I went on springbreak. I had a great time. I destroyed, I mean completely destroyed my phone. I was in Krakow, Poland. It was cold. The ground was frozen. I had my gloves on. I tried to extract my phone from my pocket, a routine move, and my grip slipped. The next thing I knew, my phone was facedown on frozen cobblestone.
I was on vacation, it was annoying, but I had a backup phone, and a laptop.
Upon arriving back at home, I went phone shopping. I had a massive amount of airmiles, and they were enough to give me a huge discount on a new HTC android phone.
The fun shortly began. Moving contacts. Cleaning and moving data. Somethings were easier to have people send to me, than for me to try and recover, so I had to send some emails.
A few years ago, I would have been done. However, in today’s world of apps, I was far from done. I began installing things. After the first hour, I was certain I was done.
The next day, I started using my phone more and more. Every hour, for about 5 hours, I kept adding apps. Not new ones, ones I always use. I had forgotten that I used so many apps to do things.
Even for travel planning I use a core group of apps instead of my laptop. I do not generally buy things on my phone, I prefer my laptop for the purchase. This is my own paranoia, but I prefer to do research on my phone.
I thought critically about this. I realized the main reason for using the apps, was that the research was more focused. Apps are generally focused on achieving specific goals with software. They are fullscreen, and there are few screen distractions. Most of the apps I used, are part of services I am subscribed to, so their are no ads.
What this experience has taught me, relating to educational technology, is that next year we are going to have a streamlined and informative app resource connected to all the information people use the first month of school.
I want to make sure that at every level, apps for iOS and Android are vetted, sorted by category, and easy for people to link and install.
Apps have always been managed informally. We tell people to search for this or that. However, there are many options out in app-land. Some great, some good, some barely functional.
Also, if anyone destroys their phone, they will have a one-stop-shop for finding the educational apps we recommend. As I found, it is easy to forget how many apps one uses day-to-day.
Advice : Always travel with a cheap Nokia Candybar phone. They keep their charge for 2 weeks, and seem to work on any telecom service. Thank you Nokia – why didn’t you just use Android? MISTAKE! Cause I know your hardware would have bounced-off that frozen surface and kept on going.