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Teaching creatives efficient workflows

John Tierney beams into #cong16
Photo of @johntierney_ beaming innovative thoughts to #cong16

I'm experimenting with Bear, an iOS app that Greg Dickson (a Canadian thought leader) has shared with me. I immediately jumped to the Pro level of the app when I discovered how clever its native hash tagging delivered clever efficiency to my workflow.

The first finding: images sent from Bear via email to Typepad don't appear in mobile browsers as responsive images--although they appear that way inside InoReader, my RSS reader of choice. I believe Typepad's servers won't create different sizes of the images so I need to add an additon step to my workflow if I intend to accommodate responsive images in my posts.

I used my iPDad Mini to shoot the original image for this blog post. I could get the embed code from Flickr for the image, but only after visiting Flickr through a browser on my laptop or via my mobile handset. The embed from Flickr provides responsive imagery for the blog posts.

I'm returning to this post with other findings as the spring semester of 2017 unfolds on the three campus locations where I teach in Ireland.

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Back Seat Tablets

Learning by TouchingPhoto of Dylan by Bernie Goldbach.

I REMEMBER READING how Cherie Blair installed DVD screens in the headrests of the family car for her kids. Today, we have plus-oned her tactic by offering connected tablets to our lot.

This tactic is actually a necessary intervention because of our 24-minute homeward commute. At the end of a normal day, our kids often fall asleep between the ninth and tenth mile and then they don't eat a proper evening meal. This sometimes leads to less restful sleep patterns for the entire household.

While they're still young, I want to record both Mis and Dylan when they're deeply immersed in their tablet adventures. There's good value in simply recording the audio portion of their touchscreen actions. This week we are heavy on Toca Boca.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative multimedia to a wide age group.]

Apps at CESI Meets

Joe Dale at #icteduPhoto of Joe Dale sharing apps.

AT THE FRIDAY CESI Meet, more people retweeted Joe Dale's app recommendations than any other item. That's telling on several levels.

Although there's obvious financial concerns surrounding decisions to put iPads into primary schools, the early adopters find eager listeners when sharing tips about apps that just work. Joe Dale's list spun my head around because his suggestions will immediately improve the workflow of every primary school teacher I know. I plan to update this blog post with a full listing of the apps he breezily described in a brief five minute presentation he made during the CESI Meet on the Thurles campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology.

Bonus Link: List of 20 audio interviews of conference attendees made by young Irish students.

Bernie Goldbach teaches creative multimedia to Honours Degree students in Ireland.


Birth Announcement via Life360

Life360Bernie Goldbach in Cashel | Image from Life360.

I GET SOME OF THE MOST life-changing announcements about my family through the iOS app Life360--like today's short text giving details on the arrival of a new grandson.

Life360 is like Path on steroids. If you let it run in the background, it shows your location as well as an electronic tag on a person's leg. I've told Life360 where "home" and "work" are on the map and the app accurately puts me in those places at appropriate times of the day. It's remarkable to see two daughters in different States move around their day as pinpoints on a map.

Red and black icons on Life360 shows more information than many Irish viewers might want to see. The red dots correspond to items from police blotters (i.e., traffic violations or more serious criminal offenses) and the black icons represent the last known address of registered felons or sex offenders.

Another part of the app lets me send direct or mass text messages that appear in iOS notification screens. And best of all, I get the direct (and often updated) phone numbers for my extended family living eight time zones away.

Life360 is on a steep adoption curve. As a premium user, I can see a lot of value in the information the app shares to a private audience. And unlike the broadcast conversation style of Twitter or Facebook, I like the personal dimension guaranteed by the way Life360 is engineered.

Bernie Goldbach teaches privacy issues in the creative multimedia programme at the Limerick Institute of Technology.

Lessons from Junior Infants

Learning GesturesBernie Goldbach in Clonmel | Photo of Mia.

"TODAY MY TEACHER wanted to take some things off my iPod."

At first we thought that meant Mia had kept her mom's iTouch out on her desk but that wasn't the case. No, Mia was being asked to describe what she used on the little screen so the same apps might be put on the primary school's iPads. Mia has watched us move files around with cables and Bluetooth. She wondered if she might carry a white cable in her pencil case so she could swap things around on the iTouch like she sees me do with our laptop and peripherals. It's not that simple, we told her.

The concept of cloud storage, file permissions, digital rights management and incompatible formats will wait for another day. We mark today as the significant first time that our junior infant was asked for advice by her teacher. At least it felt that way for our five year old daughter.

Bernie Goldbach contributes items about parenting to Audioboo.


Unwound by Gestures

Learning GesturesBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Screenshot from Felix on iTouch.

ONE REASON MY contributions to online social networks has declined is because of an explosion of new gestures. I have to learn those gestures while watching our 18 month old attempt them.

I give my touchscreens to little Dylan because he likes to pull down and refresh content on screens. However, he also interacts with the screens from both top and bottom simultaneously and that sometimes results in unexpected actions.

Dylan has sent garbled tweets on my behalf. He has sent blank direct messages and he unfollows several people every week. Surprisingly, it is the unfollowing that fosters a string of emails between me and online friends.

So if you know you've been deleted or unfollowed by me, blame the gestures of a digital native.

Bernie Goldbach teaches creative multimedia to family and friends. Gestures are part of a Games Development module in the Limerick Institute of Technology.