Friday, 22 January 2010

Robo Distaste

It's amazing how much stuff happens under the radar in Otautau. For example, did you know there is a band who have a CD out? The band is Robo Distaste aka Quint Baker and Shona May Alice. The music is 'alternative' so may not meet everyone's taste, but it's definitely worth a listen. You can hear some tracks at the Robo Distaste MySpace page and read more on the Robo Distaste blog. It may be my imagination, but does this photo look like the wooded hills of Holt Park overlooking Otautau?

Really good to see local people taking creative advantage of all the opportunities this digital age has to offer.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

More Uses for Notes

More things you can use Notes for:
  • Spelling words and definitions
  • Foreign Language Phrases and Sentences
  • Historical Timelines
  • New Year's Resolutions
  • Creative Visualisations/Daily Affirmations
  • Pepeha - introducing yourself in te reo Maori
  • Recipes
  • Words of Wisdom - the Beatitudes, Zen Koans, etc.
  • Your Organisation's Vision Statement
  • Your Organisation's Five-Year Plan (in brief)
  • Poetry
  • 10 Things You Said You Would Never Do
  • 10 Things You Said You Always Wanted to Do

And the end is listless!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Technology and Literacy

Now that all the presents have been bought and funds expended, I made a new discovery that might've made a difference for you this Christmas. If you had been wavering on whether to buy an iPod or some other brand of mp3 player for a child, this might've influenced your decision.

iPods can handle books. They have a function called 'Notes' which displays text files. A text file is what you have when you write in a program like 'Notepad' on a Windows computer. It's just plain text and no other fancy formatting. This keeps the size of the file very small.

There are several websites that let you legally download classic stories such as Moby Dick or the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. These are downloadable as text files and can be put onto your iPod as long as it has the 'Notes' function and I think they all do - even the first generation Nano.

One such website is called Project Gutenburg which boasts 30,000 titles. The thing about the Notes function is that they all have to be no bigger than 4kb. So this means once you download your text file, you have to truncate it into smaller text files. eBook Hood does this for you, and it's free as well. Once you have unpacked the zip file that it makes, you can easily transfer them into the Notes directory on the iPod.

I think books will never go out of existence, but I also believe this new generation of children - especially the ones that are wavering in their literacy skills - need options that also embrace the technology with which they are so enamoured.

Kids can also type their own To Do Lists, Homework Assignments or even Goals for 2010 as Notes. Poems, passages and other things that they need to memorise are a good use of Notes too. This is a very easy way to make learning and reading fun.

Election 2017

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