It’s multiapping not multitasking

Why do we say multitasking when using multiple apps to get one task done?

Recently I decided that I need to focus on one task at a time and not multitask. I set all my apps on my MacBook Air into full screen mode to “lock” myself in. I realised quickly that most tasks that I complete require multiple apps, for instance composing an email may require checking another email message or dragging in an image or file. I was spending more time swiping, loosing apps and dealing with how macOS behaves when using full screen apps.

I am now back to using apps as windows, like they should be (with 2 caveats). My focus has improved by removing other distractions, which I will post about soon.

For a closing thought, next time someone says an iPad is not good for multitasking do they mean “multiapping”?

Cooking Steak on a Weber Charcoal BBQ

I thought it was about time to share how I cook great steak on my Weber Charcoal BBQ. Now when I say “steak”, I mean the kind of steak that you share with your family or “get your meal for free” size steak. So this could be a large cut t-bone or a tomahawk or a ribeye. For my demo I am cooking a 1.1kg yearling ribeye, which will be dinner for my 7 year old, my wife and myself. We will also get some leftovers for lunches through the week.

So first of all I get the Weber set up for the cook. This is indirect cooking so I have an empty basket on one side of the BBQ with an aluminium try adjacent (which the meat will sit above). I leave the access grill up ready for the hot charcoal. I always have my smoking wood ready to go too. If you want to keep an eye on the temperature, you can also use an internal thermometer, this is optional as cooking times should be around 1 ½ hours with the indirect method. Below is what it looks like.

Weber BBQ setup

Next we light some charcoal in a chimney. I normally measure how much I need with the other empty basket and add a little extra for luck. It takes about 20-30mins to get a nice white glow, which is just enough time to prepare the meat.

Charcoal heating in chimney

So now we are going to prepare the meat, I protect myself with some nitrile gloves. Google these guys and find them from cooking shops or hardware stores. They are kinda heat and cutting resistant, so perfect while working with raw or cooked meat. Also you look really cool.

Nitrile Black Gloves

Now I take the meat out of the wrapper. At this point I will get excess moisture off the meat with kitchen towel.

Yearling Ribeye

Now for the rub. You can pick what you like. I am using Barbecue 101, which I got from a local Perth BBQ school. They also taught me how to cook this 😀.

Barbecue 101 Rub

I then shake reasonably amounts of the rub over the steak and help it out on the sides.

Steak covered in rub

Once the charcoal is ready, its time to get it all on. I will tip the charcoal into the basket and then pick up the strays with tongs. I then add a small amount of water to the aluminium tray, this helps keep the temperature low. The meat is place over the tray and away from the charcoal. Last of all I add the smoking wood to the charcoal and flip down the grill cover. It should look like the image below.

Weber with charcoal and meat

Now we put on the lid and make sure the holes are open on the lid and positioned over the steak so the smoke passes over the meat. I also open the bottom vents the whole way too and only close them if I think its too hot, maybe above 180C.

Now it time to get on with your condiments and enjoy the smells of the meat cooking.

Depending on how you like your steak, you will just need to cook until the internal temperature reaches the required amount. A quick google should provide an answer, but I use this website.

To measure you will need a meat temperature gauge. It is a good idea to use an instant one as they speed up the process. I have a Thermastick, it is great.

Thermastick, instant thermometer

Checking the meat around 1 ½ hours and you should be close. Mine ended up taking about 1 ¾ hours and around 56C.

Ready at 56C

The final part of the cook is moving the steak over the charcoal. This is why my meat was a little less in temperature than what I wanted. By adding some rest time to the end the meat will also cook further.

Now it’s time for a little rest. At most I’d wait 30mins. I waited about 5 for this cook.

Resting the meat

Now it’s time to slice it up and it looks great.

Cutting the meat

I finished it off with some asparagus, broccolini and zucchini cooked on my gas Weber. Added some cherry tomatoes and leftover potatoes.

The final meal

Oh and it tasted amazing.

Launching an App to the App Store

Super Colour

It has been 2 weeks now since Super Colour was released on the App Store. What started with an experiment in converting Unit 4 from Apples’ Develop in Swift Explorations from Xcode Interface Builder to SwiftUI, ended up being a great learning experience and dare I say, a neat little app.

