· Clock and Timer
· Weather and weather alerts
· Google Tasks
Clock and Timer
I remember when I was back in school and I would set my watch alarms according to school clocks. (To the second) How geeky is that?
My school does not use bells for class dismissal. To complicate matters, the clock in my classroom (I am in a portable) is not accurate. This is where my android phone comes in handy. I can set alarms on specific days and have them go off five minutes before I dismiss. I would still use this within the main building as a reminder to finish the lesson. I also use the timer for classroom activities. I give the students a set amount of time to complete individual or group tasks. The clock and timer keep me on track.
Weather and Weather Alerts
Being in a portable classroom has its positives and negatives. Being in a portable classroom on the west side of the school with an open field to my west is a negative. I love thunderstorms and severe weather, but I do not like being in a classroom that has a higher percentage of being destroyed in a tornado. Most cell phones can help those that get nervous when there are severe storms in the area and my HTC Hero can do that and then some. I have registered with a local radio station to receive weather watches and warnings. I have the messages sent as an email and a text. To see the radar information I use the Weather Channel app and I have the NOAA mobile weather page bookmarked. I have a bookmark of the NOAA page on my home screen. Both of these show the weather forecast and radar. The Weather Channel app can show the radar in motion. I am hoping when my phone is upgraded to Android 2.1, I can get better support when viewing the radar on NOAA. All this information makes me feel safer while in portable classroom.
Having task management (to do list) is important. I use my browser and go to gmail.com/tasks.
I have four main categories:
· Future Plans
I can access these tasks on a computer or on my phone and they instantly sync. I can also share my tasks with someone. This has to be done on the computer and cannot be done on the phone…at least with my version of Android. There are other “To Do” lists out there, but I have not found any that sync as well as using the online version. I hope Google is working on an app that has more functionality. There are a lot of people that would be appreciative.
I have been in a holding pattern since I bought my HTC Hero last fall. What have I been waiting for? The next version of Android software! There are a lot of players involved in creating, testing, and implementing the next update for my phone. (Google, HTC, and Sprint) There are a lot of details here and I will not bore you with that information unless some of you request it.
I am currently using version 1.5 (Cupcake), which is the original software installed on my phone. There was an update this past winter to take care of some messaging problems, but the version on my phone is still 1.5. When the phone was released, 1.6 was available and I am assuming that it would have been too quick to have installed this on my phone. There has also been a lot of criticism about the fragmentation of Android versions that are currently being used on phones. Especially when compared to Apple. My version, 1.5, is the most commonly used and yet there has been a release of 1.6, 2.0, and 2.1. Version 2.2 is already being tested and early results show a significant improvement over 2.1. This craziness has made me less than happy. I love the phone, but I know it can be better. Android is making great strides in its operating system, but if it can’t update the phones in a timely manner, then Google will lose this market.
UPDATE- I now have 2.1 on my HTC Hero and I will discuss the improvements with a later post.
· Classroom Apps
· Changes I would like to see in my phone and Android
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org