Back-to-School: 17 things you may not already know about mobile devices in the classroom.

Like every other industry, educational institutions are adopting mobile devices. What does it look like today, four years after the advent of the iPad? What are the challenges and constraints unique to using mobile devices in educational institutions? How has these devices affected classroom management, instructional strategies and student achievement?

Image of children using iPads

Tonight's "back-to-school" presentation will feature two speakers to share facts and opinions on what works (or not) for mobile devices in education.

To start us off, Thor Prichard will share slides about device adoption data, implementation trends and use case examples before sharing advice about what to do (and not do) when building an app for schools. Following him will be Sean Williams, who will walk through how different devices are used at different grade levels, why Google ChromeBooks have become so popular in education, explain the constraints in education (power, wifi coverage, bandwidth, student data privacy) and give a wish list of what educators wish app developers would build for education.

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 6:00pm

iBeacon: What is it and why you should care

Come take an in-depth look at the world of iBeacon. Find out what they are, how they work and what other types of Bluetooth Low Energy beacons exist and how they differ from the iBeacon standard.

We'll also talk about security and privacy concerns for businesses and consumers of iBeacon; different use-cases for iBeacon in retail and business; what hardware options are available; and give a high-level overview of iOS and Android facilities for communicating with these devices.

About the Speakers

Steven Osborn

Steven OsbornSteven Osborn is a start-up entrepreneur, software hacker, and hardware enthusiast. In 2009 he co-founded a mobile messaging company called Urban Airship ( that powers thousands of mobile applications on iPhone and Android for companies like Starbucks, Redbox, and ESPN. In his spare time, he enjoys participating in triathlons, baking bread, traveling, and spending time with his family. Steven lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Jenny, and son, Theo. He is also an accomplished Guitar Hero rock star and Army veteran.

Monday, June 23, 2014 - 6:00pm

Critical Path to eBay Mobile Success

eBay iOS App iconEarly in 2008, Critical Path Software was introduced to eBay by its Apple friends. Critical Path was a premier developer with the skills and experience to launch eBay into the initial iTunes AppStore on July 10, 2008.

eBay iOS App ScreenshotIt was a heady time. The deadline was tight. The team had to fight through issues with the iPhone SDK and integration with eBay servers. It was a grand success. The eBay app went on to be number 3 of all free apps in the first year of the App Store. Contemporary industry-wide mobile ecommerce revenue estimates were vastly exceeded by the eBay app alone. The mobile ecommerce revolution was born.

Fast forward to today. The eBay Mobile products produced here in Portland are responsible for over 30 percent of eBay revenue. Ladd Van Tol and Dan Weston have graciously agreed to discuss their insights into the architecture of these enterprise-class mobile apps. Their discussion will cover the evolution of the product architecture, lessons learned over the past six years, and how to architect state-of-the-art apps in an enterprise environment.

Learn how they went from an under-the-radar consulting project to 35% of Fortune 500 company.

Monday, May 19, 2014 - 6:00pm

Choosing The Right Stack for Mobile

The problem: You are an enterprise or startup with some desktop offerings, and the writing on the wall has turned into the tattoo on your forehead. The time has come to turn some or all of your money printing machine into something that can be easily accessed and used on smartphones and tablets.

The solution: It depends.

It is also the topic of Dee Madden’s presentation at Mobile Portland this month: “Choosing The Right Stack for Mobile: The Pros And Cons of Each”

Native vs web

Image source: Appcelerator presentation.

The topic of Native vs Hybrid vs Pure Web vs Shared Codebase vs Whatever is a well worn one, but dynamic and ever-changing, nonetheless. In this presentation, Dee will examine the current landscape, with a pragmatic approach that holds all solutions equal. He will cover the pluses and minuses of each, and how to leverage the more endearing traits of one over the other as the best solution for the problem at hand.

Among the stacks covered are:

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 6:00pm

PayRange: Easy Mobile Payments for Machines

PayRange BluKey device sitting on a stack of quartersIf you have ever tried to pay a Portland parking meter with a card, you’ll appreciate this talk!

Waiting while the meter validates your card, and then contacts the bank all the while you are getting soaked in the rain and running late to a meeting – sound familiar? Almost everyone who has parked downtown has experienced this scenario.

In this month’s Mobile Portland talk, Paresh Patel and Chau Doan of PayRange talk about how they are changing the way we pay any machine – meters, vending, laundry, amusement, transit ticketing, and more.

They have developed a low-cost device that can be retrofitted into virtually any machine enabling it to accept mobile payments via Bluetooth. While PayRange’s system is designed to be extremely simple for the users, they abstract away the complexity behind the scenes.

Come hear them talk about the problems, challenges, and obstacles they face to make this all happen seamlessly and universally. It’s sure to be an engaging talk involving the latest in mobile, payments, and Bluetooth low energy.

Monday, March 31, 2014 - 6:00pm
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