There a number of hurdles to get over when going through the whole process, which probably took more time than developing the app. It is not just a “click submit” and you are done, so keep that in mind if you decide to release something of your own.

From the data I can see it is installed on a whopping 20 iPhones worldwide, which does make me smile 😁. I honestly had the biggest fun making and releasing the app plus I already have plans for my next.

Taking an Activity Notification Diet

No more Activity Notifications

I recently became aware of the Attention Diet by Mark Manson, it is a highly recommended read and it made me pause for reflection. In cutting back, I started to reduce my notifications and it made me rethink the Apple Watch Activity notifications.

Although motivational, they are also super annoying. Right now I am recovering from injury and I must not exercise as much, but the Apple Watch just doesn’t care.

So I’ve quit the notifications, just leaving on Special Challenges. Today was day 2 and it’s been great.

I’m not sure if I’ll turn it back on after I’ve recovered from my injury as I exercise enough and I’m happy to just complete my rings naturally.

Also Apple needs to add an “I’m injured/sick/resting” mode.

Unread 2 for RSS

Article List View | Article View | Article Options

I have been using Unread 2 for a couple of weeks as my RSS reader and it has become my favourite RSS reader.

Unread is beautifully designed. It looks great and it is a joy to use. One handed on my iPhone XS Max everything is reachable. I can swipe back and forward all day.

Unread’s article list view cleverly adapts the summary text to provide one or two full sentences, depending on the length. It’s a simple feature but makes a huge difference when deciding on reading the whole article or not.

Unread provides a variety of themes and app icons. I really like dark themes with a tint of colour like dark greys or a good blue. Think the blue “dim” dark mode on the iOS twitter app. I am using the Panic theme in Unread and it looks great.

As a bonus, I have figured how to use Unread as a “read it later” app too. By installing the Feedly app (which is the RSS service I use) I can save articles to the “Read Later” board via the iOS share sheet, this then syncs to the “Saved” area in Unread.

Unread is a great app and though it took me a while to commit to the subscription (AU$29 per year) I am very happy with my purchase. If you use RSS daily, I could not recommend it more. There is a 50 article free trial, which does give a good feel for the app except its great background syncing

Unexpected side effect of the Magic Keyboard

It has only been 2 days since I received a Magic Keyboard for my iPad Pro and it has already changed how I am using my device, one unexpectedly.

The obvious improvements are nicer typing with real keys and having a backlight. I am also enjoying more flexibility in getting the screen angle just right, unlike my Smart Cover keyboard which I only had 2 positions. I am also typing this on my lap and it feels great, albeit a little narrow, but this ain’t no 16” laptop!

The unexpected improvement is that I now feel more like grabbing my iPad and using it with no case at all. By “limiting” the Magic Keyboard so that the cover does flip around to the back, I now just pull the iPad off the magnetic “stand” and it feels great. This morning I sat in bed and did my morning reading with my iPad rather than my phone and it felt really nice. I never did this before as the Smart Cover was just too bulky, the device did not tell me to use them separately. Isn’t it funny how the design of the device talks to how it should be used.

The only negative I have so far is third party app support for the trackpad, the worst offender currently is Microsoft Word. The toolbar is not reliable in detecting the click, if I have a selection of text it works but otherwise I have to tap with my finger - super weird. As apps update, which I am sure they will, it will be great. Right now I find that I either forget I have a trackpad (unlearn what you have learned) or apps don’t respond correctly - so I use my finger, which is a great way to use an iPad 😁

Petzl Swift RL Head Torch

Recently I picked up a new head torch to help with the dark early morning runs. Some paths that I use have no lighting and can be dangerous, like this week when I avoided a 30cm dugite. I had been using a Petzl head torch for about 6 years and had been very happy with it but it was not holding a charge and was pretty dirty, so I picked up the equivalent model as a bit of a treat.

It is super bright, with its maximum 900 lumen led and auto adjust brightness based on ambient light. I find that I use the lowest setting mostly and sometimes the middle one. I could imagine if I was trail running the high setting would be very helpful.

It is very easy to use, there is one button that rotates through low, medium, high and off. You can switch between auto adjusted to fixed brightness by holding the same button down for a few seconds. I like auto adjust because it means that if a car is coming the other way, I know I’m not affecting the driver.

