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another iPhone review? July 29, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in technology.
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So in skimming through my google reader, I came across an article on Last100, a blog about the digital lifestyle. Often the articles and posts that surprise me will catch my attention. When an author takes a stance that is not the majority, or is unique, I am fascinated.

Well, this post was centered around the iPhone – but not the typical article you find on the iPhone, either dissing or praising the iPhone. This article focused on the features offered on the iPhone. The author, Daniel Langendorf, notes that Apple took the lesser road when designing the iPhone, only integrating features that the average consumer would use.

It’s as if Apple “dumbed down” the iPhone on purpose, choosing to do things a certain (less complicated) way even though the technology exists to do these things in a more complete (albeit complicated) fashion. One cannot edit a Word document or spreadsheet on the iPhone like they can on a smart phone. Or cut and paste between email and notes. Or hyper-organize oneself with calendar, email, or contact programs.

Yet, he notes that this is refreshing to him because they are not including features just because they can. Instead the iPhone serves as an accompaniment to a computer, not acting as a mini computer itself.

While Daniel admits that the iPhone is definitely lacking in some areas, his new outlook on the device made me open my eyes to the iPhone. I may not be buying one anytime soon, but it taught me to look at the iPhone in a new light. To see it as doing what it is made to do very well, despite the fact that it does not do it all. It’s not supposed to. It wasn’t designed that way.

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gaming. everyone’s doing it. July 22, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in educational games.
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So in a discussion with my fiancé, Kevin, (who also happens to be an instructional technologist), the issue of recreational gaming came up. As both of us create games for elearning at our jobs, we are always emphasizing the value of games and echoing that the majority of the population is used to games and the gaming environment. The younger generations have grown up with video games and computer games and many of older generations have taken part in these gaming worlds. But basically, we are always pointing out how education is more effective when it is fun, interactive, and challenging.

Well Kevin then made a good point. For all that we advocate gaming and say that “everyone’s doing it,” we don’t play video games. We don’t even own any of the gaming consoles. So then are we hypocrites? Kevin suggested that we aren’t really gamers ourselves and that we should buy some of the popular games that people are playing and immerse ourselves in them “for learning reasons.” I do not disagree with this.

I know I could learn a great deal from this. But I argued back that “just because we don’t own or play video console games means that we are not gamers?” Because I know that every so often when I have a free 15 minutes of time, I jump on Yahoo! games and play a little Bejeweled, or JT’s Blocks. So does that make me a gamer? I believe so. Just maybe a different kind.

I think that the underlying principal of these computer and video games is the same, but the environment that these gamers are used to differs. In the computer games that I play, I am interacting, motivated to win, and challenged. The immersive games that others play also interact, motivate and challenge their players. But the more immersive gamers are accustomed to a more immersive environment. They want the advanced 3D graphics. They have and want more control and options.

So my unknown here is — do graphics and the technology of the game undermine the experience for the learner? Or is the challenge, the game enough?

Long overdue. July 19, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in other.
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So I know that I haven’t posted in a LONG while. Not to throw around excuses, but I have recently started a new job and along with my new house, contract work, personal time, and whatever else summer has brought along – it has left little time for following the industry and blogging. I hate that I have fallen out of the habit, but I know I will be back soon. I can see light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m just not there yet.

In a few weeks, I will be moving to work at home and that will free up more time for me. (no more commuting to the office, and I’ll be able to access my personal computer at times to follow up on the little tasks I used to do — work pc is so locked down!)

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been. Oh and to follow up on the Joost thing – the same problem I’ve had with Second Life has happened with Joost. My computer cannot handle either. So that’s why threes no review. I haven’t been able to use it. 😦 Also why I never speak of Second Life. I would love to upgrade the comp, but situations are not so favorable for that just yet. Christmas?? 🙂