Digital self-guided tours for the Oconomowoc Museum

I have been researching different ways to use digital/mobile technology for the Oconomowoc Historical Museum. Last year, the high school was instrumental in recording podcasts for some of the exhibits in the “Streets of Old Oconomowoc” and other exhibits. However, when I went to docent, I was told that the self-guided iPod tours were not being used because the iPods were unable to access the network down on the first floor, where most of our exhibits were.

Do we need to invest in some wireless routers? Yes.

And someone to help set-up the wireless network? Yes.

But another idea is…QR codes. I have taken my phone downstairs and was able to access the internet with it. Maybe we could use this information, set up QR codes on each exhibit, and link the podcasts to internet pages. We could also put historical documents out there for more interested visitors.

Just a thought…


The future of the internet, platforms, etc.

Tablets would be the future if you could install software (like Microsoft Office / Adobe Illustrator) that could be used, saved to the cloud, and printed wirelessly. Until that day, I am not interested in an iPad or Tablet. So I hope the future for this type of computer will expand. More than just apps. Something portable, where someone in the real world can work. Business, word processing, etc.

I am not a fan of virtual keyboards either. I need to feel a key under my fingers to type. Which is why I bought a smart phone with a pull out qwerty keyboard. When I am tired of misspelling every other word, then I pull the qwerty out and type, slightly better.

I mentioned the smart phone. It’s not just for calling anymore. I was having trouble getting to the bank, so I downloaded the app, and made my first online bank deposit. One problem with data and media files, I noticed I have to be logged on my phone’s data plan, and not a wifi network, in order to process those files. I would like to see that changed in the future.

Touch screens are in vogue. My sister picked one up. Not sure if it was the computer or Windows 8, but I admit I do like the touch screens. We use smart boards at work, and it was “fun” to be able to touch “play” on the board itself to start a video.

Mobility, ease of use, free internet usage, cloud storage, and open access software. Let’s keep the internet free and open.

The future of the internet – the next big thing

After reading the paper by the Internet Society on the internet in ten years, I started to think that every scenario they listed is happening at this time — however, not as the only scenario. We have open access, we have large corporations (see Microsoft and Google) controlling certain “quadrants” and charging for usage; we have governments controlling access and internet; and we are starting to have no global interconnection (see some Middle East nations).

I am not sure if I can “see” just one of these scenarios taking over.

On another note: I was shopping at Best Buy with my sister this weekend. She was looking to buy two laptops for her ex-step grandchildren and was listening to the pitch of the sales geek. She decided to buy a “pretty” notebook that had a touch screen for one of them, and was going to get the same for the teen boy, but I talked her into spending a little more to get a better microprocessor and more RAM so he could play video games. She thought they would just use it for homework (how delusional).

Anyway, touch screen and voice controls…from the smart phone to the laptop/desktops…seems to be the next big thing. Ease of access.


C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith

I have been trying to promote this series to our parishioners at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish in North Lake and Monches. I used a QR code, sent it in an email broadcast, tried to link it into our website – which didn’t work, not sure why…but if the Archdiocese would allow us to download it…

NOTE: I had typed more information about this weekly PODCAST called C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith, but somehow it disappeared (and I KNOW I published it).

I plan on recording the homily at Church and posting it. Father Bill mentioned that many churches are doing that now. Wouldn’t it be a feather in our cap, the little parish out west gets into the digital world. Thank you Professor Zarht and L&I class. What a blessing this class has been.