Monday, June 4, 2012

Nearpod.... 1Malaysia Pad.. Proton

I came across Nearpod a couple of weeks back in one of the articles that I was reading. The review of it was very good and so I downloaded it. The verdict... Yup! It's good. This app turns the iPad into pods that communicate with each other. Thought the name was quite cool. Many years ago, we tried to use classroom management softwares in our computer labs. The concept was good but in many schools it never quite did take off.... teachers did not know how to use it and the learning curve seemed too steep for many, classroom size, infrastructure limitations, etc, etc... Then the iPad came along but I think we've not quite tapped into its potential. As usual we're rather slow in keeping up.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Anyway, Nearpod works in that same capacity, except that it's super mobile! We are no longer tied to the computers at the desk. I tried some of the modules that they have prepared and found them to be impressive and fun. Pictures, movies, quizzes, mini tests at the end of each lesson and mark tallies are all available. There are 2 apps actually, the Nearpod Teacher and Nearpod Student. Works like a presentation. Teacher-pod determines what appears on Student-pod. Quite amazing! The pods communicate with each other via wifi!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The nice thing is each student is able to view everything close up and take the assessments, and the teacher will know which student still have issues with the topic taught. What the teacher has is basically a set of slideshows with assessment tools incorporated. And the results can be printed. And we know how easy it is to print stuff from the iPad. One can develop their own teaching units by using the tools available on the Nearpod website. And one more thing. This is one more reason too why we should have just continue teaching Math and Science in English... resources, information, new knowledge, they're mostly in English. In Indonesia, the teaching of Math and Science is going bilingual. We took one step backward..... and someday, who knows, maybe labour market connection will be reversed....

Which brings me to this....

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our 1Malaysia Pad. The 1Malaysia tagline is actually beginning to feel like some cheap marketing line. Why the Proton car picture? Well, I think at RM999, and running on the older Android Gingerbread 2.3, it's overpriced. Thailand is getting tablets for their students at $81 (that's less than RM300) per unit and with superior specifications, running on Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest OS.

We already have the free Netbook programme in place; give free hardware but till now, cannot really be used in classrooms cos there is no program tailored for it... And there have been so many reports and claims of abuses too.

By the way, a 16GB iPad 2 with wifi is only RM1099. Go figure why students should buy a 1Malaysia Pad and save only RM100, mind you, with an older OS. If it's RM300, then it's an okay deal. It seems there are certain quarters in Malaysia who think that Malaysians don't mind paying more for anything, everything, like what we've been paying for our cars because of Proton. Our ringgit has such little purchasing power and we seem not to care.

And recently, Tun M said that Proton needs some more funds and time. Once upon a time ago, Proton had the Koreans for company in the upstart bandwagon. Seems like we're still stuck on the wagon while the Koreans have sprouted wings and flown off. They have become world players. And we're still proud of our jaguh kampung status. And guess who has to pay for the upkeep of its seemingly PR status on the bandwagon? Yup! The people.

At every level we are paying more. Those who can only afford Proton pay more for it. Those who can afford other makes pay more too. We keep paying and paying.... and now they say they hope to sell this 1Malaysia Pad for RM999! Defies logic! Almost the same amount of money, one gets peanuts and the other gets a Wagyu steak.

So will there be real quality and success without real effort and hard work? I guess not..... unless we consider rip-offs, short changing as success.....

A 16GB iPad 2 at RM1099 from Apple; support and quality assured. 1Malaysia Pad? Anyone's guess.... but remember, it's running on old OS, some newer apps might not run on it....

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