I tripped across this image when I was doing some reading on "21st Century Education", and I right-clicked and saved it on my computer. It has sat for the past few weeks in my pictures folder, sort of an enigma when compared to the other pics of relatives, friends, cars I'd like to own, and bits and pieces of computer hardware I am thinking of buying. I looked at it twice today, and like every other day I've looked at it, I was determined to put it on the website, but I couldn't decide where. Finally, tonight, I said aesthetics be damned, I'm going to flop it down in the middle of my blog. After all, it fits in with what I am thinking about, and is such a perfect visual representation of how I see myself as an educator.
I braved the weather on Saturday night to go see "Battle: Los Angeles" with my friend Jason. February had been a bit of a disappointment movie wise, and as I paid my $12 to see a flick that at least would pass my "crap that blows up real good" axiom. In that aspect, "Battle: Los Angeles" lived up to the trailers.
Is there anything outstanding or magnficient in this movie? Not really. It was shot like a video game, and for 2 hours I felt like I was watching my friend play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on a 25ft screen with Dolby Digital surround sound.
The dialogue was cheesy. The logic gaps in the plot are large enough to drive a galactic star destroyer through, and the whole movie has the feeling of a cliche retrospective of a 1950s drive-in sci-fi flick (can you say "War of the Worlds"?). The film's aliens sometimes look robotic and sometimes organic, but at least they're somewhat interesting looking. CGI and matte work is solid, and for the most part, help you suspend disbelief and get involved in the movie. Most of the the action is captured in a shaky handheld style (can you say the stomach churning effect from movies such as "Cloverfield"). Eventhough the special effects make “Battle: Los Angeles” watchable, they alone do not make it a good movie.
A little luck and some perserverance, and I am the owner of a new iPad2 32gb black Wi/Fi. Yes, I want to be cool...well at least for the 2 weeks it's going to take for the new iPad to come to Canada. Was it worth the drive to Buffalo? Was it worth putting up with genuises in blue shirts and their legions of Steve Jobs Kool-Aid swigging applebots? Dunno. So far, I'm a little underwhelmed, but a full review will follow by the end of March Break (and who knows..maybe I'll be looking to sell it by then...lol)
I've had it. When my XM satellite radio subscription ran out in January, I thought I could handle listening to CBC radio during my 30 minute ride in every morning. For 17 years of commuting (with the exception of 1 year of XM), I always left my car radio tuned to 98.7. Puff pieces aside, I usually found the news and special reports well-done and interesting enough to make my commute from home to school seem shorter.
In November of 2009 I started to have enough of Wei Chen. It's not her voice (although some friends have commented that they find it particularly annoying too), it's her constant need to interject herself into every story. I don't care about her personal life, and I certainly do not think she should be lecturing on things she has no clue about (usually followed with a raised voice indicating that she is not really "stating" something but rather just "questioning" it...).
Today was my last day with her as my morning ride companion One story, on Zdeno Chara's body check on Max Pacioretty that caused the Montreal forward to slam into some ill-thought out piece of plexi-glass in the Bell Centre, she kept harping on "past history" between the two players. She cannot respect the fact that hockey is a sport were injuries happen, and that Chara is not known for being a dirty player. Instead of focusing on a poorly designed arena, she kept trying (in her questioning voice) to make it seem like Chara figured out how to settle a vendetta by orchestrating a one-in-a-million body check on Pacioretty.
Her next story on scholarship winners from the "listening area", made me double think how accurate either the CBC producers are, or how well Chen can read. It turns out one of the scholarship winners was from my old high school, and time after time throughout the interview Chen referred to the wrong town and the wrong county. Pretty simple stuff...makes me wonder what else they get wrong on a daily basis.
So, today I will be making the call to XM and finding some way to economically bring some form of entertainment back into my car for the morning commute.
