Fancy Up Your Apple Watch

Thanks to a sweet adoptive mama pal, I recently discovered the Rhonna Designs app. Great for all things graphic design, this app is super fun for those of you who enjoy editing photos and designing frames text. I don’t know who Rhonna is, but I really like her style!

While playing with the Rhonna Designs and RhonnaCollage apps - and by complete accident - I figured out how to make fun little Watch Faces for my Apple Watch! Here are a few I’ve doodled up so far: 


Now, let me tell ya. I really love my Apple Watch. I’m about 2 years in and really value the way my Watch helps me manage my calendar, notifications, and messages in a way that is least intrusive to my present actions and conversations. I intend to maximize my productivity and time this year by tweaking how my Watch works for me.

But those built in Watch faces, y’all? They are just not my style. Not a single one. I’m not a military kind of person, or a butterfly kind of person, or a flower kind of person, or a half-blind-so-my-numbers-are-ginormous kind of person. 


To create some Watch faces that reflect YOUR style,  just download the Rhonna Collage app (may be a part of a Rhonna Designs bundle, but you wouldn’t regret getting them all). You could probably do the same thing with another graphic design app, so just play around with what you have. 

Omce you’ve created your design, just save it to your photos and go there to open it. Then click the “Share” button in the bottom left corner. 


From here, you can choose “Create a Watch Face.” *Note: Your Apple Watch must have the current OS update to complete this process. 


Now you can choose Photo or Kaleidoscope Watch Face. Go with Photo to keep your design as you originally created it. 


Here you can customize how you want your Watch Face to look. Add time, date, activity, calendar, etc. and choose placement for each. When you like it, select “Add.” 


It should automatically update your Watch to reflect the new Face but if not, just go to your Apple Watch App on your phone and you can set it manually. 

Happy creating! 

Instructional Technology: Approach with (Healthy) Caution

In his insightful speech to a 1998 world on the cusp of the explosion of the Tech Age, American philosopher Neil Postman presented his five basic ideas on the concept of technological change. Even though his talk is now nearly 20 years old, his ideas (warnings, really) still ring true for us who lead the charge of integrating technology into all areas of the curriculum...

{Click over to the American Associations of School Librarians Knowledge Quest blog to read the original post}


The Glass Cage


I'm over a year into my work toward a PhD and one of my favorite classes so far has been one that focused on the blend of two of my favorite academic-y things: books and technology. In this case it was a focus on reading books about technology, an area in which my curiosity is completely insatiable. Although several of the books I read for this particular class shared a common theme, each served a uniquely individual focus point in the realm of ethics and technology.

The Glass Cage, a very well-written book by Nicholas Carr, first scared the hooey out of me because it includes excruciating details about all the ways automation can fail...starting and ending with the number of plane crashes that have been caused by autopilot. He talks about pilots' loss of life-saving fine motor skills due to automation, and compares that to the evolution of society we see trending as a byproduct of mass outsourcing and automation. It's brilliant, fascinating, terrifying stuff. 

Carr prompts readers to embrace that which makes us uniquely human. He writes that “The trouble with automation is that it often gives us what we don’t need at the cost of what we do” (pg. 14). Of all the sentiments I’ve read and considered about automation specifically as it relates to the impact on humanity, this statement is one of the best that resonates with me. 

As an instructional technology advocate, this book and others like it are a great anchor for reflective - and therefore effective - use of instructional technology. 

Carr, N. (2015). The glass cage: How our computers are changing us, 1st Ed.

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology

For addicts, managing triggers is an important part of being able to avoid relapse. For technology addicts, however, it can be nearly impossible to manage an unhealthy dependency on technology in the same way as other obsessions. This infographic (an assignment for one of my graduate classes) explains how technology has ushered in an entirely new sort of behavioral addiction.

The real question is...what are we going to do about it? Being addicted to our devices is a common problem in today's information age. Healthy solutions to a growing problem is an important conversation for everyone, but especially for parents and educators. 



Getting Started with 3D Printing

When the Makerspace movement began spreading a few years ago, I was one of those people who was under the misconception that you couldn’t call it a Makerspace if you didn’t have a 3D printer. At that point in time a 3D printer might as well have been the moon itself, and so I supposed that the whole Makerspace thing just wasn’t within my (or my students’) grasp...

{Catch the rest of this post at the American Association of School Librarians Knowledge Quest blog}