Get SMART!

Yes, I am about to expose to the world what a giant tech GEEK I really am. I am so excited to learn about the slew of smartwatches about to hit the market! I am most interested in the Pebble watch that is currently available for preorder. The cost is $150 and you have your choice of five colors: black, white, red, orange, and grey. There is no set timeframe for when the preorders will be filled, but late April appears to be the rumor.

The watch connects to Android and iPhone smartphones via Bluetooth. The watch will notify the wearer of incoming calls, emails, and text messages. You can fully customize the watch by downloading apps. You can choose a watch face that suits your mood or your style. It also allows you to customize the notifications on the phone with various apps.

The following links will give you many more details on the device.
This first link is to the Pebble homepage. You can watch a video on the watch itself as well as read about some of the apps that are being developed for use with the Pebble.
http://getpebble.com/

The next link is a review done by CNET. The link includes a video review as well a description of the device. It also has some images of the Pebble in action.
http://reviews.cnet.com/watches-and-wrist-devices/pebble-watch/4505-3512_7-35567496.html

 

If you’re not impressed by the Pebble after reading and watching the reviews then there are other contenders on the market.

Here is some information on three other possibilities if you’re interested in becoming the next Agent 99.
Apple iWatch (rumored device)
Martian Watch
i’m Watch

What’s your take on this new era of wearable technologies such as the Pebble smartwatch and the Google Glass?

It’s Right to Write

 

So here I am sporting the new 2gb Sky wifi Smartpen by Livescribe.

I have been waiting a long time to get my hands on this technology! I have to admit that I am happy I waited for this new model to be released.

The Livescribe pen allows you to take notes and record audio that goes along with your notes. The potential for this device in education is limitless. I have had some time to familiarize myself with this technology in some different settings.

First, I sat in on a fourth grade math lesson where the students were leading a daily math warm up. I sat in the back of the classroom and took down the charts and math facts the students were putting up on the board. When I replayed my notes it was nearly impossible to hear the instructions that the students were giving. There was quite a distance between the students at the board and where I was sitting. In addition, they were shy about being in the spotlight. This would not be the case with a teacher-led discussion or a college professor’s lecture.

I also used the Sky smartpen at a conference I attended that lasted approximately six and a half hours. It took an extremely long time to sync the notes and audio via wifi only. Half way through I decided to attach the pen via its USB sync cable to complete the process. It finished very quickly.

Here are some of the positives I see with the Sky model already:

  • Battery life was excellent for an entire day of taking notes and recording
  • Ability to sync via wifi is a huge improvement over the mandatory USB cable of previous model
  • Syncing to Evernote allows you to keep your notebooks in the cloud
  • You can now access the Livescribe Player via any mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone, android smartphone, or tablet.
  • You can share your notes with others

 
Here is what I purchased from Best Buy to get started:

  • Livescribe Sky 2GB Wifi Smartpen, $169.99
  • Livescribe Single Subject Notebooks (4 pack), $24.99

 
If you would like more information you can visit the following sites:

 

There are many YouTube videos available that demonstrate the Livescribe Sky smartpen in action.

In this first video you can see a teacher demonstrating the use of the pen for different academic activities.


 

In this second video a collection of teachers discuss various ways they have utilized the Livescribe pen in their own teaching.


 

 

I have spoken to our learning support coordinator about the potential of the Livescribe pen as an assistive technology tool for some of our high school students. I would be interested to hear about ways you are using this technology if it is available to you!

Google Glass Explorer Program

“Pick me! Pick me!” is what I wanted to shout from the rooftops when I heard about the Explorer Program “contest” Google was running. It isn’t quite a contest in the most common sense because you don’t get anything for free if you are a winner. Rather, I considered it an application process as I thought long and hard about how I would use Google Glass if chosen to be an Explorer. You might ask “Why on Earth would you apply to buy a product that will eventually be available on the open market?” The answer lies in the definition of explorer. According to Merriam-Webster, an explorer is a person who travels in search of geographical or scientific information (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explorer). My love of technology often requires me to step outside the norm and investigate little-known gadgets or concepts.

Google Glass is a wearable technology developed by Google. The concept behind the design is to allow people to keep their eyes up and their smartphones in their pockets. There is a small prism mounted to a frame that is meant to mimic glasses.  Glass will be available in a few different colors upon launch: black, orange, grey, white and blue. If chosen to be an Explorer you need to cough up $1500 plus tax AND attend a special kick-off event in one of three major cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York.

The applications for the Explorer program had to be 50 words or less. They could also include up to 5 photos and/or a 15 second video. The applications had to be submitted with the hashtag #ifihadglass via Google+ or Twitter. Each applicant was allowed to submit up to three entries. Here are my three applications. Feel free to let me know what you think!

Entry #1
#ifihadglass I would document my mother’s life perspective. She is 75 with stage 4 cancer. She certainly has opinions about EVERYTHING! Text, images, and video clips would be published on a blog. Then, just for fun, perspectives on the same topics would be added by others from different age groups.

Entry #2
#ifihadglass My computer application students would collaborate and create virtual field trips of local historical landmarks. They would research the landmark, find historical photos, take current photos for comparison purposes, shoot video clips, and interview important town figures. Then they would publish all of this online via their class blog.

Entry #3
#ifihadglass I would use it as an assistive technology for a student who struggles with fine motor problems due to multiple sclerosis. She could record lessons and demonstrate understanding through the video and imaging tools. Furthermore, this would allow her to dictate notes instead of having to type/write them.

 

The article, Google Glass: what you need to know, by techradar gives more details on Google Glass such as specifications, how to purchase it, uses etc.

 

Watch this immersion video from Google that shows you what life would look like through Glass.

 

The article by Josh Topolsky from The Verge entitled, I used Google Glass: the future, but with monthly updates, chronicles Josh’s experiences while wearing Glass. The accompanying video is his interview with product director Steve Lee and lead industrial designer Isabelle Olsson.

Welcome

Welcome to my new blog! This is a place where we can gather to discuss the latest tech gadgets on the market! On occasion we can address how these tech gadgets can be used in education. Other times we will talk about how we use them in our personal lives.

No matter the topic or the use
this is tech…on the loose!

You can learn a little about my background by listening to my voki below….