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As two weeks of a mini-age comes to a slushy end, I thought this would be a good opportunity to see what the digital world’s been doing to help us get through the chilly spell.
As a parent, I was impressed by one proactive parent’s simple initiative. They took it upon themselves to contact all the other parents every morning via text or email to let them know whether the school was open. It may seem like an easy and obvious thing to do, but I was flabbergasted to hear that many schools had little or no communication with parents by text or email.
But I did heard today that a primary school teacher in Mayo showed some initiative by hosting her classes during the week via Googletalk.
As a commuter things were a little more advanced. I’m no big fan of Irish rail or the DART, their website is labyrinth of confusion, but they earned major bonus points with me and other commuters with their regular updates on Twitter. If there was a problem, a delay or cancellation, it was up on Twitter in minutes.
The AA website was good, but surprisingly their efforts on Twitter were not, with irregular and out of date postings. Dublin Bus is also on Twitter, but hasn’t posted anything since May. So, I had to refer to their website, another labyrinth. Maybe they should take a leaf out of Irish Rail’s book?
I was also regularly consulting the Met Éireann app on my iphone. The app had an up-to-date local weather forecast, satellite images and snow fall radar animation. This was all backed up by a regular updates on Twitter.
RTE have a newsfeed on their news page and you could also follow them on Twitter, but their information always seemed to be about an hour behind.
There was a snow depth indicator available on Google maps and on Google Earth but most of the information was from the UK, and there was very little from Ireland.
Google Earth also has live weather, showing precipitation, cloud cover and weather icons. Very nice and very geeky. But, I wonder if many people actually use it?
With so many people falling over on the ice, an app that might come in handy for all you good citizens out there, is the first aid app by St. John’s Ambulance.
Here’s some snowy apps to keep you entertained. Coca Cola created an app where you can upload your picture into a snow globe, which you can shake up and share with friends. Eircom e-mobile have also developed an app where you upload a photo of yourself and hey presto, it snows on you!
If you’re into skiing, I’d highly recommend the Ski Club of Great Britain app. It has all the latest news, reports and reviews from slopes around the world. If you’re in County Dublin, there’s only one place for you: Kilternan. Ski Club of Ireland are making delighted daily updates about how much snow they’ve got on their not-so-dry slopes, and what their opening hours are everyday. And, most importantly, whether or not you can drive up the road to get there!
If all this cold is too much for you, there is also a fireplace app were you can listen to your favourite music in front of a traditional hearth. Unfortunately there is not much heat. However, you could download ‘A White Christmas’ from iTunes and let Bing and Frank warm the cockles of your heart