bob sprankle
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Category — Thoughts

Line up for the Magic

As mentioned in a previous post, I am an early adopter for the iPad. I got up relatively early this past Saturday to stand in line (albeit, rather short because I had my machine on reserve) and plunked down my credit card because the future had finally arrived. (Or at least a part of the future).

Steve Jobs promised us a “magical” experience, and it truly was for me, as I was not only accompanied by my family, but also by Wes Fryer and his daughter for the journey. (For an Edu-Geek, getting technology is a happy day, but getting it while completely “geeking-out” with Wes Fryer is mind blowing! You can see pictures of the magical trip at Wes’ Flickr stream).

I’ve had a bit of time with the machine (not as much as I’d have like to) and my early assessment is that we are indeed moving into a new way of thinking about computers and that this device has the potential of offering transformational experiences for learners.

Right now, it’s pretty much a blank slate (btw, Steve Jobs: if you’re reading this, I still think you should change its name to iSlate). It’s almost tabula rasa as its identity is in the very early stages of evolution. While there’s plenty of iPad-ready apps to get your hands dirty with already, I’m sure we’ve hardly seen the potential this little machine can offer. (There are in fact over 150,000 iPhone apps that can be used on the iPad of course, but the minute you see the difference between their puny-pixelated selves and the beauty of the HD iPad apps, you’ll have a strong desire to keep your machine pure with only the premium fuel).

Each new day I scour the iTunes store to see what apps have been updated or what’s been created to specifically take advantage of the large screen real estate of the iPad. My latest favorite find is an app created for one of my favorite sites: the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL). ICDL has a collection of 4386 books in 54 languages —all for FREE. From picture books to chapter books, at all levels, this has long been a staple site for schools. Now, with the iPad app version I can bring the books to the rug when I read to my Kindergarten classes.

Each day, after checking the updated apps at iTunes, I also search the web for articles that talk about the educational offerings afforded by the machine. Today, I had to go no farther than upstairs to one of our classes where a 3rd grade student presented his Important Person research project by using an iPad to display media from YouTube to his peers. This, only 5 days after the release of the machine. (I’ve asked this student to do some writing about why he chose the iPad as his tool and how he thinks it will be used in education… I will seek his and his parents permission and see if I can post his thoughts here).

BTW: If you haven’t seen the “Modern Family” iPad episode, it is truly a treat for both uber-geeks and the people who have to live with them. You can catch it streaming at (while it lasts there). You can even watch it on your iPad with ABC’s streaming app! I don’t want to give away the character Phil’s last punchline in the show, so I’ll close with what I would say to my own iPad.

Quoting the end of Casablanca:

Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. …”

photos courtesy of Wes Fryer

April 8, 2010   1 Comment

How Satisfied are You with the Pace of Change?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the following survey! Thank you!

July 14, 2009   5 Comments


I’m greatly honored to be on this list with these incredible bloggers. Cheryl Oakes and Alice Barr are a part of this recognition too!

January 20, 2009   2 Comments

Lighter Side

August 1, 2008   No Comments

Hurray! WordPress for iPhone

Thanks to John Pederson for alerting me to this on Twitter!
clipped from

Hurray! WordPress for iPhone

Introducing the first Open Source app that lets you write posts, upload photos, and edit your WordPress blog from your iPhone or iPod Touch. With support for both and self-hosted WordPress (2.5.1 or higher), users of all experience levels can get going in seconds.


blog it

July 22, 2008   No Comments

WordPress Feed Problem… UPDATE: FIXED!

For some reason, my RSS feed is not updating in aggregators… GRrrrrr! What this means is the last update that has come through is Podcast # 70, missing the next two posts (71 and 72). Hopefully this post will make it through.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I’m using WordPress 2.5.2. I know there is an update to 2.6, but Bluehost (where I have my site) hasn’t upgraded to that yet. I could update manually, but then I will have to do this for now on, and I’d like to avoid that… plus I’m not sure that would solve the problem.

Kevin Hodgson told me (via Twitter) that Edublogs is going through the same thing right now.

UPDATE: YAHOO! Fixed it… problem was that I had too many post included in the feed. Brought it down to 25 and all set.

Image: ‘361/365 days – it feels good to+stop

July 21, 2008   1 Comment

Great Conversation Continues

The conversation continues about NECC and Pearson. Thanks to Vicki Davis for pointing towards this.

Image: ‘pingpong

July 8, 2008   1 Comment

Request for Input

Come to BLC with me!

I’ll be presenting on VoiceThread at BLC in a few weeks and am asking for you input that I can share during the presentation.

What are your favorite VoiceThread projects (from students or adults)?

What success stories do you have from using the tool?

Thanks in advance for sharing links and stories in the comments section!

July 5, 2008   13 Comments