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Moving on...

A few weeks back I resigned my position at CCHS and accepted the director of technology position in the Anthony Wayne school district.

To say that this job is the ultimate culmination of 12 years of extremely focused and diligent work would be an understatement. It has always been a dream of mine to work at AW, a district that I consider to be one of the finest in the state, and I am humbled and grateful to have been given this awesome responsibility.

The state of Ohio and the new Common Core standards are suggesting that 21st century skills and technology be integrated directly into the classroom and curricula. As a result of this new sense of urgency at integrating these 21st century skills into our student's education, I believe that all of us in the Anthony Wayne family will begin working together to create one of the best educational technology environments in this part of the country.


When Search Engine Page Rank Goes Bad (What Can We Do?)

Recently, Google has moved my Mac Mini Media Center page out of the top 17 pages of search results when one searches for "mac mini media center." 

Although for years (2006-2010) my web page devoted to this topic was ranked number 1 in the world, it is now relegated to page 18 of Google's rankings. I'm not writing this post out of hurt feelings. I don't believe that my web page will, or should, maintain top ranking forever. I just don't think that the vast majority of web pages that are in front of mine deliver the specific content that people are actually looking for when they search for "mac mini media center." Perhaps, I'm wrong. 

Let's look at a few links that DID make page 1 of those results and what those web sites actually cover:


This is a web page that does not focus on mac mini media centers, but rather on software packages for media center user interfaces


This is a forum discussing converting DVDs for use on a media center.


This is a review of a set of hardware sold by a vendor that helps turn your Mac mini into a media center.


This is a web page detailing the process of installing Window 7 media center onto a Mac Mini.


There is no doubt in my mind that Google is the best search engine in the world, but what can one do when something like this happens? Is there anything that I can do to get my site looked at by Google and re-evaluated? I would love to receive any relevant information on this topic.



UPDATE: It looks like my page is moving back up through the rankings. It is now on page 7 of Google's results for "Mac Mini Media Center." I'm still curious as to why it so quickly crashed to such a low page rank, and why it is now moving back up.


SCOCA Mobile Summit

The link to the materials mentioned at the SCOCA event is here:

Mac OS X Mountain Lion is Awesome and Scary

Apple recently provided us with some information on their upcoming Mac OS X version, Mountain Lion. One of the capabilities listed will be integrated Air Play mirroring. In a previous blog post, this feature was part of my Mac OS X wish-list. I'm excited to think about the possibilities that we now have in our homes and classrooms as a result of this new capability.

Air Play mirroring will allow a teacher to take her/his laptop anywhere in their classroom and push the audio/video contents of that laptop onto an LCD projector/speakers by way of an Apple TV, all without any wires. Awesome!

The other listed features found in Mountain Lion are:





Notification Center

Share Sheets


Game Center

The last feature that was listed in the Mountain Lion release was something called Gatekeeper. Gatekeeper is a registration service for applications with security as its main goal. Gatekeeper provides three optional levels of security when attempting to install apps:

1. Anything goes. Any apps found anywhere can be downloaded and installed on the Mac. Freedom lives! (...but so do security concerns)

2. Mac App store and Apple developer ID'd. Apps downloaded from the Mac App store and apps found elsewhere that have been registered with Apple can be installed. Limited rights/slippery slope. (More secure)

3. Mac App store only. ONLY Apps sold by Apple can be downloaded and installed on your legally purchased and owned computer. Dictatorship model! (Highly secure)

While Gatekeeper sounds well intentioned, it could very well be another step toward a Mac OS X where the only apps available for the computer will be proprietary ones found in the Mac App store. This could be disastrous to many developers, more specifically, open source developers and their applications.

We've already seen a fantastic open source app, VLC, pulled from the iOS App store because its open source license forbid digital rights management from being included in any derivitave works based on VLCs codebase.

I hope that both sides of this conflict, Apple and the open source community, can find a reasonable solution. It would be very upsetting to us if we were not able to include the many incredible and free open source apps found here on the Macbook Airs used in our school's 1 to 1 initiative.

Lastly, there was no mention of iBooks for Mac OS X. I simply cannot understand why interactive digital books that must be created on Mac OS X, still do not have a native application designed for the same platform with which they can be read.



Dance with the One that Brung Ya

When Apple's marketshare was less than 3%, many people gave up on Apple. If it wasn't for the 3% of the market that stuck with Apple through the dark times, Apple would certainly have died.
Fast forward to today. Apple has created a new market with iOS. It has proven wildly successful and as a result, Apple's profits are meteoric. Why then, has Apple neglected its most loyal customers?

Do they NEED to neglect the loyal 3% that stuck with them through thick and thin? The answer is a resounding, NO!

What am I talking about? I'm talking about those of us that used Apple full featured computers in the 90s, and STILL use them today. Are there technical limitations that preclude MacBook Air, iMacs, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro from having similar functionality to iOS? Again…no!

Let's look at the things that we can't do with our Macintosh computers that others can do with their less expensive iOS devices:

1. Apple TV mirroring- Why can't we mirror our computer audio and video through an Apple TV? Why do I still need to install HDMI or VGA cables into my school classrooms when a wireless solution is certainly available?

2. iBooks- Why can't we read iBooks on our computers? Some folks might like to read on a tablet device, but not all of us do.

3. Find my Mac- Why don't MacBook Airs come with built in GPS and cellular connections? This is the most portable computer on the planet. There should be a way to track it if one is lost or stolen. (Currently WiFi triangulation only)

Please don't force me to use a device or interface that I don't find nearly as functional as my MacBook Air. There isn't any technical, functional, or logistical reason that the aforementioned capabilities found on an iPad or iPod can't be available for a MacBook Air or other Mac. Apple, please don't forget the 3% of us that stuck with you when you needed us.

Dance with the One that Brung Ya.

If there are other things that you see in iOS that Apple has neglected to include in Mac OS X, please put them in the comments and I will certainly add them to this post.


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