The battery is great, especially on the low setting.

It is really comfortable to wear, which is important when heading out for hour long runs.

The Swift RL is highly recommended.

Come Back Marathon on Hold

As with the many things in life at the moment, I received news that the Bunbury Marathon had been cancelled for 2020. At first I felt like I would finish my training, run the 42km on the same day and be happy with completing my recovery. After sleeping on it, I realised that I really wanted my come back to happen at an event, I wanted my family to cheer me on and hold up the medal to signify my recovery was complete.

So my plan now is to focus on some strength training over the coming weeks and follow Hal Higdon’s Base Training programme. That will lead pretty perfectly into training for the Perth Marathon, which will be held on the 26th of September. I am hopeful that this is far enough away that the event will go ahead.

It’s funny that I thought this would bother me more than it has, but there really is more important things in life. I have recovered amazingly well from my back surgery and I don’t need a marathon to prove it, but it will be the icing on the cake.

Apple Mail markup is so good

iOS 13.3.1 solved all of the bugs I was experiencing with Apple Mail and I am most happy about this because I love using the markup features.

It’s easy to markup an inserted image. Just tap the image and tap the Markup option.

You then have access to all of the drawing tools.

There is also a feature to markup a PDF file or image received in an email and then send the the markup changes as a reply or add to a new email.

When opening a PDF file or image received in an email, use the markup icon to begin the process.

Make the changes and then choose the done button. Mail will then ask to attach the markup document in a reply or a new email.

This is great.

To access all of Mails tools choose the arrow above the keyboard.

The tool bar will open.

From here it’s easy to change the font, insert a photo, take a photo, insert a document from Files, scan and insert a document and finally write a note.

All these features are available on the Mac too so it’s great jumping between the two.

I run marathons and lose Apple Watch Competions

twitter.com/mkbhd/sta…

It shouldn’t bother me but I am training for a marathon which includes running 70km+ per week and 32km single runs but I still loose Apple Watch competitions to people who walk and do pilates. 🤔

Apple Watch Podcast Apps for Runners

One of my joys of running is churning through my podcast queue. It’s great for just zoning out and enjoying the run.

When I upgraded to the Apple Watch Series 4, I chose the cellular version so I could leave my iPhone at home but still be reachable and call for rescue if needed (which has happened). I had a hope that I could listen to podcasts by syncing or streaming directly to my watch. As far as a I know the only apps that work independently from the watch (and still have an iPhone app) are Apple Podcasts, Overcast and Castro.

Overcast is what I currently use, it’s not perfect and has bugs but they are not show stoppers. It offers local sync which is good once the sync is done. Without streaming though, I have to be super organised and make sure there is enough synced episodes. Bugs - the app ignores the tap gestures set for my AirPods so I still need to skip via the watch directly. It also doesn’t always sync played episodes back to the iPhone, so I have to do that later myself.

Apple Podcasts is a strange beast. The app itself just doesn’t fit my workflow. I also tried it on a run and it played episodes that had synced (I think) but could not stream other episodes. I’m not sure if it can stream, it doesn’t give any indication either way.

On paper Castro is my perfect podcast app offering both playback via sync or streaming directly on the Apple Watch. The killer bug is that once one episode completes and starts playing the next it seems to skip random amounts of time. This can actually be to the end of the next show. I find myself running along tapping the “back 30 seconds” until it hits the start - not fun.

I have contacted the developer(s) of both Overcast and Castro pointing out the bugs and Castro devs said they will investigate.

Hopefully in the future I can live the dream and to be honest Castro is close. I have to wonder if this is more of an Apple issue not providing developers the tools they need. I really wish developers of podcast apps would show us (me) runners some love.

Four week wait for AirPod Pros

So I finally took the splurge and ordered AirPod Pros. I have a 4 week wait, which makes me reflect I should have ordered them 2 weeks ago when my old AirPods battery ran out during my long run. Let’s hope they stay in my ears while running or I’ll be utilising the Apple 14 day return policy.

Distance Running Programmes

I have been running for around 6 years now and whenever I plan on running a marathon I follow one of Hal Higdon’s programmes. I find them easy to follow and with nothing too complicated.

