellent presentation at a conference.

Then I got to thinking how would I back this up at a conference and remove the hassle that normally takes place with electronic files. Set up a Wiki.

The Wiki, fireworksfordernsw.pbworks.com was born. Over a week I made documents to back up template files I have made plus several screen casts to help new comers to Fireworks to design and publish web pages easily. Now this Wiki is not a place for me just to share templates with everyone else, it is to try and build a community around the use of Fireworks, especially on DERvices. You don’t have to sign up the Wiki is accessible to all visitors.

To my amazement Fireworks for DER NSW Wiki even shows up in Google Alerts as the image below demonstrates.

So please all join in and make this a true community!

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April 17th, 2010 at 11:36 pm

DET DER Software

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The DET DER software package is huge!!! I forgot to mention in my last post that the software of the revolution is now available for staff to purchase under the DET license for home computers.

It is available via the ICT section of the intranet and the DET’s external provider of software to staff (SI Group). Both Adobe and Microsoft have separate license agreements.

The Adobe suite is huge and a mega saving. For $93.50 you get the entire CS4 Master Collection plus Captivate, Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements. Just the Master Collection would cost you close to $5,000 (currently advertised for $2,500 US). The Microsoft software is a lot cheaper at $39 for each selection. They offer more than Office as well so take a good look at what they offer and remember that the DET is not going to switch to Office 2010 for a long time.

I ordered my copies this time last week and they were delivered to school by Monday afternoon. Now that is the fastest I’ve seen anything move out of the DET!!

Just a warning though, if you intend on loading the Adobe Mater Collection you will need to ensure that your computer is up for the task. You will need a pretty smart machine to have hassle free running, something like 2GB RAM and a fairly large processor. If you find that you need to update your windows machine I would suggest you wait if you can and allow for Windows 7 to come out and quieten down then purchase a machine. These newer machines with Windows 7 will better than one you would buy today with that Vista thing on them.

An upside to purchasing and installing the Adobe software is that after you register your product, Adobe emails you a list of freebies to choose from. The pick of these I would say is the Lynda.com package. This provides a months free access to what is one of the best on line education libraries there is. They have plenty of series’s on the whole Adobe range from beginners to the advanced.

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September 3rd, 2009 at 7:54 am

DER in-service

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You just got to love that name, someone is laughing hard somewhere.

I went to a regional DER in-service on Thursday. My main interest at the in-service was the DET blogging tool. Unfortunately there was only 6 of us interested so that was not run instead we got to see some screen shots. It looks quiet bland and unexciting from the screenshots. Not sure what the kids will make of it.

In association with the blogging tool, there was a lot of talk about centralising every thing. Even Moodle. The reason given was to assist all of us teachers and stop us  from reinventing the wheel. I’m all for stopping the wheel but I am not a big fan of centralisation. I am big on individuality.

Having kept a watchful eye on Curriculum support, TALe and CLI there was not much to take away for me on these presentations. The DER regional presentation seemed to me to be a lot of smoke and mirrors given the problems we have had at my school with the whole wireless and TSO.

The ITD presentation was aimed at computer coordinators who were few in number. The main thing I took away from this was that the Adobe and the new 2007 Office suites are now available for all schools to load on their T4L machines. The only hitch is how old your machines are as to which Adobe package you can run (there are three to choose from). I thought the whole T4L was dead as of this year but as I learnt it is only the software associated with T4L that has gone. So if your school has T4L machines which are nearing the end of their warranty it is time to replace them. The new T4L lenovo’s though will not come with the new software. The new software for the new machines will be available this time next year. The ITD also mentioned new costs associated with upgrading the interactive classroom technology (phone, remote controls etc.), it will cost each school $1,500 to upgrade but if you purchase a new room setup the cost is not different to before?? go figure.

There was an Adobe presentation as well, lots of oooo’s and arrrrh’s with all the toys on display. These guy’s know how to make it all look so easy.

After lunch there were four in-services, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Premiere Elements, Microsoft Office 2007 and Smart board training for beginners. I got switched to the office one which was a bummer, it hasn’t changed that much. At the end I asked the regional head if they were going to offer any high end Adobe training, the response shocked me a little when he said ‘can you put something together’.

So hopefully in the near future I will get to the blogging in-service and see what is coming.

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August 28th, 2009 at 11:57 am