No heads in the ground

I recently shared my thoughts concerning iCloud Photos and Google Photos. In light of this, I think the following excerpt from Tim Cook’s speech at EPIC’s Champions of Freedom event is worth noting (via Daring Fireball):

Matthew Panzarino:

Yesterday evening, Apple CEO Tim Cook was honored for ‘corporate leadership’ during EPIC’s Champions of Freedom event in Washington. Cook spoke remotely to the assembled audience on guarding customer privacy, ensuring security and protecting their right to encryption.

‘Like many of you, we at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security,’ Cook opened. ‘We can, and we must provide both in equal measure. We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demand it, the constitution demands it, morality demands it.’ […]

‘We believe the customer should be in control of their own information. You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for god knows what advertising purpose. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is.’

This gives some indication regarding whether or not unlimited storage in iCloud Photos will become free. If Apple doesn’t use photos and other data from iCloud to make money, then it’s probably not feasible to deliver it as a no cost service.

The Photos battle is an important conversation to have in the edtech community. I really respect Google’s products, but that doesn’t mean educators should stick their heads in the ground and not think about tech implications. (As of right now, I’m still sticking to my photos strategy.)

Apple, Scorsese, and blended learning

Here are Martin Scorsese’s words:

You can’t do your work according to other people’s values. I’m not talking about also ‘following your dream,’ either. I never liked the inspirational value of that phrase. Dreaming is a way of trivializing the process, the obsession that carries you through the failure as well as the successes which could be harder to get through.

I mean, if you’re dreaming, you’re sleeping, and it’s important and imperative to always be awake to your feelings, your possibilities, your ambitions. But you also know this, for your work, for your passion, every day is a rededication.

Painters, dancers, actors, writers, filmmakers, it’s the same for all of you, all of us. Every step is a first step, every brush stroke is a test, every scene is a lesson, every shot is a school. So, let the learning continue.

According to Mashable:

…the images tell the true tale of a collection of Los Angeles County High School for the Arts students who assigned to make a movie with an iPad. The one-minute spot features clips of various teams using the tablet to shoot and edit a variety of scenes.

Apparently, the spot was shot entirely on an iPad Air 2.

I know the commercial is going to really bother those who don’t like Apple. The reason I like it so much, in addition to being an Apple fan, is that it encapsulates why I work every day. The ad shows students creating movies, which means they’re learning about audio, visual, screenwriting, geography, editing software, collaboration, decision making, budgeting, time management, model plane flying, and a lot more. This is what blended learning is all about: Exploring multiple subjects by using technology as a tool to accomplish a goal. This is the process for engaging and effectively teaching young people in the 21st century. Throwing iPads and laptops at them is not enough; teachers need to lead them through the SAMR Model so that a redefinition of learning can occur.

Keep up

A continual theme I’ve been writing about recently regards how quickly technology is developing. I’ve focused primarily on how both teachers and students must continually learn in order to not fall behind.

Recently I came across this post about Apple, which states:

Starting February 1, 2015, new iOS apps uploaded to the App Store must include 64-bit support and be built with the iOS 8 SDK, included in Xcode 6 or later.

This is what people in every field have to realize: Change is all around us. Even app creators, who are arguably some of the most cutting edge individuals when it comes to technology, have to keep up with the progress. They’ll be left behind if they don’t. The same goes for all of us.

[HT Daring Fireball]

What education can learn from Apple

Dan Frommer wrote an interesting piece recently entitled The Hidden Structure of the Apple Keynote. From the first paragraph:

One of Apple’s most successful products—which rarely gets recognized as such—is made not of aluminum and glass, but of words and pictures. The Apple keynote is the tool the company uses a few times a year to unveil its other products to millions of people.

Words and picture are used to instruct, so I read this article with the intent to pinpoint what the field of education can learn from Apple regarding disseminating information.

  • Events are an average of 88 minutes long
  • There’s a minimalist slide presentation
  • There are live demos (no lectures) reinforced with videos
  • No one hogs the stage
  • Apple engages “the audience with drama, visual humor, and inside jokes”
  • The events are informative and entertaining
  • Apple saves the best for last
  • Apple plans well so there’s no need for “filler”

Maybe Apple should be in the teacher credential business.

[HT Daring Fireball]

Gold iPhone 5s = The One Ring


I was looking at my gold iPhone 5s–which I tend to do–appreciating the gold ring around the newly designed home button. So sleek. So beautiful. So much like…

J.R.R. Tolkien’s One Ring from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.


Never before has an iPhone’s home button looked like the Ring from Middle Earth. This thought led me to remember Gollum’s appearance while in the presence of the Ring: He holds it in the palm of his hand. He touches it. He caresses it. The Ring knows more about him than Gollum realizes. It knows what it’s doing to Gollum. Of course, we all remember what Gollum calls it.

I was doing the same thing. I’d touch the home button Ring. It knows my finger print and turns on without a pass code. I gaze into it. It learns about me. It knows my name.  It collects my information, my location, my voice, the voices of my loved ones… It’s more powerful than I know.

It came to me by UPS. My one. My own. My… Precious!

So I’ve thought of some reasons why my gold iPhone 5s is like The One Ring to Rule Them All:

1. As shown and stated already, it literally has a gold ring on it.

2. As stated already, it knows my voice and collects my information.

3. Like Gollum, I put it in safe places where no one (i.e. my children) can find it when I’m not using it. I put a gold(ish) case on it.

4. When I am using it, I tend to ignore everything around me (not good). I get lost in it. It can be very dangerous indeed to use while driving.

5. In a waiting room, when I’m peering into my Ring–er, iPhone–I become invisible to others and unattached from the spontaneous conversation that could occur.

6. It alerts others of my presence by ringing, vibrating, sending my location to map apps to determine traffic on the road, etc. (Someone it the trilogy is also alerted when a certain Baggins puts the Ring on…)

7. I become panicky and bemused if I’ve misplaced it momentarily. When I find it, I grasp it in thankfulness that it hasn’t left me.

8. In many ways, it has become an extension of me.

9.  I sort of stoop downward when looking at it–kind of like Gollum.

10. I spend too much time on it.

11. It’s slowly invading more and more aspects of my life. For example, I use an app with my students’ names to call on them equally in class instead of using sticks or playing cards or notecards with their names.

12. It’s powerful… and these devices seem to be getting more and more powerful.

13. It’s beautifully assembled by Foxconn, although it might as well me crafted in the fires of Mount Doom for all I know.

Thirteen seems to be a good number with which to end.

The phone’s full effect on me (and civilization): To be determined.