Currently I am following Marathon Advanced 2 but I have previously used his other programmes. There are options to pay for extra guidance but there is no requirement. He provides programmes for all distances and I recommend checking them out

If you are up for running more km’s per week than what the plan suggests, Hal has said that you can run double up days to add more. For example 5km in the morning and 5km in the afternoon. As long as you follow the base programme he is happy. I was hitting 100km per using this technique and it really felt ok - until my back needed fusing (unrelated). Hopefully I should be back doing this next year.

Mobile Phones in Schools for the next decade

I was listening to episode 97 of the Pragmatic podcast recently and John asked Myke Hurley what would be the one device he could not go without from all the devices he uses. Listen to the anguish in his decision…

Clip from Pragmatic Episode 97

Myke chose his iPhone and qualified it by saying.

Realistically, who can survive in the modern world without a phone these days. It’s becoming more and more difficult no matter where you live in the world to get by without a smart phone.

Mike Hurley, Episode 97 Pragmatic

I also was intrigued to see a post by Jason Mendeloff entitled “iPhone Only” where he shared similar thoughts

I wanted to share my unique point of view when talking about tech and apps. I manage my life on my iPhone only, no iPad or no computer.

This really got me thinking, well first of all, how could anyone disagree with Myke and then as we move into the next decade, should our aim for education to make sure the device we use in education be the most accessible and the one most people have in the modern world?

I find it very short sighted that “leaders” and decision makers are quick to jump on the negatives of mobile phones and quite merrily ban them from schools when they are ignoring the power they have. They could at least qualify the ban by adding that they are actively working with the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Google to try and solve the problems they see.

I do believe that “bans” are political and are to give impression of strong decision making, thus appeasing public backlash rather than actual dealing with the problem. Like the recent ban in the Western Australian public education system which, when you look closely, is not really a ban but rather a more clear set of boundaries for when a mobile phone can be used at school.

So in recognising that mobile phones are the primary device of the modern world and in particular teenagers (as of 2018 it’s around 95%), what should we aim for over the next 10 years in education in the use of the technology?

What should schools be doing?

For schools with 1:1 programmes, I think it’s pretty clear the benefits of laptops or iPads, but it is still important to also utilise mobile phones and incorporate them into teaching programs when it is advantageous.

For schools without a 1:1 programme, many of which could be due to the additional financial pressure to their families, allowing mobile phones at school becomes more necessary. These schools should have a vision and plan that sets in place how they will incorporate these devices into the future, maybe by the end of the decade 😉.

All schools need to identify and work together on the biggest issues they see as the “ban-able” problem.

Does this include investigating using technologies like Apples screen time and educating parents and how to set it up?

Does it include making recommendations on what phone parents should buy?

Does it include education departments and governments actively working on a solution?

It seems to me these are steps that should be being talked about in public and be seen as problems to solve.

Outside of schools I would like to see software and hardware developers to become more focused on mobile phone first applications. I see far too often developers taking the “easy” route of making theirs apps for desktop/laptop devices or having mobile apps they are not functionally complete.

When I first started teaching we spoke about the digital divide - those who could afford a computer and those who could not. The question now should be more about those who cannot afford more than one device.

I would also like to see Apple, Microsoft and Google actively and publicly working to solve the problems faced with mobile phones at school. These are difficult issues and they have a big part to play. How about having the Apple Classroom app working on iPhones too?

Finally, this year in my classes that involve app development I am actively making students aware of why we are making apps. In particular our i3 (I Cubed) class we are solving problems based the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the students need to make an app. Many of these goals are targeted at countries where mobile phones are more common than laptops or iPads. They also rely on mobile technology for their Internet connection. This has become a discussion for the class and giving reason for our focus on iPhone development.

I really do hope we get past the negatives of mobile phones at school and society begins the process to acknowledge all the positives.

Year of Positivity

This year I have decided to have a theme. This came about as I left 2019 thinking it should have been an amazing year, yet I was feeling flat to almost negative (really, how?). I used my Christmas break to spend some time reflecting and deciding on change. During this time I also listened to Cortex Episode 95: Yearly Themes where it was discussed their previous themes, what they were planning and why “resolutions” fail. It was perfect timing for me and almost instantly I chose 2020 to be the year of Positivity.

