Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lion 10.7 should You ?

So uncle Steve says we have to work with a different workflow, we have to use gestures and we will invent a few new names and yee all shall follow.
So what is OK and what is just plain stupid, and what is just brilliant.
No question they want to get the iOS and OSX similar, so they made a few changes.

So some smarty pants decided that when you quit something next time you open it the last 50 things you had open will still be there. Example: I had 20 PDFs open and were printing them, I quit preview and the next time I opened preview the 20 PDFs appeared again, QUIT means QUIT apple, I am in charge, not some smarmy exec in cupertino. Safari : if you have ten tabs open it used to annoyingly say "are you sure you want to close all them tabs when you quit", and you knew that quitting meant just that,. Now when you open safrai all ten tabs are still open, just like all 20 PDFs - so now you have to slow your workflow and use the bloody mouse to get rid of tabs or windows by clicking endless x's or red dots in the corner ITS LIKE A BAD WINDOWS dream. Turn this off real fast in system prefs/general.
Scrolling in the same direction the new thing is, to move down a page you move two fingers up (that just doesnt feel right, very un-apple like). I never found it an issue changing between two fingered scrolling on the air and using the finger on ipad/iphone, however Steve found it an issue. Turn that off immediately.
Mission Control: maybe this was launched (excuse the pun Barb) so that people who never used hot corners now get an app to clog up their dock and do exactly what hot corners did, but we do have a gesture for it now. My suggestion, learn the gesture, keep your hot corners and send mission control out of your dock FOREVER.
The four fingered swipe used to bring up the floating opaque window with all the apps that are open, command/tab still works for that, but i loved showing that off during presentations especially when you had hidden the app and brought it forward when needed. Steve felt that wasnt used much and basically put spaces into the swipe process and gave apple apps a full screen mode. Not bad, but how about a gesture for the command/tab thing.
Some absolute egg at apple decided that the four fingered swipe takes you to a page that has dashboard/widgets WTF... Turn that off immediately (disable dashboard) or you will be banished to a place when MC Hammer plays endlessly and you will be told that you cant touch this or any other mac again.
The last clanger is auto correct in typing. I'm an average typist but i automatically hit the space bar after every word i type. It is just not going to work, check out these clangers on the iphone and tell me you want this on your laptop when you are in workflow mode. Dumb IDEA.

So the full screen mode is pretty handy and i reckon it will be brilliant for the attached monitor, will have a crack at that next week when back at work. Its really spaces but with a 4 fingered swipe, OK steve I will give it a go. I wouldnt mind finding out how to keep my favourites bar in safari when in full screen without having to scroll up. and i'm not sold on losing my menu bar at the top of the mac it is only millimeters wide.. the jury is still out.
I was happy with the buy and download and install thing, but how do we install a mac thats had a hard drive meltdown without a dvd. I know you have a plan but bloody hell, its a fidget, my air shipped with a usb drive with the system on it, sell them as an extra option, would keep a few muppets happy.
Notes in mail. I know you are trying and it's cute but notes in mail, really! (it's so 10.3.9) thanks but i was able to quickly get rid of that notes icon and i'm feeling good about that. The world uses evernote now Steve, in fact you should have put a send to evernote tab in mail/everything.
Launchpad- i dont get this one, why have an app in the dock for it, learn the gesture if you want this or get quicksilver and open apps you hardly ever use in seconds - this one is for beginners and although i still have the gestures activated its a never use unless you have forgotten what apps you have or you are looking for something to delete to get more space.
Safari the back to previous page is awesome (three fingered swipe), shame you have to scroll in an unnatural direction but its awesome. The downloads window is tidied up, nice steve.
Mail, the changes are great particularly the threaded mail with the messages all in one, smart and very cool.
Its a solid upgrade, runs at good speed and is a nice interface. Apple didn't get to where its at with one giant leap, great things evolve, look at Manchester United. look at the first ipod with the huge firewire cable and compare it to the ipad2. Its another small step for man, and thats all.
What can we glean from this OS to get some predictions for the future?
Steve wants us to scroll in the same directions as a book: Hint - the touch screen laptop thingie will be the predominant navigator. ie the touch screen laptop is close.
Steve said no DVD with Lion: Hint - why do we need the CD drive anyway? nobody wants to see slim shady no more the CD/DVD is chopped liver.

Please tell me the features you like/love/don't get....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ipads ipods androids and Orewa

The Orewa College scenario (all kids get ipads, its a stationery item) happened at a slow news time in the NZ school holidays but it certainly highlighted a few different issues within education. Paying for our own technology seems very anti “free education” however we seem to be increasingly paying for everything, and if this has benefits for our childrens education then can we afford not to. Some schools have creatively solved this issue by making the device and the internet affordable and children are able to work to pay for there own technology. Factors might be how long will your iPad/netbook last? Imagine asking parents to pay between $400 & $1000 and you need a new one in 24 months. How about all this purchase/investment in technology only to discover that your school has no idea how or what to do with the hardware. Imagine schools wasting kids time with digital portfolios of kids that teachers spend hours on, only to discover they made no impact on learning. Or doing electronic worksheets because you can. The worry could also be schools just wanting to keep up with their neighbours by jumping on the band wagon.

So we need to know what actually does make a difference and then make a plan for how. Nearly every school I talk to have an ipad trial, I'm wondering how they sync, what apps they use and importantly what is at the center of their decisions schoolwide and in classrooms, no question its piecemeal.

I have been lucky enough to get an opportunity to actually do some research into mobile learning. I have been granted the Auckland Primary Schools Association Traveling Fellowship Award. This means that in 2012 I have been granted two terms leave to travel the world to look at mobile learning. My goal is to shake aside the rhetoric and schools wanting to buy gear without making good decisions, replacing them with decisions that put learning in the center.

I will be asking my twitter, Principal and ADE networks for help with finding time to talk and share with me. It will mean lots of NZ travel as well as looking across the pond (Cadel country) the USA and beyond. It should be exciting and probably about three years too late in terms of 1 to 1 mobile devices but regular schools will be taking a bit of time. The early adopters are already over the line, and I hope they are starting to provide the evidence later adopters need.

A few years back I had a friend ring me asking if I wanted to be a millionaire, I said yeah mate, turns out he was selling Amway and wanted me to join him in the money. I said I would wait three years and when he was millionaire he could ring me and I would start then, I was happy to wait. So if you are waiting a bit to see what happens with these ipads then a few months more wouldn't be too long (he never rang back, some mate).

If you are a school or district or cluster who have the mobile devices rampant and are making connections beyond the classroom then I'd love to hear from you. I'm interested in sync, infrastructure, apps, research and more importantly learning/teaching/kids.

I wouldn't mind hearing from people about their thoughts on having a device on their stationery list.