Odds and Ends December 18, 2009

Today marks the day most schools start their holiday break. Two weeks to rest and recharge the batteries for the push till the end of the school year. Hopefully, you will have a restful and happy holiday break.

3-D Heading this way

One of the biggest trends is the production of 3-D movies. While 3-D movies are nothing new, they have been around since the 1950’s, technology has made them easier to view. If you have ever been to Disney’s Philharmonic or The Muppets in 3-D at Disney World you know what I am talking about. The latest big screen version of A Christmas Carol and Avatar are pushing the 3-D viewing pleasure in select theaters this holiday season.

Naturally, the next step to help sell home videos is for home electronics to take advantage of 3-D technology. CNET reported the Blu-ray Disc Association has settled on a standard for Blu-ray devices to use. It will only be a matter of time before 3-D Blu-ray devices will start making their way into schools to add a different perspective to some lessons. Eventually, all kinds of educational titles will feature 3-D. Think how this might effect Science, math, and social studies.

Livescribe glitch

Livescribe CEO Jim Marggraff sent an e-mail out today apologizing for the problems it’s new App Store beta has been causing the whole Pulse system. I blogged about my use of the Live Scribe Pulse Smartpen and I still love using it. The pen works just as advertised recording my notes and syncing audio for playback by touching a point on the notes with the pen. However, the Livescribe Desktop and Livescribe Online have more work to do. I had problems uploading a one-page note with audio to the online site. While on the subject of the online site, it would be nice to access my pencasts without having to go through the desktop app. (CNET)

iTunes U reaches 100 million downloads

One of my goals for 2010 is to better promote iTunes podcasts and iTunes U to the teachers at my school. Apparently, iTunes U is no longer the best kept secret of educational resources. CNET reports iTunes U recently reached 100 million downloads. For those of you who may still not know, iTunes U features lectures, instructional videos, and other educational media from schools, colleges, and universities from around the world. iTunes is just not for listening to music and you don’t have to have an iPod to make it work.

Underwater Volcano Caught on Video

CNET has some incredible video and photos shot from a robotic submarine of an underwater volcano erupting. This is the first time an underwater volcano has been recorded. Geography and Science teachers can probably find lot’s of uses for this media in their lessons. Here is some video from NOAA and CNN.