The theme means that I make choices to end with a positive. It’s not just about looking at life being “half full”. It is me actively trying to make change to be positive. An example is adjusting the way I use twitter, so I see more of what I find positive. Or even blogging more - I do not care if anyone reads what I’m writing but it brings me joy.

Now if you are not up for a long podcast and want to know more, it just so happens that one of the hosts of Cortex (CGP Grey) just dropped a great movie on his YouTube channel and I highly recommend giving it watch.

youtu.be/NVGuFdX5g…

Remember a year can start anywhere and it doesn’t need to be for a whole year - it could be a season or a term of school. If you’d like to share your theme I’d love to hear.

Upgrading to a MacBook Air

This year I decided to swap my 2017 MacBook Pro for a 2019 MacBook Air and over the last couple of days I have been setting it up.

So far I am loving the change, it really is a great size device. Those 15” and now 16” MacBook Pro’s are “large” and “heavy” in comparison. It’s great to just pick up the Air and notice the difference. Performance wise I have not seen any issues, but I haven’t really done anything to stress the CPU (other than sync my photos).

On the migration, I decided to follow the same process that I have done in the past, basically I just login to iCloud and let everything sync from the cloud. I then open the App Store and install my previous purchases. The only really change this time was to transfer my Backblaze account so I still can see all the files from my old Pro. It’s a great opportunity for a clean up. I’m not sure if I needed anything from Xcode, but I have my backup for that.

It’s phenomenal how much data is stored in the cloud now and it makes this process super easy. I just need to wait for everything to sync.

My only annoyance so far is having both USB-C ports on the left side means plugging into projectors or even power not as flexible. One port on each side would be awesome.

Back to work 2020 edition

So I’m back to work tomorrow after a great Christmas break. This year I’m looking for to teaching some of the same classes and some new ones.

This is what’s on:

  • i3 - Our innovative year 10 programme asking the question “Can girls solve real world problems” 😉. We have the same 4 class teachers this year and I’m really excited by the changes we have planned
  • Mechatronics - my hands class with robots, raspberry pi’s, 3D printing etc. Really fun class.
  • Creating Apps Year 9 - this year I will introduce SwiftUI for app development and I am really excited to see how we go. I’m looking forward to sharing what we get up to.
  • Teach Drawing Year 9 - this one is new to me and I’m finally going to learn SketchUp. We are going to use the online education version which is free to Office365 schools now. I loved this subject when I went to high school so it should also be fun

Out of the classroom, I have plans to keep going with 15min PD’s and will look to start an Apple Teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator programme for staff. I am also keen to see how we can get some everyone can can create stuff happening.

I’m also planning an esports club and I’m hoping the girls will get really involved.

Some other thing I’m looking forward to is Year 9 camp and Cross Country. Probably lots more too.

Good luck to all the other teachers returning in the next couple of weeks, hopefully you are as excited as I am.

Dark Textures

This one is inspired by Matt Birchler and his take. Mine come from some stunning trees in The Valley of the Giants in Walpole, Western Australia.

Current Watch Faces

At the moment I switch between 3 faces depending on what I’m doing. My Watch Faces The first face is using Infograph Modular and has pretty much every complication that I need or want through the day. When I use this face I rarely need to access other apps or open the dock. The second face is Numerals Duo and gives me a distraction free clock that I can see from about a mile away, it’s great while doing most things and I just need the time. The last face is using Modular and I use it when I sleep. Having the red text helps my retinas not explode during a quick check of the time while in bed. These faces work great for me, especially as I find digital clocks much quicker to read and more accurate.

Dark Mode and Text Size

Recently, while listening to episode 273 (I think) of The Talk Show podcast, John spoke about having eye problems and that he had switched to full time dark mode and moved the text size slider one notch up on his iPhone. As I am always happy to try new things, I thought I’d give it a go and I have to say that I love it.

If you are not sure of the process I have some screen shots below of the process, first switching to full time dark mode (iOS 13 required).

Switching to Dark Mode

The next is increasing the text size, which could be increased more if you like.

Changing Text Size

I also added the text size quick adjust to the Control Centre screen just incase I want to switch back.

