5 Things - Week Ending 5/11/12

This is the 7th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week.

We bought an iPad for my kindergartner. Yes, you heard that right.

Jessica Fleming:

Mark Coppin, the Asssistive Technology Director with the Anne Carlson Center, a school for special-needs children in North Dakota, showed a roomful of parents and educators how iPads can replace more expensive speech-assisting devices for nonverbal children. But that’s just the beginning. There are apps to create social stories for children with autism. There are apps to help with potty training. Visual timers. Sensory soothing apps. Picture schedule programs.

The iPad is disrupting so many industries. The reason it's able to do so is that it's a blank slate that can be customized through the 550,000+ apps available in the App Store. Got a kid with autism? There's are apps for that. Running your own private medical practice? There are apps for that. Volunteer fire fighter? There are apps for that.

I'm leaving the internet for a year

Paul Miller:

At midnight tonight I will leave the Internet. I’m abandoning one of my “top 5” technological innovations of all time for a little peace and quiet. If I can survive the separation, I’m going to do this for a year. Yeah, I’m serious. I’m not leaving The Verge, and I’m not becoming a hermit, I just won’t use the Internet in my personal or work life, and won’t ask anyone to use it for me.

This is an interesting experiment. I was discussing the topic of not using the Internet with my family over dinner and I came to the conclusion that I would rather live without the following things before giving up the use of the Internet.

  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Dish washer (easy to give up since we don't have one)
  • Air conditioner
  • Washer
  • Dryer

If faced with the decision of using the Internet or various household appliances or utilities, what would you be willing to give up to continue using the Internet?

Verizon reps push 4G Android over iPhone

David Goldman:

Here’s what I found: Next time you walk into a Verizon store looking to buy a smartphone, expect the hard sell on a 4G Android device.

I don't know about you but there is nothing I dislike more than the hard sell. Why is Verizon pushing the 4G Android devices? If you read the article it sounds like it has to with Verizon's bottom line than that the 4G Android phones are better than the iPhone.

GoSkyWatch Planetarium for iPad - the astronomy star guide

This past week I taught the first ever iPad Study Hall through Farmington Community Ed and we were going around the table sharing some of our favorite apps and a gal in her 70s mentioned that she enjoyed using one of those apps that let's you point the iPad at the night sky and have it tell you the names of the stars. I didn't write down the name of the app that she shared but I found a free one called GoSkyWatch Planetarium for iPad - the astronomy star guide and I tried it out on Thursday night after the class and it was pretty cool! I was able to identify Venus in the western sky and some other stars.

★ Blue and Violet Galaxy by @RetinaiPadWalls on twitter

This is currently the wallpaper on my iPad and MacBook Pro. If you want to use this background on your iOS device just tap and hold your finger on the image until you get a popup that says Save Image and tap it. Once you have saved it, tap on the Settings app and then Brightness & Wallpaper. Navigate to your Camera Roll, tap on the saved image, and choose whether you want to use it on your Lock Screen, Home Screen or both.