WE ARRIVED in Northern Ireland during Parade Season and every fourth town within easy driving distance has a parade on July 12th. While the drums beat, I spent part of a quiet morning looking out at part of the 350 acres that comprised RAF Greencastle, lands surrounding the cottage where we are staying.
I HAVE A GADGET drawer full of cables, microphones and recorders and our two kids enjoy cobbling together audio equipment in order to create sound clips they can record and share.
Our preferred method of recording involves using a local app (Alon MP3 or iOS or HiQ MP3 on Android) and then uploading to my blog or to AudioBoom. We also use Anchor, a free app on iOS.
The handy thing about local recording is knowing a smart background process is saving the audio clips into OneDrive where we can pull the clips for remixing. I really wish my dad had recorded myself and my four brothers while we were growing up but that was before cassette recording. So I'm doing my part with smartphones and cables.
[Photo of XLR Dylan.]
AFTER 20 YEARS in Ireland, I'm going to see my first parade in Northern Ireland. I expect to see placards about #remain in view since most of the voters in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU during the recent Brexit referendum.
We will be near Kilkeel in County Down, enjoying the coastline and sampling local cuisine, including fresh prawns and excellent ice cream. Since data roaming charges will kill my discretionary funds, I don't expect to use my phone while outside the Republic of Ireland. But I am downloading 175 MB of Google Maps for the Kilkeel area along with a wealth of Trip Advisor tips before we leave for the three hour and 22 minute journey north of the border.
There is darkness all around us. This week, of all weeks, that is clear.
Young black men shot by police thousands of mile apart - and then five police officers killed in an ambush by an angry assailant seemingly intent on vengance. Police officers, in this case, who were doing their jobs of protecting a peaceful protest against those earlier shootings.
Just a week earlier a bomb exploded at an airport in Istanbul, Turkey killing over 40 people and injuring hundreds more... a terrorist attack at a bakery claimed over 20 lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh... a weekend bombing in a market in Baghdad, Iraq, left close to 300 dead... and bombs rocked three cities in Saudi Arabia, including near a mosque in the holy city of Medina.
WITH OUR SCHOOL BOOK LIST in hand, we're headed on a cross-country journey to O'Mahony's of Limerick to begin stocking our shelves for the upcoming school year. It's always a memorable journey.
This year, we're taking a cab to town then a bus across county lines. Mia has tapped a school book list into the communal iPhone. I'm blogging this short piece to remind me about a title on O'Mahony's shelves that I plan to use in the Media Writing module for the autumn semester.
We planned this little 50 mile journey a few days ago, rehearsing the departure times with four year old Dylan and eight year old Mia. Both of them got up an hour earlier than normal and counted down the minutes for the taxi's arrival. I wish there was a way to ensure the same sort of time-keeping rolled over into the normal school year.
+++ Bernie Goldbach has watched the school year unfold in the States, in Germany and in Ireland.
AROUND A MONTH AGO, little questions started appearing on my Sony Xperia Z5 screen when the phone detected I was near a business that was displayed on Google Maps. My phone started asking me to offer my quick rating of that business. When I tapped deeper into the notifications, I discovered that I was in the Google Local Guides programme, something that evolved from the days I used Google Latitude seven years ago.
Along with several creative multimedia lecturers, I'd explore Ireland with Latitude and when I marked locations as favorites, their stars would appear o my desktops and on other handsets whenever I upgraded my phones. The original favorites--often hard-to-find rural businesses--still pop up on maps as I scroll around Ireland. The permanence of what Google keeps on its maps is astounding. If you want to have a point of presence, you need to be a pinpoint on Google Maps.
The elegance of Google Local borrows some Swarm business process logic but it's faster than both Foursquare and TripAdvisor. For that reason alone, I've started adding ratings, comments and photos to Google Local. And I am going to learn from the way it works so we can amplify the animation production, game art design and creative multimedia programmes on the Clonmel campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology. I also want to start including street view photos on my check-ins, using the Ricoh Theta S camera.
If I could afford the data roaming charges, I would use Google Local as my trusted travel concierge while in Northern Ireland next month, cross-referencing the on-screen results with Foursquare Tips and TripAdvisor ratings.
I teach an academic module called "Web Analytics" and need to figure out how to connect part of its syllabus to signals on Google Maps. I'm starting by looking at Google Map Hacks and plan to create a blog post that explains where I'm headed with the academic experiment. I believe I will be using cloud services from both Google and Microsoft as part of my academic work.
By next summer, I hope to ride in a car that comes off the manufacturing line with Google Maps running on the dashboard. It would be fantastic to spot some of my Google Local information running in those cars on touchscreens passengers can use to enhance their journeys on the back roads of rural Ireland. And it will be interesting to see what the car thinks as we turn onto the half mile private laneway where we live. It's not on Google Street View and that means national couriers are very confused when trying to drop off packages to our front door.
OUR MIA (8) shares her view of life by snapping and sharing as she goes. She started with Flickr in 2011, pushed a few photos onto Twitter in 2012, put her milestones onto Facebook timelines in 2013, picked up Instagram filters in 2014 and now has a posse of real life friends on Snapchat reaching back before 2015.
I hope to get her most creative stories into iframes that she can share in simple portfolios as she moves through the halfway point of primary school. Her initial work uses Commaful (now http://usepencil.com/play/miarosegold ). I see these tasks as essential development of her digital literacy.