Ian Klapper (@ian32one) invited me to join him for an evening at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue to hear from artist Sarah Rothberg (@sarahrothberg on Twitter and @rothbergrothberg on Instagram). Explore some of Sarah’s work on her website: https://sarahrothberg.com/
Ian has explored AR (augmented reality) on his own and with students. While I embraced Aurasma years ago, Google Cardboard left me underwhelmed. Why hold an irradiated device in a cardboard box up to your eyeballs when you can more safely hold an iPad at arm’s length? I tried to appreciate CoSpaces, and maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance. I’ve heard awesome things about Unity, and I’ve seen really lovely and impressive student projects — I just imagine it would require a time commitment for the learning curve and a set of really good goggles (Oculus) and haptic gloves. I believe AR and VR (virtual reality) can increase empathy or change perceptions by offering the user an enhanced or immersive experience. I just worry a lot of classroom AR/VR use is gimmicky. Ian’s words and Sarah’s presentation reminded me AR can also simply be fun and that there is value to bringing surprise, joy, and beauty with a user.
More info about the event, [AR]T Lab: AR Experiences Co-created with Sarah Rothberg here:
What happens when a lemon and a traffic cone collide? Using artist Sarah Rothberg’s creative approach and art, you’ll learn to code an augmented reality experience. Whether it’s happy, wacky, or weird, you’ll combine AR elements in Swift Playgrounds on iPad. Our Apple Creatives will take you through creative and coding exercises. Recommended for beginners ages 12 and up. Devices will be provided.
More info about other AR integrative art via collaborations with other artists and Apple: https://www.apple.com/today/collection/ar-experiences
Last year, I thought the CaseCrown Book Cover Clip On Case was the perfect always-on case for our current 6th graders to use with their brand new MacBook Air 11″ laptops. Our students use the same machine for their 3 years of middle school, and then the school sells them back to Apple. This CaseCrown faux-leather cover is only $20 on Amazon. There are also other brands marketing the same case (Acase, SmackTom).
The CaseCrown cases have held up remarkably well! I totally though the elastic straps at the top would have snapped by now, yet somehow they are all intact. However, my two reservations have to do with the fact that the top corners of the laptop are exposed and some of the laptops are developing dinged/curling edges (as kids are clearly occasionally dropping their machines). Also, I don’t know if I love the snap at the front. I see fidgety kids snapping/unsnapping this closure during class discussions when their laptops are shut. It’s a super annoying sound when you notice it.
So, I have a begun a search for the perfect (or at least) better case. I’m going to be purchasing a few test models this week. Gina Marcel (K-2 Ed Tech here at The School) suggested I gather interesting models in a Pinterest board (see below). I’d love suggestions if you know of other great cases to consider…
Next year, we’re buying MacBook Air 11″ laptops for the 3rd grade and 6th graders. Kids keep the same machine for three year until they graduate to a new model in 6th grade (or simply graduate from the school after 8th grade). The kids in K-2 have an iPad assigned to them. Up until now, we’ve provided MacBooks and Always-on Cases from InfoCase for the students. In preparation for next year, Don Buckley and I ordered a bunch of different cases from Amazon.
CaseCrown faux leather book cover clip on case for $18.18 (it’s an always on case with a snap closure)
Belkin MacBook Air vertical sleeve with shoulder strap for $14.99 (slim profile and cross-body carry strap)
Flort shoulder bag for $9.99 (I’ve always been intrigued by this IKEA bag…)
Acase faux leather book cover clip on case for $14.95 (same exact design as the CaseCrown but it doesn’t have a snap closure)
Hard Candy Cases convertible case for $36.99 is ok but pricey [RETURNED]
Gumdrop cases surf convertible case for $37.35 is the same as the Hard Candy design but pricier [RETURNED]
InCase perforated hardshell for $45 looks cool, is super expensive, and the bottom didn’t stay attached [RETURNED]
Red mCover hard shell cover case for $19.99 is overpriced considering the next item is…
Slim Crystal hard cover case for $12.99 is totally reasonable
** update 7/1/14 — Prices have been reduced significantly on many of the cases. Click the links for more current and more reasonable pricing. **