Thesis Update

Aiming to be finished this Thursday with the paper, presentation and working prototype.

Changed the name from iPhone Classroom to Pocket Classroom.
Now the “official” project web site is
The paper now has images and is all formatted in Word so posting in PDF from now on. Click HERE for the document. 
And a video of the iPhone application’s new version. 
Finally, I am also working on the “class creation” tool:
Still need to tie them together and add editing features but for the most part it is functional (reads and writes to the database and so on). 

iPhone Dev Bar Camp

This Saturday I participated in a Bar Camp – iPhoneDevCampNYC – at the Polytechnic University in Brooklyn which ran from 10 am to 6pm. 

It follows the open source mentality where there was no fixed schedule or preset presentations. Whoever felt like they had something to contribute to the group would lead an hour long session. 
We had 5 different rooms we could use at the same time and about 30 people to attend. 
I ended up leading two sections, one in iPhone Web Apps – customizing a web page to take advantage of some of the iPhone’s features – and another session on using the iPhone’s camera within your iPhone application – something I figured out how to implement, but had more questions than answers. 
Overall it was a great event where I met several interesting people sharing the same enthusiasm about the iPhone and this new gold rush that is happening around it in the development community. 
Here are a few pictures:

Digital Imaging Reset – Color Combination

Take 3 pictures using a red, a green, and a blue filter for each shot. Convert them to Black and White. Combine them in Photoshop using the Channels – Merge Channels – RGB method found in the channels tab (next to Layers usually). The best result was obtained by white balancing before and after combining the pictures.

An effective and impressive example of this was made by the photographer to the Tsar in Russia, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii whos research resulted in patents for color film slides and color motion pictures. 

DIY Flash Diffuser

Playing around with a flash diffuser I had here I home I decided to mount it on my flash in the simplest possible manner:

Digital Imaging Reset – Black and White

This week we talked about Black and White digital photography. Basically if you shoot black in white you get a photograph with higher resolution. 

Color pictures are obtained by allocating a color to each pixel of the sensor chip according to the Bayer Pattern, resulting in 1/2 green, 1/4 red, and 1/4 blue pixels. 
The chip is therefore giving you that amount of information for each color.
When shooting black and white, ALL the pixels are allocated to grayscale – from black to white. 
This results in sharper pictures with more detail. 
I got my favorite pictures and converted them to black and white to see what changed. 
What I found was that the pictures I liked the most in color were not the best ones in black and white. 
I suddenly had a different set of “absolute” favorite pictures. 
Here are the ones I thought worked best in black and white:

iPhone Classroom

Here is the first video of the iPhone Classroom as a native iPhone Application – in other words – this is not a web page – this is a real iPhone application developed with the iPhone SDK and so on…
I used some web content here to make it easier to create new lessons – no need to recompile or reinstall the application to have the latest list of lessons and their content:

Thesis updates

Last Thursday in Thesis class we had to present a short version of our presentation with no text on the presentation:

Today I also finished the first draft of my thesis paper!

Official iPhone Application Developer

So I finally got approved to be an “official” iPhone Application Developer by Apple.

Got my first iPhone native application working directly ON my iPhone – very exciting.
Now just have to keep learning the Cocoa libraries for the iPhone and getting used to the Objective-C language and the huge library provided within the iPhone’s SDK (Software Development Kit)
More to come soon – an actual video of it working 🙂

iPhone Classroom – Thesis Paper

iPhone Classroom

  • Innovative use of proven educational methods combined with leading edge technology that is not yet a standard but might very well be the model of all future similar devices.
  • A life long learning curriculum designed for a mobile platform
  • How to, Want to, Need to, Just in Time Learning
  • Self paced, interactive, participatory, useful, fun
  • A program to teach photography on the iPhone
  • Modular learning anywhere, anytime, anyone.
  • Learner driven – already has the motivation to learn

Is this Finally it?

  • Worked in the mobile phone market for years
  • Designing for ultimate constraints – going back to the web’s early times
  • iPhone’s new paradigm in user interaction allows for new kinds of applications 
  • Surprisingly big DYI culture in the US compared to Latin America and maybe Europe.
  • Could a cell phone be a platform for just in time learning?
  • Open up a school in Brazil – interest in education
  • Huge market – OLPC exemplifies this
  • New generation of phones – this is the worst it’s going to get
  • Not the standard but offers a basis for future similar platforms

The Prototype

  • iPhone native application
  • Photography class
  • Other lessons that would effectively utilize this platform’s advantages:
    • Car user guides (changing tires, setting the clock)
    • Setting up your tent
    • Survival skills
    • Wood working tutorials
    • Music lessons/tutorials
    • Video making tutorials
    • Translation tool
    • Creative writting
    • Museum guides
    • Tourist guide application
    • Standardized tests practice


The Big Picture

  • iPhone Classroom platform
    • Create your own lesson
    • Next catalog of courses
  • Could also be used in a classroom environment
    • Connectivity, sync, and control for professors on student’s assignments
    • Sharing assignments, notes, and comments between students
  • SWOT analysis
    • Strengths:
      • Be the first / early adopter
      • Interface
      • Mac OS programmer base
      • Portability to Mac OS
      • Modularity
      • Connectivity
      • Ease of use
    • Weaknesses:
      • Cost
      • Not a market standard
      • Easy to copy
    • Opportunities
      • Platform for a broader application
      • Research in this new interface/interaction mode
      • Wikipedia for learning meets Instructables
    • Threats
      • Other competing platforms
      • Cost
      • Laptop could become small and cheap enough to act as a subsititute
Project URLs 


  • Books
    • How People Learn – Donovan Bransford Pellegrino
    • Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X

  • Companies
    • Bob Tinker – Concord Consortium
  • Other references
    • Low Residency Programs
    • Martin Owen – School of Education na University of Wales, Bangor
    • Graham Brown-Martin – Handheld Learning Ltd


Shifting landscapes