Double Time

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Creative Commons License photo credit: pineapple9995

I read an inordinate amount of material online in my field, primarily because it’s the only way to stay current ((by the time most books are published, ed tech is off and running in another direction)), but also because I enjoy it.  I manage that through my Google Reader feed.  I also listen to a lot of podcasts about education, teaching, and technology.  Although I can keep up pretty well with the feed reader, I have a more difficult time with the podcasts.  My favorite-don’t-miss-podcast is Steve Hargadon‘s (@stevehargadon) “The Future of Education” interview series.  I learn so much from every session.  However, each session is roughly 60 minutes long…. and my drive to/from work is about 20 minutes.  A few weeks ago, I learned a pretty neat trick from a parent.  Double time.

Did you know you can play your podcasts and audiobooks at different speeds on your iPhone/iPod?  You can. That was news to me! It’s doubled the amount of listening I am able to do, and I’m starting to catch up with my podcast backlog.  Here’s how:

  1. Open your podcast or audiobook.
  2. Locate the small box on the right under the play time bar that says “1x”.
  3. Press it to toggle between “1/2x” “1x” and “2x”.
  4. Play the podcast.
  5. Adjust the speed as necessary.

As an aside, this interview with Gary Stager@garystager was particularly interesting. Also, I quickly found that Gary speaks fast enough that I needed to take him off the “2x” mode, or else I missed things. You’ll notice that I started with teh 2x, and switched back to the 1x. It works most of the time.;)

iPad Party

This evening, it was pizza and iPads at Tiki’s place.  Mrs. Kile, a 4th grade teacher in my building, “won” a writing contest granting her the use of 5 District purchased iPads for the remainder of the school year.  (Check out her iPad blog.)  Lucky us!  We ordered pizza, downloaded apps, talked blogging, shared websites, and bemoaned the lack of Flash support in the iPad.

Although I love the ‘wow’ factor in the iPad- and there are some apps that really amaze me- the bottom line is that I think the iPod Touch has better educational application at the elementary level… at 1/3 of the cost.  It was very frustrating to see that many Web 2.0 tools- like Glogster, Scribblar, and may others- can’t be used on the iPad.  And compared to the iPod Touch App base, there were few Apps that took advantage of all that extra real estate.  I’m sure that will change over the coming months, but for now, I’m withholding judgment.

Wins:

  • Large screen viewing of websites
  • Drawing/notepad applications
  • Size/weight/portability

Fails:

  • Lack of Flash support
  • Keyboard remained hidden on some websites that need it
  • Lack of Flash support
  • Limited number of apps
  • Mac apps like iWork not bundled
  • Oh, did I mention the lack of Flash support?

(And by the way, my children loved the Labyrinth and RollerCoaster apps…. and were generally enthralled with the iPad.)

Huge thanks to Mrs. Kile for sharing with us!