BYOD Traveling

The Travellers Device
When previously I have travelled it was the guide book, the phrase book, the fantastic Lonely Planet tomb and maybe a travel journal that weighed down my bags, but now the game has changed, as the smart phone now rolls all of these into one and adds features that previously were unfathomable.

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Google Translate is your own C3P0
Ok, you need Wifi or cellular, but you can pre set a whole lot of useful phrases and they will be available off line. Type your sentence, choose your to and from language and bada-bing you have the translation.
Additionally click one button and you have an audio file that bypasses tricky pronunciations and click another button and the translation goes full screen and is an easily read flash card.

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Airline Apps – Mine is AirNZ mPass
It gives me up to date access to all my details, air-points, flight schedules, seating plan and even gives me a screen sized QR Code for quick check ins. Too Easy, cloud based and sign in protected.

Contact with the rest of the world
It was the postcard, then the collect call, next came the smoke filled cyber cafe and in my last experience it was the laptop at Starbucks. Now the options for connectivity make conversing globally only limited by time zone and Wifi; Skype, FaceTime, Snap Chat, Viber, WhatsApp and more. Then there is the travel blog that replaces the journal and is shareable with all you choose. If you don’t want to blog in words, just share the experience in a tweet, Facebook post or flick the image out to friends and family with Instagram.

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Where to go and what to see
I got off the plane in Wellington this past summer, downloaded the bus timetable app using the airport’s wifi and then using my phones GPS and map app I was able to make it to my hotel without the need to ask for directions at a fraction of the price of the Airport Bus.
Ok, this was my home country, but it is the same in all cities in the world and might just take a bit more planning and patience in a place where English is not the mother tongue.
The where to go is so simple with your phones map and if you start walking the wrong way you will see it quickly on the map due to the GPS and when you want to get somewhere it will give you several options as well as time estimates.

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Lonely Planet… Maybe not.
My Lonely Planet China is the most read and annotated book that I own, but although I will pack it when we move to China again it will be used as a trip planner, not as the travel bible that is was always at the top of my bag. Through reading travel blogs and using Apps like TripAdvisor I am able to find the travel tips and best places to visit at the click of a button. Additionally, they are updated daily, so recommendations tend to be more up to date than a 12 year old guide book – that restaurant it recommends could have changed hands 20 times since publication.

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Keeping up with the news.
My last stint overseas was in a place where English was not spoken and there was not an English Newspaper to be found. Now I can keep up with the news at the click of an app.

Need a book to read?
I prefer the feel of an actual book in my hands, love the tatty travel paperback and there are expat book exchanges that spring up around the world. But it is handy that I have a score of books stored on my phone, many more in the cloud and I can buy and download any book I desire with a quick contact to amazon or the iBook store.

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I could go on with more examples of how a well planned device pre trip will benefit you and my opinion after a good pair of shoes and a sturdy bag the smart phone is now the travellers most important item. I guess the only two things to remember is to pack your charger and turn of data roaming unless you want a surprise when you return home.

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Cargobot App – Angry Birds crossed with Code Academy

Cargo Bot App - Click to be taken to App Store.
Cargo Bot App – Click to be taken to App Store.

I may be late with picking up on this, but I have just discovered Cargobot – the first App to be created on an iPad  using the Codea App and it is just too awesome. Learning coding is on my ‘To-Do’ list for the next academic year and am researching into Code Academy at the moment as a starting point.  With Cargobot you are introducing the concepts of Coding and I know that any student that I have ever taught would love the challenges that Cargobot offers.

Drew Minock and Brad Waid, the two guys who introduced me to this App,  mentioned in a webcast from #ISTE13 how they had their students using this app in class and at home when one of the students was told that they had created a new ‘Best Solution’ for the level and was asked to please record then upload to YouTube – how cool is that! Just imagine how inspired  that child have been to know that at Grade 4 they have achieved what no one else, no even the App developer, had achieved before?

Now add it to your classroom environment and you are onto a winner. The game is all about  Logic and reasoning skills, trial and error, working through a problem and persistence – skills that every teacher is trying to foster in the 21st Century learner.  When you attempt the problem you can see how many moves it takes to reach the best solution and when you reach a solution you are given a star rating out of 3 just like Angry Birds-  a 1 star or 2 star solution means your solution is OK or  your solution is good, but could be done better.  To me that becomes a second challenge and makes me want to do better – I will persist until I get those 3 stars that have eluded me.

Maybe add it as a homework challenge? In those paperless classes with 1:1 iPads it would be perfect, as all you need to do is set a level, get the kids to work on it and then record their best solution and upload it to their blog or digital portfolio through YouTube like my 2 start solution below.  The next day in class you could get into groups and discuss each others solutions, possible problems, ways to improve solutions and then rework the solution.

Further Readings

Cargo-Bot, An Addictive iPad Game That Teaches Programming Concepts

Cult of Mac – Cargo-Bot is the World’s First Game to be made entirely on the iPad

Two Guy’s & Some iPads – EdReach Presents talk from ISTE 2013

Codea App

iPad at interviews – Demonstrating Maths level through Apps

Just copied this from my class blog. It was a follow up blog post to share the Apps that we talked about at interviews.  Using the iPad, especially the Math Slide Apps, really demonstrated their place value and basic fact knowledge and have the parents a better understanding of their child’s level and next step.

Taken from www.MrDyerHFS.BlogSpot.com

Maths Apps that we talked about at Interviews

Hello there all,
The other night at interviews there were a couple of iPad apps that we shared that I said  would add to the blog for reference so here we are.  Most of them also have the ability to be added to iPods and remember that the competition component of some of the apps can be removed by single player option and this will remove any stress around the new learning.

The there are 6 Math Slide Apps, four are free and all are fantastic. They are on the iPad and iPod/iPhone and are great visual ways to really understand what each number looks like ( in money, fingers, blocks or bundles of sticks) and they range from early stages to more difficult.

Maths Machine is free for Maori Language Week and is great for consolidating your counting in English and Te Reo.

Then we have School A-Z where I really like the Spelling Bee Component as you can add your own words and record your own voice reading the word for the test.
Mathletics is the last App and our passwords that have been sent home apply here – sadly this is an iPad only App.