Ten minutes ago I wanted my next "internet appliance" to be a Motorola Xoom. Ten minutes before that I was thinking that an iPad2 would be a better choice. It's great that there is competition, and that Android-based technology has pushed Apple to bigger and better things.
Already owing several apps and ibooks, it makes economic sense for me to purchase an iPad2 to replace my much loved iPad.
But, I hate proprietary software. I also loath closed systems, and stupid political powerplays (like abandoning Flash..just to abandon Flash), so I should go with the Motorola Xoom. It has some very cool features, and a lot of the app-store is free. But that said, the Xoom is $200 more than the iPad2, and I still can't seem to find a release date for Canada (and since it is going to ship with 3G/4G support, it will only be available through a cellphone provider...Rogers? Bell? ugh...)
Don't even get me started re: the release date on the iPad2. Fourteen days to drag it across the 49th Parallel? Geesh...
My wife and I made the best of an errand-centric trip to Toronto to sneak some "away time" from the kids to catch a matinee showing of "The Eagle". Living close to Owen Sound means that our local Galaxy focuses more on the movies that appeal to the Grey-Bruce clientele, and as such, movies with a historical-basis are usually passed over for more popular drivel like "Yogi-Bear 3D" and "Beastly".
This is one time I wished we hadn't tried so hard to see a movie (I also really wanted to see "The Adjustment Bureau" this weekend). Once again, the glory and horror of Rome is poorly brought to the big screen. While TV shows like Rome and Spartacus weave complex tales that have you both loving and hating the main characters, "The Eagle" left me bored and apathetic to the plight of any one in the film. This movie fits into my basic axiom that if "Donald Sutherland is in it, it will be a colossal waste of time and money". This movie did not disappoint in that regard.
Tatum and Bell are good in their roles but the movie just plods along even in its battle sequences. It was a movie that should have been edited for at least an AA rating, but was watered down to a PG, and as such, the action scenes looked like they were filmed for a Hallmark TV special.
Luckily for most, this movie should be making it's exit from theatres this week. I would even resist the temptation to rent it on DVD. For those who do such things, it's not even worth the wasted electrons needed to download the torrent.
I seem to be in the habit of saying good-bye to technology these past few weeks. First my Samsung Galaxy S went back to Virgin, and now my iPad (that I purchased on the very first day it was available) has moved on to a new home (where I am sure it will be loved and cared for...).
I never bought the iPad to replace my laptop, even though many of my friends and colleagues who own one tried to do just that. I bought the sexy little 10" demon because I was looking for an e-reader, and I figured the $200 or so more that I would spend over a Kindle would give me some extra features such as light internet surfing, the ability to send gmail/tweets, and the odd game or two.
For the most part, this is how I ended up using the tablet. During it's stay at my house I fell in love with "Angry Birds", "Cut the Rope", "Scrabble", "Fruit Ninja" and a host of other small games. I also loved the apps that pushed newspapers to my desktop, and iBooks, were I read many ebooks ("Sh*t My Father Says", being my first).
So why sell it? A New iPad, with significantly better specs means that games and apps will all start to be developed for it, and as such, if they do run on the first generation iPad, they will be extremely slow. If I decide to get an iPad2, it will not be for bragging rights (although those sure are nice when you are the first person in the building with a new toy), but rather for the incremental improvements that should give me evenmore enjoyment that I enjoy with what I like to call my "casual entertainment device".
I am also looking at the Motorola Xoom, which is a strong contender in the tablet market. I love the power and potential of the Android O/S, and if I can figure out how to find one for less than the $800 asking price, it could be my next tablet.
Usually I have to beg to buy new toys, but with a wife who is going to go through Angry Birds/Scrabble withdraw over the next few weeks, I am sure that I won't face much resistance in buying a new toy for the Perry household.
This is my approach to education. Every student, every parent, and every educator should watch this video. Have an opinion? Please respond via comments, as I'd love to hear what you think about this direction in education.
secondary school teacher, amateur photographer, movie buff, computer nerd .