Adding Text Size to Control Centre

Lastly, as an added bonus, another trick I employed last year was turning off Night Shift, which reduces the blue light at certain times of the day. I am now just using the True Tone feature that newer Apple devices have. This allows the screen to adjust colour temperature to match the surrounding environments. This means that at night when I’m using on my “yellow” bedside light the screen also adjust. I highly recommend this change too.

Switching off Night Shift

Podcasting Microphones Extras

So since my last post where I discussed my recommendations for a good podcasting microphone I have received a couple of orders from Amazon. First is a shock mount which is designed to remove some of the vibrations that may occur from moving the microphone to bumping the desk. This is the one I grabbed: Shock mount https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C86FA0E/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The only problem was that I didn’t check the sizes so I needed to 3D print a part so that the microphone sat comfortably. Mic Enlarger I also purchased a foam microphone wind protector to help soften the noise of the microphone. This is the one I grabbed: Foam Cover https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EMUQ08O/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Together they all look pretty cool: Mic with Foam Cover and Shock Mount

Podcasting Microphones

For all intensive purposes do not record audio through the microphone of your laptop, these microphones pick up far to much background noise and never provide any kind of reasonable quality. A starting point is to just use the microphone attached to Apple AirPods - which will provide a clearer recording just by the fact that it will sit closer to your mouth. It also works well while on the move. In my experience the “feel” of a podcast changes dramatically based upon the quality of the recorded audio. Some of the clear “low quality” sounding podcast generally arise when the presenters are located in the same location sharing one microphone. So how do you choose a good microphone that has a reasonable price? Well you could head to this blog post by Marco Arment of Tumblr, Instapaper and Overcast fame. Podcasting Microphones Mega-Review tl;dr - get yourself an Audio Technica ATR2100-USB.

An amazing value for the money: it sounds great for the price, and pretty decent at any price, as long as you speak up very closely to it. With USB and XLR outputs and a built-in headphone jack for USB mode, I don’t know of a cheaper or simpler all-in-one solution to recommend. Compared to other inexpensive USB mics aimed at beginners, which are usually large-diaphragm condensers, the dynamic ATR-2100 picks up far less room echo and background noise. But you have to speak up closely to it — get more than about two inches from it, and it gets very bad, very quickly.
AT2100-USB This microphone is fantastic and provides great value for money. Tracking one of these down in Australia is its biggest down sides. I managed to grab one from my local PLE computers for $99.

So why this microphone - other than price?

Inputs and Outputs

USB

Connecting to a laptop or even iPad could not be easier.

XLR outputs

Flexible enough to connect to any professional audio equipment and cabling.

2.5mm Headphone Jack

Plugging your headphones directly into the microphone enables the ability to listen to exactly what the microphone is picking up. This actually makes a huge difference while recording.

A small stand

Easy table top setup.

Example Recordings

Like what Marco did in his review, below I have included some example recordings I made using the internal microphones from an iPad Pro 12.9 and a MacBook Pro with also recordings made on both devices with the AT2100-USB Microphone. MacBook Pro Internal Microphone [audio src=“http://172.105.180.81/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/macbook-pro-internal-mic.m4a"][/audio] MacBook Pro with AT2100-USB Microphone [audio src=“http://172.105.180.81/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/macbook-pro-mic.m4a"][/audio] iPad Internal Microphone [audio src=“http://172.105.180.81/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ipad-internal-mic.m4a"][/audio] iPad with AT2100-USB Microphone [audio src=“http://172.105.180.81/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ipad-mic.m4a"][/audio]

iPad Setup

iPad Connection

Podcasting Series

One of the many ways I like to pass time while running or driving is by listening to Podcasts. They cover so many topics, themes and styles that really there is an endless amount of content available. I like to listen to podcasts covering technology, education, science and tv shows. At the end of this post I’ll link to some of my favourites that I could not live without. Over some of the next few posts I will go through the setup that I have been putting together to record, edit and publish a podcast so that people can subscribe and listen. I will try to cover my experiences and choices that I have made - like keeping costs to a minimum. I would like to point out a couple of resources that I recommend - and that I have used to help in my decisions. Six Colors - Podcast Posts Casey Liss - How I Make Podcasts

Podcast Recommendations

Accidental Tech Podcast Connected Hello Internet Future Tense

Cyber Savvy Summit 2014

Over the last couple days I have had the privilege to be involved in the Cyber Savvy Summit 2014. This was the first official meeting of all schools involved in the Cyber Savvy Project which is

a world first study to support young people to make positive choices about their online behaviour, and in particular the use of images sent via mobile phones and the Internet. It is conducted by researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute and supported by the Telethon-New Children’s Hospital Research Fund 2012, Healthway and the Department of Education Western Australia.

