Sunday, November 18, 2012

Teach from the Beach - Devices 2 and 3

Last week was our Diwali holiday and I was away in Goa.  While I wanted to have a fairly clean break from school, I was in the middle of facilitating an online course for the IBO so I knew I needed to be connected to the participants every day.  I thought long and hard about this, especially in the light of the research I've been doing about what people use different devices for.  Should I take my laptop, which would be easier to use to respond to the participants, or should I just take my other devices (iPad and iPhone) so that I would be more mobile?  In the end I decided I'd leave the laptop at home and see how I got on.

Actually it was really easy!  I made sure that both places I'd booked to stay had wifi and I was able to log onto the IBO online workshop site easily.  I got notifications of all new posts via email and I was able to respond very easily using the onscreen keyboard on the iPad.  Filling out the Google Spreadsheet with details of the activities the participants were engaging in proved to be more challenging, despite downloading the Google Drive app on the iPad.  In the end I resorted to the old fashioned method of pen and paper and updated the spreadsheet on my laptop when I returned home.

In the second half of the week I was beach based.  During those days I decided I would just take my phone with me and leave the iPad in my bungalow.  I looked out for cafes that offered free wifi.  One day I sat down under a palm tree outside a cafe and when I asked for the internet password I was told it was "palmtree".   It was slightly more challenging to read the posts and respond to them on a phone, but I was determined to go through one whole day of doing this simply to prove to myself that it could be done.  I also managed to read a book using the Kindle app on the iPhone too.

The experiment was a great success - I was able to teach from the beach very easily using just my mobile devices.

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