The amazing use of technology in the classroom.
I’m going to try and be better this year about my Tech Thursday posts. So I thought I would start with what continues to be a hot topic in the tech world, Bring Your Own Device.
Today you see and hear commercials from many different companies about working anywhere, and video calls. You can be there without being there, is what many companies are using in their messages. They are showing the ability to be on the road all the time, and talk to your family over video. My question is, why are companies sending the message of putting the family second, why not show customer meetings over video while playing with your kids. To me this is the benefit of a company having a BYOD program and remote access into the workplace. There are multiple case studies and surveys out there showing higher levels of job satisfaction and higher levels of productivity.
BYOD, It’s why we have a 128GB iPads, Ultrabooks, 4G Hotspots, Virtual Desktops, and more laptops than full desktops. But where does support start and stop on these devices? Who owns the data on this device? These are the biggest challenges and struggles that IT Admins are dealing with today. It becomes a situation of security issues, if Employee X has been downloading torrents at home, and then keeps running them at work, not only could hinder the network speed, but it could also release a wealth of worms into the corporate network, infecting hundreds of systems. But what employee really wants the IT staff to load a 2GB security profile onto their personal device that will let the IT team track, lock, and wipe that personal device. Its a matter of managed freedom for lack of a better term.
Businesses are in the tough position of keeping employees happy and productive, while keeping company owned data – within the company. Also the company has to figure out how these devices are going to access the local network, and local files. There are some companies out there planning wireless upgrades and planning for 6-8 devices per person. And if an access point can handle efficiently 40 devices, you can see where this number would just keep increasing, just to get the devices connected to the internet/network. And even if a company says they are not implementing BYOD, I have just one question, How many of us have our work email coming into a personal device? If you are at home, can you access your email from a webpage, then you can have it on your phone/tablet/whatever.
My suggestion to Businesses and IT staff, Don’t just say no, your employees will find their way to the googles and figure out how to do it themselves.
To employees and end users, Don’t be stupid. If you are putting work information on your personal device, to me, you should be on the hook if that information goes missing or gets into the wrong hands.
So, I know its been a while since I’ve done a Tech Thursday post, but I will try to keep this one short, even though it has a lot of info.
So as we all know it is the height of tech industry conference time right now. All the big names are putting on shows in Southern California, showcasing their newest ideas and products. Among the ones I’m most interested in was the Apple Keynote that happened on Monday. I was one of many I’m sure that was watching the bootleg out of focus feed live to see what Tim Cook had up his sleeve. And we got updated MBPs, a Retina Display MBP, a new iOS and a new OS X coming soon.
Now I have already been able to spend some time with Mountain Lion and Windows 8, but I have only been using iOS 6 for about 24 hours. And now I am going to say something that some people will eat me alive about… I like Windows 8, I am a Mac fan, and it is my go to system, but Windows 8 has potential.
So I tested the two different previews of Windows 8. One was on my HP 2710p Tablet pc and the other was in a VM. I like the moves that Widows has made to make the system more interactive, but unless you have a full touchscreen system, the pretty stuff is just in the way. The system also ran well being on an older core 2 duo system with 3GB of ram. Actually ran better than Windows 7 did on it however, it wasn’t a true test as many of my main applications would not install on it. This was the major downside, and what I see as a downside in most of MS’s releases; the OS gets released and then you have issues with software compatibility for atleast 6 months or more, as everyone tries to redevelop their code and make it work.
The other thing that many people that I have talked to have complained about is the lack of a start button. This honestly is going to give IT and Helpdesk guys an ulcer. For years we have done support by telling people to click start then do this or that, and many of your legacy users, yes there are still people out there with Windows 98 and ME, they will be totally lost when this system comes up, especially if they still have the old roller ball mouse.
I think this is a great effort from Microsoft to make everyday computing more like, using a Windows phone even though it has a very low market share. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming months when this finally gets fully released.
OS X – Mountain Lion
Now I have been a mainly Mac user for the last 8 years. I say mainly Mac because my work issued systems have always been Windows systems.