In the weeks leading up I had to choose 4 year 9 students that would represent our College and also become “Cyber Savvy Ambassadors”. I think we were all a bit apprehensive as I had not taught the students before and we really had little idea about what the 2 days would entail. After the Summit we realised the importance of the “secretiveness”. Both days involved me picking up the students from school and making the almost hour trip to the WA Basketball Centre (and yes we got to see the Wildcats train :) ) As always at these kinds of events we arrived on the first day trying to get our bearings. We were welcomed by the staff and given our name badges, which we noticed had numbers and different colours. We then found our tables, grabbed a drink (coffee for me) and then kinda stood together trying to figure out what would happen next. At 9am we were asked to sit at our tables. We found our gift bags, which contained some neat stuff like USB drive, pen and best of all a pretty cool looking shirt. I was grouped on one of the 2 teacher tables that had been set up towards the back of the room. All tables also had volunteers that would be guiding us through the 2 days. When we introduced ourselves I realised I was heavily outnumbered, as most of the teachers were from a Pastoral Care background and had joined the Project either by being told to by their principal or because they were dealing with so many negative issues due to social media. I, on the other hand, had joined because of how important I felt the issue was. Throughout the first day the students and teachers began their journey into sharing their knowledge of social media and more particularly the use of images in social media. Our MC for the 2 days (Steve Lacy) was excellent and he used many different strategies to help us feel comfortable with each other and be able to share and work together. We played many games that would make us think, laugh and feel like a team - which was so important. The Cyber Savvy Team describe him as the ‘translator’ to students. At the end of the first day we had started to narrow down many ideas and began the process of designing an App. On my table I had come up with an idea that everyone really liked and it took plenty of effort from our team volunteer to keep us from jumping too far ahead in the design process. The trip home on the first day was completely silent as we were all exhausted. Day 2 saw us continue to design an app in our groups and produce a sales pitch for the app which would later be judged. We also found out that a $200 gift voucher would be given to every student involved on the winning group. Before lunch we presented our app ideas and they were all great. Every app had at least one great idea that would be so beneficial if the app was made. Unfortunately none of the students from my College were involved in the winning group, but they all did a fantastic job. The winning app was called “Leash” and involved “pulling” or “retrieving” photos that have been shared on social media. The app could also show who had access to your shared photos. Overall it was a fantastic learning experience for the students and teachers involved and I think we all came away excited for more to come. A highlight for me was meeting Donna Cross and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that we had. A great memory. Oh and what was my app idea? It is an app that will look at everything that you post on all of your social media sites and then warn you when it detects a post that it believes could affect your reputation. The home screen is a summary of how many post you have made over a period of time. It is broken into photos, likes, tags etc. Using simple and recognisable icons and a graph to show the number of posts it is simple and clear. If the graph line is green then the app has no issue with your post. If it is red the app has detected something wrong. Home Screen By clicking that section you can get more details and be able to then get further details by clicking on the offending post :) IMG_6562 The final part of the app is that all the hard work is done in the cloud so that the app never needs to be opened. If the server detects an issue, you will receive a push notification. Now hopefully this is enough to call for prior art if someone makes this app - I want it.

A Reason for Windows 10 Being 10

If you have seen the news about Windows 10 being released, one of the “controversies” was the skipping of “Windows 9”. One “dev” has added a reason:

Microsoft dev here, the internal rumours are that early testing revealed just how many third party products that had code of the form if(version.StartsWith(“Windows 9”)) { /* 95 and 98 */ } else { and that this was the pragmatic solution to avoid that.
Sounds like a good reason for some to stop complaining - “normal” people just don’t care.