OTR Links 06/25/2014


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Price of Literacy


I was doing some writing yesterday and just wanted to confirm the appropriate use of a particular piece of punctuation.  It was about the use of an Ellipsis … so I used the Guide to Grammar and Writing to get the job done.

The process was pretty easy.  I just opened another tab, went to my bookmark, found what I needed, and then went back to my writing.

My mind wandered, as it often does, and I thought that this would be a great reference application.  I could be a split-second more productive if I could do my writing on the computer and reference things on the iPad and be oh, so much better.

I immediately dropped my work and headed to the App Store and searched for “punctuation”.

There were lots of results.  But the reference materials came at a price.

Interesting.

The good news is that there was a game to teach punctuation that was free, but it does offer in-app purchases.  We’ve become accustomed to that.  I still was quite surprised that there was no free product available.

How about Android?

Whew!

Does this make Android users more literate than Apple users?  Or, do Android users just need more help?

It was just an interesting observation.  Thankfully, we have our priorities right.  Games are free; educational reference not.  Such is the price of literacy.  

So, folks, pay attention to your English teachers.  Otherwise, it will cost you…

 

OTR Links 06/24/2014


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Has Every App Been Written?


I had to smile a bit when I read this story on Mashable.  “Marketing Students Create Concept Video for ‘Google Gesture’ App“.

It was interesting to read the story and read some other stories with a different take on the same deal.  But, it got me thinking…

For many school districts, this June marks the end of a year or a second year of 1:1 or BYOD.  There will be some high flyers that have used some of the numerous tools to write their own application.  Hey, even I wrote “My Own Flappy Bird“.  It certainly wasn’t from original work and development; I had used the example from one of the Hour of Code resources and then modified it just to see what I could do.  After all, there’s nothing like creating something that’s “yours”.

In the classroom, teachers or someone tall selects the applications that students get to use.  I doubt that anyone short has anything to say.  More than likely it’s tied to the curriculum or an IT Department decides that they can support it.  What voice do the students have?

Maybe, they need to take a look at the concept behind this story.  They may not be able to write the code, but how about creating a video explaining what sort of application they would like to make their life as student complete?  Perhaps they have some insight as to a productivity tool that would be helpful.  Or, maybe a homework helper?  Or, a research tool that works for them?  Or, maybe something even more important.

As I was thinking about this, I poked around the applications that I have installed on my iPad.  I have a collection of comic creators.  As I looked around seriously (and this isn’t why I’m not naming names or titles …), I noticed an area of exclusion.  The characters that were available didn’t give a complete sampling of Ontario society.  If I’m sitting in class, looking around, I wouldn’t always be able to find a character representing all of my classmates or, in some cases, me.  That isn’t right.  It would be a shame if the story had to be changed just because I couldn’t find myself or my friends as one of the characters.

I wonder — if a student could create a video outlining what should be in a new application to be written, what would it be?  Personal?  Cool?  Productive?  Enjoyment?  Entertainment?  

We’ll never really know until we find a way to amplify their voice.