Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Interesting take...Why tablets are failing miserably in higher education, posted by Derrick Wlodarz of betanews--May 2014.

As I'm reading this article I find myself agreeing a lot with what the author has to say but also disagreeing at the same time.  IPads were meant to be setup as an 1:1 device, managing 30 of them, that roam with a cart through my middle/high school, (grades 6-12 being used for the most part as nothing more than glorified web browsers) is a pain in the butt.  And you should see what I had to do get them to print, Oy!!  

Yet I have seen them used that more than justify their purchase; in Special Education--streaming audio books from my MacBook server.  Using iMovie to create and edit videos. Having a 6th grade class Skype to Austria, capturing and uploading video with ease.  Math games, etc.  

Is the iPad more of a consumption tool than a creation tool?  Maybe higher ed is that MUCH more production while at the secondary level it is still consumption heavy?  Have we fell under the spell of the Apple marketers or is the author just a disgruntled PC user? Read the article and discuss among yourselves.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Reading for fun drops dramatically among teens, report says. Posted by Sharon Noguchi of the San Jose Mercury News.

Getting info from your Outlook Contact Group into ANYTHING useful.

It started off as an easy enough request, that ended up being a weekend mental puzzle. The request was to export an Outlook Contact Group (not a folder) into a Signup Genius sign up.  Sounds like a piece of cake, right???  I'll go into Outlook and export it as a .csv (comma-separated values) file and import into Signup Genius. As Lee Corso would say, "NOT so fast my friend!"  

After doing some investigating I noticed that I was not the only one looking to do this. Now, in Theory (which is a Town in Illinois where everything runs correctly), you would go into Outlook (not the web version, the one installed on your computer):
  • go to File
  • Options
  • Advance
  • Export
  • Pick the file format you would like to export it to
  • Pick the file you would like to export (i.e. Contacts)

But here is what happens, see the list on to the left of the blue circle?  Those contacts were the only ones I was able to export, I wanted to export the Contact Group circled.  If you drop one of those Contact Groups, into one of Contact List (follow me??) that Group will go there but will not be listed as a contact that can be exported, the list is.  So let's say I move the Contact Group "Class of 2018A (where I have 180 names and emails)" (the one circled) into say the "Track" Contact List, when you export them to an .csv or Excel file, it doesn't list the emails or names of "Class of 2018A" it just list "Track".

As a way to try to work around this, I though I would double click on the "Class of 2018A" where it would list all of my contacts (which is does)--you can't copy and paste them. Then while at a Red Sox game, NOT KIDDING I had an Epiphany.  I went to the web based version of my email, NOT the app off my computer.  I went to my Contacts, double clicked on my "Class of 2018A" group and LO AND BEHOLD; I could copy all the names and emails, paste them into Excel,  save as a .csv file and import it into Sign-up Genius.  I don't know if I totally went about this bass-ackward but all I know is that it worked! What can I say, Rube Goldberg is my hero!