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Archos 101 Review by @franze98

January 28, 2011 1 comment

Guest blogger @franze98 offers his thoughts on the Archos 101 after about 10 days of use. @franze98 is a must follow on Twitter, especially if you work in K12 information technology.

  • First thing I notice is it’s a very light weight device.
  • The kickstand is a plus for ease of use on a table or desktop.
  • Screen is sharp making viewing in different lighting easy.
  • It comes with a marketplace, but not the android marketplace.
  • Getting the android marketplace installed took some trial and error as this was my first Android device.
  • Wireless connection is fairly fast, even without a N connection to try out.
  • The battery holds up much better than a laptop, although it does take a while to charge and I’m not thrilled with the plugin design.  It sticks out a lot and doesn’t give a snap into place feel when it is pushed in.  It does have a charge light so you know it is being charged.
  • Some of the apps downloaded from the android market don’t look right because they are designed for phones.
  • Some flash based websites seem sluggish to load, although there could be reasons other than flash for this.
  • No Netflix app for android yet.
  • Surprisingly I had to download a pdf viewer to view pdf’s, something which you never have to do on a pc as they always seem to come with Adobe or another company’s product.
  • Camera is not meant to replace a real camera as quality is below average for a webcam.
  • Typing on the touch screen keyboard is fairly efficient, especially after I performed a recalibration.

At this time I’m also downloading a new firmware to see what it may do.

One of our main uses in education is for the Autoskills software suite, but its flash requirement seems to prevent it from working correctly.  Another possible use would have been Accelerated Reader, but there is no print client available thus one cannot take reading quizzes. At a price point of $294, it definitely is a nice consumer product, but I’m not sure its right for education just yet.

My Role-Playing as a Technology Coordinator

May 19, 2010 3 comments

Guest Blogger: @franze98 Chris Franzen is one of the valuable contributers to #EduIT and an “education minded” technology administrator.

My Role-Playing as a Technology Coordinator in Pre-k – 12 School District

I see three parts to the equation in interacting with teachers.  These parts all play equal importance for successful technology integration.  With my role as a sole Technology Coordinator, I have to be able to manage my time wisely to cover all the bases.

Trainer

Learning a new technology takes time whether that is new software or hardware.  Part of my job is to teach teachers how to use the technology provided for them in their classrooms.  Without my guidance some wouldn’t have the time or initiative to learn a new piece of technology.  In playing this trainer role, one has to be able to connect with the audience.  I try to do so at the personal level and then connect the “material” to terminology that they can understand.

Provider

Not only do I provide my staff with knowledge on how to use technology, but I also provide the equipment to them.  Sometimes this becomes the hardest part of my job as I must constrain purchases to a budget and thus not everyone gets what they would like to have.  It’s a fine tightrope to walk in being fair, but also considering how to get the most bang for the district’s buck.  Also taken into to consideration is how much use that item will get in that classroom.  In my district I have a wide token of users so some are towards the top of the technology knowledge pole while others are towards the bottom.  This is very comparable to a general student population and we don’t want to leave anyone behind.  The connection to the trainer role is very clear in a situation for those towards the bottom of the tech ability scale.  If the desire to learn more is there it is very important to push them to the next level. Otherwise their frustrations will easily mount and they could turn new technology into a negative.

Fixer

Whether its user error or a broken electronic part, it’s my responsibility as the technology department to fix it.  If it is broken it was probably used and thus now a teaching plan is out of whack and my teachers rely on me to get things up and running efficiently.  These day to day fixes also give great opportunities for personal interaction with the staff.  Striving to schedule fixes at a time least convenient to them is also a priority if possible.

Some key points that I try to remember for all of these parts is to keep an open mind.  Not everyone will see things eye to eye with you.  It’s those times of struggle where we can all shine in finding a compromise.    Thanks to Howard Chan, @socratech on twitter for inviting me to participate in this guest blog.

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