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Does owning an Android make you cleverer?

Correct answer:  Maybe!

My pretty android!

For my birthday I got an LG Android phone.  I am very excited, I have never owned a phone that was remotely cool and therefore gave me reflected coolness.  I have been considering all the options in the smartphone arena for some time and have been determined that eventually I would be the proud owner of one.  They have so much to offer and frankly have almost as much functionality as the lovely MacBook that I am typing this on.  I can take high definition video, it has a 5mp camera, and I can download an app from The Android market to do just about anything from helping manage my money (I am never going to do that it appears) to Skype, and all manner of social networking gizmos, games, toys, and such a lot more.  You name it there is an app to do it.

Why the Android option.  It is free, it is open and it is sharey.  I like sharey! (yes there are ads attached to many of the free apps but if I really like them I will purchase an add free app!)  So far I have not managed to remember the password for my router so I am just using the phone to access the app market rather than go on my wifi.  Have set up my new google account for email and have poked and prodded it a lot.  Managed to get the SD card to have a conniption and present a fault, have watched videos on YouTube to learn more tricks and features of the phone which is an LG by the way.

Apps I’ve installed so far:

  • Tomcat – a cute little cat that purrs and repeats back what you say.  It is silly and I like it.
  • Apps killer – cos you have to have one or your account will be sucked dry – the phone is always ‘on’
  • Games – Classic tetris, LineUp5, Bejewelled, Classic Bubbleblast,
  • Little treasures – Flashlight
  • Ringtones – Zedge and RingTone
  • Social Media Apps:  Twitter and Facebook

Some of the above will be deleted – games particularly.  It is a hit and miss process, it doesn’t matter how many sites you visit with recommended apps lists for Africa you are never going to love them all.

My big disappointment so far is that the radio is rubbish.  I am going to find a better application for radio which gives some options, the one installed has no functionality at all.  But that is no biggie, as the man at Dick Smith today said wisely “there is an app for everything!”  I shall eventually find one with a loudspeaker setting on it.

Anybody out there with great suggestions of Apps that I completely must have feel free to tell me.

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Social Media Updated (again)

Courtesy of Beccablog this is the latest update on the stats for Social Media and it is based on the book Socialnomics.  Frankly, it is just amazing that these things have to come out so often, sometimes more than once a year.  This is a result of how much influence the social media is having on the way we communicate, do business and relate to each other.

Death by Powerpoint – alive and well

This comes from Cathy Nelson who is a library luminary, she writes Cathy Nelson’s Professional Thoughts.  In a recent post she cites Michael Zimmer’s 25 page guide to presenting in PowerPoint.  Check his presentation website here.   This comes on the heels of a discussion at lunchtime today with a friend and my partner, about the perils of PowerPoint.  Our staff were tortured at a PD session on Friday by three typical presentations where the presenters read the slides, which were bullet point ridden and full of text.  Each of the three presenters is well respected in their field and one works for the Ministry of Education and is on the research team of John Hattie, educational researcher of great import.  So, why where their presentations boring.  At this point I should probably confess to not actually being there for these presentations but having heard about them from several different people who were there.  Why are people still presenting – and especially to fairly IT savvy audiences in such a boring and uninteractive way?  As Cathy Nelson would say  ‘Sit ‘n get’ presentations, i.e. you are going to sit and get my presentation delivered to you.

On Monday my friend Miriam Tuohy, library goddess  (she of the marvelous Roasting Dish Chocolate Cake), presented a Prezi to a bunch of teachers as part of an ICTPD Cluster Meeting.  The difference between the presentations is very marked. Miriam’s presentation engaged the brain, augmented the talk she was giving and was a tool to promote discussion.  It was not a sit in your seat while I read the bullet points on the screen to you kind of talk.

Earlier this year our school had Tony Ryan speak to us as part of our school’s ICT PD, who presented in PowerPoint but with nary a bullet point to be seen, and he managed to hold a bunch of skeptics attention for an hour, the difference between his and the normal presentation in this format was that his presentation used photographs as hooks for his important points.  So, it is possible to be engaging in a presentation using PowerPoint, but please don’t torture your audience by a) reading the slides and b) not engaging in discussion or being prepared to discuss the issues that your slides or talk raise.  If you are going to raise a point you have to be prepared to talk about it.

I spoke in Hamilton on advocacy for your school library earlier this year, and although I did try to avoid the bullet points, I know there were plenty in there.  So in the ‘note to self section’, the next time I am asked to present somewhere – should the occasion arise – I am going to note the points raised by Cathy Nelson and take note of Tony Ryan and Miriam and do a better job.  For starters I’m going to have a go at moving my current advocacy presentation into Prezi and tweaking it a little and see if that helps avoid the bullet point problem.

Here is Cathy Nelson’s video post about presenting.