A week with school iPads in it

New Zealand’s working year doesn’t start in earnest until Waitangi Day – that’s February 6 to overseas readers. Apart from a small break at Easter, that’s it for resting until next Christmas. Here I update what happened in January, then look back at last week. 

That’s not say I’ve been idle. During January I posted 22 stories to and started what proved a longer-that-expected site redesign. I also tucked away the March NZ Business column and signed up to write and edit the IITP techblog.

There were fewer meetings than in a normal month, but enough to keep things ticking over. I also scored a job writing about New Zealand technology for an international web site. More about that when something gets published. I also appeared on TVNZ’s BreakFast on One talking about the death – or otherwise – of Facebook.

Stories: The top story last week was about Westpac New Zealand delivering a Google Glass app even though the device doesn’t go on sale in the country until later this year. While it makes sense from a publicity point of view, I suspect Westpac could have made better use of its resources.

Also big was NZ lags global shift from fixed to mobile phone where I explain why we’re slow – this time it’s not all bad. The other big story last week was about Telecom NZ beefing up its wi-fi network. Anything related to Telecom’s wi-fi network is popular with readers.

My first comment piece went up at the IITP (Institute of IT Professionals) Techblog. I write about Te Akau ki Papamoa, a school which gave 250 students an iPad Mini. It’s not a rich school, but ahead of the curve when it comes to using technology in education.

I also filed copy to NZ Business. Because it’s a print magazine, the latest stories won’t see daylight for a few weeks – last month the magazine’s website published a piece I wrote in the middle of 2013 about smartphone apps for business. It’s a fast-changing world and I guess an update is already overdue.

Appearances: Last Tuesday I took part in my first NZ Tech Podcast of 2014. It’s a great format where people chat for a little under an hour about the week’s technology news. I’m told listeners can hear that we’re having fun recording it. In last week’s Podcast I talk to Paul Spain and Wal Reed about the iPads in schools, the new Mac Pro and some neat eight-inch Windows tablets.

Products: I sent the Motorola Moto G smartphone back the PR company. That’s a pity, it’s one of the best Android phones I’ve seen so far and at $300 it’s hardly going to break the bank. You can read my thoughts on the phone. I can’t remember the last time I was this keen on an Android device.

I also took delivery of a leather iPad 2 case from Snugg – a British company. I’ll write something about this soon. It took just three days to get from Bolton to Auckland.

This week: It’s back to the usual round of meetings, interviews and press events. Today I’m heading to Sky City for the MYOB Roadshow – interestingly the event is being held a week before Xero’s customer showcase. There’s also a Microsoft press function on Thursday.