Editorial Note: We have yet another guest post this weekend. We’re open to article submissions like this one from Reese Jones. If you have an idea for an article that you’d like to share with other parents and teachers reading iMagine Machine, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our society is rapidly adapting to the digital age. Everyone is connected—via a desktop PC, laptop, or smart device. According to statistics, around 80% of our population own mobile phones. With these numbers, educators saw the potential of mobile technology and thus, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program was born. However, with the high cost of technology, the BYOD program is still faced with a lot of challenges. Issues like Internet safety and security, network compatibility, and even affordability can affect the program’s success. Since education is geared towards a digital future, is a BYOD program for everyone? Is it just a trend or a necessity?
Accessibility and Equity
One of the biggest challenges faced by the BYOD program is affordability. In some rural districts, not all families can afford a computer and a broadband connection. Also, some schools have a very limited budget and manpower when it comes to technological upgrades. Despite this challenge, the education system must move forward with the times—this means going digital. In an article published on O2 (http://www.o2.co.uk), today’s youth, 25% of students in the UK alone believe that technology can help them prepare for the future. Children must learn how to use it before they can learn with it. By forging educational partnerships with companies and foundations, school can now extend financial support to students who are unable to purchase their own smart device.
Internet Security and Safety
In a recent study, most IT managers are still apprehensive when it comes to adopting BYOD. One of the most common reasons is because the scheme can’t support security, encryption, and remote wiping. Other reasons include: malware infection, unsecured connections, and unlicensed software. To control a school’s network, anti-virus programs and Internet firewalls must be installed to protect both student and equipment. Web protection and Internet filtering software can also be installed to prevent students from accessing prohibited websites while in school.
All rights reserved by empirical_perception
Distractions and the “Mine’s Better” Syndrome
Kids will be kids and they will play games, text friends, or watch videos on their smart devices. In a generation where entertainment is just a click away, there will always be distractions. Also, not all devices are created equal—some may have better devices than the others. This can be a nightmare and a source of conflict between students. Since these can be potential problems when implementing the BYOD scheme, teachers can turn these challenges around to their advantage. Games, videos, and social media sites can be used to engage them to learn. By encouraging students to share their devices with each other, it will foster camaraderie amongst themselves. Cyber ethics and etiquette need to be taught to these kids and turn them into better cyber citizens.
Learning is about engaging the student and teacher to learn from each other. Tablet PCs, laptops, and smartphones are our future’s new methods of instruction. Changing the methods of teaching encourages the students to learn more and express their ideas. On the other hand, teachers become learning managers and students become proactive in the classroom. BYOD will be the future of education and it needs to be taken seriously. These challenges can be resolved if we change our attitude toward technology and embrace it totally.
Note: This has been a guest post by Reese Jones, a freelance writer based in London. She loves to try educational and gaming apps such that she can share and enjoy them with her many nephews and nieces. When not busy playing with the little ones, Reese can also be found writing about the latest gadgets and tech news. She also regularly contributes to TechieDoodlers. You can also follow her on Twitter.
Here is what they say -
Well, the day has come and Faces iMake – ABC has been released on the Appstore today.
Soon we will be writing about the process that led to this great app but in the meantime,
Here are the Faces iMake ALPHABET
iMagine Machine has an opening for a freelance publicist and social media marketing expert. The position will take about 10 hours per week but more when we are launching a new app. We are looking for someone who is US-based and can work from home.
What we need:
You are someone who really understands social media, the blogging world, and you know how to secure a story. You have good media contacts in the technology and publishing worlds and you also have a passion for education, kids and cool new ways that technology can inspire kids, teachers and parents. Ideally you have some experience in the educational field and have contacts in this field or you are passionate about teaching and education.
You will need to be able to write well, know how to pitch a story, prepare copy and press releases and create blogs and good web content that will get noticed.
- Plan and execute a marketing strategy for new apps working with the iMagine Machine team.
- Create and distribute press releases and follow up with contacts to work to secure coverage.
- Write and edit blog posts for iMagine Machine
- Create exciting social media and distribute it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
Deadline for applications is 25th of January but we’d love to hear from you as soon as possible. Please send us a letter telling us a little bit about yourself, why you’d be good for the role, CV and any other media you think might demonstrate your abilities to – Andrea@imaginemachine.com
The creator of WorryWoos, Andi Green sat down with iMagine Machine’s Andrea Dinnick to talk about monsters, apps, worries and how Worry Woos has touched so many different people:
Andrea: I know that Worry Woos started out as an exhibition that you created in a gallery and as I understand it, the concept wasn’t initially created for children. Do you remember when you first created Worry Woos, what were you personally trying to do with the exhibit?
Andi: The goal of the first exhibit was to create an installation based on the monsters that filled my sketch books for over a decade. Through the years I had labeled these monsters with different emotions and decided it was time to highlight these emotions in some way. I decided to call my series the Monsters In My Head and designed large individual light boxes with a xerox transferred story on the face of each box. What I didn’t expect was the strong response from parents and teachers who wanted to read these stories to their children and students .Based on their response, I realised the need in the children’s market for a product that expressed difficult emotions as they really are; complex yet human. And that is how The WorryWoos began.
Andrea: What’s been the biggest surprise about the Worry Woos?
Andi: The amount of letters and emails I receive from WorryWoo fans expressing their gratitude for my characters. It is so inspiring but still surprises me everytime.
Andrea: Why do you think that children are so interested in Worry Woos? What’s that special ‘magic’ that makes them so captivating for children?
Andi:It is hard to say since the response varies from child to child. Kids are drawn to the uniqueness of each WorryWoo on a personal basis. Children love their colors and expressions but it is the lyrical stories, I believe, that create the strong bond. When a child hears the emotional tale of each WorryWoo I can see them processing and connecting to their experiences. It is this connection that creates a strong bond between a child and their Woo.
Andrea: Have you had any feedback from adults who have found this helpful? Personally, it was a great reminder for me that worries really do never help any situation. What experiences have you heard from other adults?
Andi: Many adults tell me that they need a set of Woos for themselves! And I love to hear this because my original goal was to create stories that work on multiple levels. One of the most memorable letters I received was from a young lady who had just moved to NYC. She found The Lonely Little Monster in the MoMA giftstore and bought it for herself. Her email was a thank you for making her feel less lonely in the big city. I had only been in business a few months and that email made me feel so proud that I had succeeded in reaching a varied audience.
Andrea: Tell me about how the idea of an app started?
Andi: I had always thought about the app world but was never sure how to start. It was Eyal from Imagine Machine who got the process started and I am so happy he did.
Andrea: How did you hear about iMagine Machine?
Andi: I was introduced to iMagine Machine through a friend of mine. He mentioned one of the owners was a fan of the WorryWoos and was interested in creating an app. When I saw the work iMagine Machine had done I was so excited. iMagine Machine keeps the art side of the digital world alive. A lot of their work is still hand drawn and produced with a stop animation quality. It is this classic style that I truly respect and am drawn to.
Andrea: What do you think an app can offer that a book or toy can’t?
Andi: The App brings another dimension to the characters. You can interact with a plush and book. But when you hear the voice of the character, it allows you to integrate yourself into the story; that just adds to the experience.
Andrea: What are your plans for the future of Worry Woos.
Andi: My plan is to continue to grow the WorryWoo line and continue to help people embrace their inner Woo.