MAKE | Access Android Sensors from a Scratch Program

Now this is doubly exciting: an Android app that uses your phone’s sensors to send input to Scratch. Two of my favorite things (Scratch and Android) coming together.

I have already watch the video clip (see above) and downloaded the app itself onto my Nexus One. Tomorrow I will try it out at school with the kids to see how it goes.

It remains to be seen what exactly can be done with this additional Scratch input, of course. Would it make your phone into a game controller or scientific probe? Would it give you robotics, remote control-style interactions with Scratch?

I will post again on this topic when I have had the opportunity to explore this one further.

MAKE | Access Android Sensors from a Scratch Program.

 Scratch Sensor – the Android Smartphone as a DAQ module

 Scratch Sensor in the Android Market

"Seriously, FirstClass?" (A short tragicomedy)

  • FirstClass: Did you mean “bog?”
  • Me: Seriously? “Blog” is a word that was coined in 1997 to describe a web-log, a sort of online journal. This site is a blog, for example.
  • FirstClass: Hmm…FirstClass was created in the early 1990s. Maybe I am too old to know this word.
  • Me: But surely your built-in dictionary is has been updated in the last two decades! How about the word “Google?”
  • FirstClass: What?
  • Me: *sigh*

Google Apps Education Training Center

Now this is interesting! The good people at Google offer Google Apps Education training so that one become a qualified Google Apps Education trainer. There are two amazing things about this:
  1. There are free, online tutorials for the the tests. This means that anyone can learn about Google Apps right now. Getting awkward questions from those who “just don’t get it” (JDGI)? Send them to these tutorials to get their most basic questions answered by the Google pros!
  2. There is an established baseline for “getting” Google Apps. This means that early adopters and high-end users can quickly and easily establish their status as those who do get it and who are prepared to share that information on with others. 

Google Apps Education is a terrific service and I suspect that we will be blogging about it more in the future…and writing it into our vision statement in some way, too!

Google Apps Education Training Center

Using a Chrome notebook

One of the things that I am very curious about is a cloud-based laptop/netbook/tablet. The Google Chrome OS is already under development as a free, open-source operating system (called Chromium, by the way) and now Google is piloting their own hardware which will come preloaded with Chrome. It will be released in the States with 100MB FREE 3G data from Verizon every month for two years (with optional increases available for those who need it, of course).
This video clip shows how quickly the Chrome OS boots/sleeps/wakes and nicely makes the point that living in the cloud make that the device itself irrelevant.