The great thing that I have noticed about this release is that all of my stuff, unlike Windows 8, works as it should. I have ML installed on an external 40GB PATA drive that came from one of my old systems, and is hooked into my 13″ MBP with 8GB of RAM. While the drive speed is slow, and it is pulling most of its info over USB, ML runs very smoothly. Again I can access my normal boot drive and actually run programs from there, I am able to install older versions of iWork and iLife, Photoshop, etc. This over all is one of the most highly functional Beta’s I have ever worked with.
Like MS, Apple has built in features of iOS into their main OS, but did not try to mirror the experience. The built in features of messages, facetime, notifications, all have the same look and feel as on iOS, but are designed to be used on the system. One thing that I would like to see out of messages is for it to work more as a sms client, so that I can message non iOS/Apple devices.
Overall this is a great solid build, with the additional features that were added Monday, we should have a very solid good running OS when released next month.
So the other big annoucement from Monday’s Keynote was iOS6. Which, from the looks of things has integrated many well used apps into default Apple Apps. Siri, has been updated – if you use it, Maps is no longer google maps but is now very Tom-Tom esque, and facebook is now integrated into the phone. And now there is Passbook, that will allow you to keep gift cards tickets, and boarding passes all in one spot.
Like I said at the beginning of this post I have been using iOS6 for maybe 24 hours now on my Verizon 4S. I have both ATT and Verizon 4S iPhones, but decided to put it on my least used device, just in case. This like ML is one of the most highly fuctioning beta installs I have ever touched. It actually seems to run better than 5.1.1 was on the same phone with the same apps. Battery life has actually seemed to improve and the DND feature is great. There have also been some new visual improvements to the top bar and also to the dial pad, along with the enhanced app/music store and music player.
There are a few things that I haven’t been able to do, but they are just minor settings that I wasn’t able to get into, messages and Facetime settings.
Again, overall a good build. I will most likely go ahead and update my primary device and iPad of the next few days and do some more testing.
Please feel free to comment on any testing of the 3 OS options that you have done and how you feel about them.
All, if you haven’t already had the opportunity to register do so now. We still have space available.
When you register in the box for how you heard about the event put Cory McGlone, to try and help me win a little work contest.
I wanted to break a little from my recent Tech Thursday posts, and go in a slightly different direction for this post. As we are on the eve of “The New iPad” launch, you kind of have to wonder, is there actually such a thing as too much technology? I’m a geek, so NO. When I think about my typical day, I am on 6 or more different devices throughout the day. I have my iPhone, my work Android phone, my iPad, my work laptop, my home MBP, or my home media server. This doesn’t even take into account all the other devices that are connect in my living room, dvd, Wii, etc.
The geek-heart wrenching thought of what would I do without one of these devices, is like asking an athlete not to wear their lucky socks. It just cannot happen, you feel lost. I’m a technology ho, while I am a huge Apple fan, I will use Windows, or an Android device. I am testing Mountain Lion and Windows 8. But I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have one of my devices available, actually I do, make one of my other devices fill that void. I have my files synced between 3 different systems, plus my iPad and iPhone. I can get to any of my systems from anywhere, I can get the files I need on; Windows XP, 7, 8, OSX Lion, Mountain Lion, iOS, not just get to the files, but work with them, edit them, print them…..
There are so many devices out there today, walking into the Apple Store to me, is like walking into a Utopia. While I know that the system I’m messing around with there is not that different from the one I’m writing this post with, its newer, lighter, bigger….. It’s the constant worry that I don’t have the newest “it,” this device will start my program in 3.1 seconds where my current system takes 3.3 seconds for the same thing, I need it.
We all have our vices, call us Technology Hoarders, if you want, but Geeks/Nerds/Technophiles, we get made fun of until you need us to fix something.
So to answer my title question, To me there cannot be a thing called too much technology, it is how we develop, how we make our daily lives better. That being said technology cannot and should not take the place of real life. Make time for family and friends, with out the technology, and keep it in moderation.