Friday, February 18, 2011

iOS and photo's

Yesterday, my special year 7 group where making t-shirts with QR Codes printed on them. This was the cumulation of a project where they had been looking at what makes them unique and the idea was to generate a QR Code with a piece or pieces of their personality they would take to a new planet (slightly more exciting than the PowerPoint presentation they had to make last year). We started by reading a précis of Stephen Baxters novel Ark (well worth a read if you like Sci-Fi and global warming/disaster/interplanetary space travel), decided what qualities ann astronaut/coloniser would need, then decided which qualities we had that would be useful (it was pointed out that myself, as a geek, might be useful as I'm good with computers and "stuff"), wrote them down on the MiniBooks, checked the spelling, then copied and pasted into the QR Codes website and generated a code. This was sent to Technology who then printed iron-on transfers so by period 6, we could go and make our t-shirts.
As you can imagine, excitement was high. The only problem was, how to get photo's?
As you are probably aware, there are strict rules governing the purchase and use of ICT in schools. Microsoft don't make camera's as far as I know so rule 2b comes into force; any ICT procured for use must hinder teaching as much as possible. It must be hard to use, out of date and intrusive. We do actually have some illegal cameras (nice Cannon A70’s or some such) but of course, no card readers, leads or functioning USB ports means it is difficult to get the pictures somewhere useful (the shared drive? Accessible by only the chosen few and only in school? Fronter (which periodically loses stuff)? flickr (blocked-category:useful or educational)?

I ended up using my iPhone. Not ideal as it is a 3G model, the quality of the camera is poor (so ideal for use in schools!), to be honest, I could have drawn a better picture however it was all I had. So, got pictures, now what to do? A while back I bought an app called iPicasso that allows you to load photo's straight of the iPhone to picassa which handily, is a Google service that isn't blocked in school. So, five minutes later, an album was made, uploaded and shared with the kids. Brilliant.

This kind of leads me into another thread about iOS devices (this is probably true of other mobile platforms too, I don't know as I haven't got an Android device yet) and their general handiness. Having got back tonight, I decided I wanted to crop some of the pictures and generally tart them up a bit, bought an app called Pic Transfer (59p), sent the pictures via Bluetooth to my iPad, used PhotoPad to crop etc, used iPicasso to upload to Picassa and voila! Used the iPad to get the embed code for the album and embedded it into this blog:
Base Camp t-shirts

Now I know I could have done all of this on a desktop PC/Mac/Linux box or laptop but the sheer portability of the devices meant I could have everything up and running by the time the class got back to our usual room. Ignore the fact that this blog is about iOS devices, if mobile devices can do this sort of thing, the power they have is huge, whatever the OS they run. The desktop/laptop dominance of ICT really is over.

As an aside, we had about 10 minutes of the lesson left and excitement was still high but contained as the class watched the slide show on the projector screen whilst we cleared up the room.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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