Forewarning … today is a bit of a ramble …
“So many tech applications, so little time!” Was that not what Mae West said?
A great day, rediscovering and learning the power of Google Drive, Forms, Slides, etc. after being behind the Great Firewall for so long. I have a better appreciation of the frustration our Google certified teachers experience when they come to work in China. Office 365 has potential to fill the void, but is not nearly as slick. My former IT director would gnash his teeth if he were to read this.
And, another rediscovery … the world of YouTube embedded video. A hard-to-reach resources from China, but now at my finger tips. Nothing like 6 years in a benevolent dictatorship to make me appreciate the treasures (and garbage) that democracy brings. Putting my money where my mouth is …
I visited the Joan Miro gallery behind the school this afternoon.
Next challenge is to figure out the Aurasma app by way of an “animated” birthday card for my mom this weekend. As I dined on a tasty organic lunch at a wonderful restaurant near my house, I fantasized about how I could add taste and smell to an Aurasma creation.
Software in the cloud … thanks, Craig, for being ok with me taking a more “personal” slant on this project. I spent a chunk of time this afternoon investigating a “cloud” based project that I have been intrigued by for a while: “Sharing” my real time blood sugar with anyone who would care to know where I am on the scale from dangerously low to sticky, sweet high. Turns out there are a pile of people with diabetes or parents of kids with diabetes who have a penchant for software development and aren’t sitting around waiting for “big pharma” to develop commercial products. I joined a FaceBook group today of these devotees, did some research and was a tad disappointed to learn I need to get some additional hardware and cobble together a receiver (using a soldering iron – geesh) that would then pass on data to a smart phone (Android, not iOS – drat those garage engineers) before my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) data is shareable via the cloud. Certainly has rekindled my interest in biomedical engineering.
So, sticking with the personal and the “health” theme, I thought I’d do a bit of research and present on using Twitter for both education in professional development and for health in building “online communities” of support and advocacy. I’m a user more for the latter than the former. Today, via Twitter, I (@tetheredexpat) introduced the BBC health reporter Tulip Mazunda (@tulipmazunda), who is reporting from Nigeria and Sierra Leone to the head of the Type 1 International advocacy (@T1International) and the head of the Nigerian Diabetes Online Community (@theNGdoc) with the idea that she might do a news piece about diabetes in Africa for World Diabetes Day in November. I would be stoked if she actually takes up this story idea. Through Twitter I’ve found an amazing international community of like minded, funny/irreverent and supportive individuals advocating for diabetes health, many of whom I hope to meet in person at the World Congress in Vancouver in December.
Lastly, with BBC lead story today of the new drug for treating Alzheimer’s, it has reminded me (poor choice of words) about my interest in finding out what exists either in “the cloud” or as an app for assisting those suffering from dementia with activities of daily living. My initial search came up with a disturbing finding. So many apps are designed to “entertain” the patient rather than help them. A child interviewed by Sherry Turkle in Alone Together, said, “don’t we have people to do that?” (when learning about the robotic seal used in Japanese senior citizens homes.) I did find something helpful. Talking Mats, an app for assisting those with communication struggles both old and young.
(Yes, I’m a BBC junkie.)
Lastly, thanks, Craig, for helping me figure out how to transfer all of my WordPress professional-educational posts and pages from my last school to my storage sites. Nice to know all that work of the past couple of years is not lost. And really lastly, you asked me to post the books I’ve been reading and thinking about:
Alone Together – Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other by Sherry Turkle, The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember by Nicholas Carr and one I want to read is the Circle by Dave Eggers.