Thursday, September 30, 2010
An article from eWeek includes pictures of the device and points out some of the differences between the PlayBook and the iPad. Some of the advantages of the PlayBook include: 1 GHz dual-core processor, multitasking capabilities, support for Adobe Flash, mirco USB and mirco HDMI ports, and dual cameras. However, the iPad excels with its 3G support, long battery life, and access to thousands of apps.
While the PlayBook is being compared to the iPad, it is expected to be targeted at enterprise users and not the consumer market. For example, Blackberry users may find the device useful because they can pair their smartphone with it and view any of their content on the larger device. Analysts point out that this puts the device in a different playing field. In an article from CIO Insight, Analyst Ken Hyers from Technology Business Research, noted, “[RIM] really has the market to itself. There's little chance, in my opinion, that this will be a runaway best seller, but I don't think it necessarily needs to be. If it catches on with the enterprise as a genuine productivity tool in the same way that the BlackBerry has, it will be a positive development for RIM.”
For additional info, an article from Fast Company features a side by side comparison of the PlayBook, iPad, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Osman Rashid, CEO and Co-Founder of Kno Inc., commented on the new device, “Even though the Kno pays for itself in 13 months, the smaller up front investment of the single screen version will allow more students to use our learning platform."
The dual screen device is being piloted on a few campuses this fall and both devices are scheduled to ship by the end of the year.
Pictures of the new device can be found on Wired’s website.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sharp’s e-bookstore will give users access to 30,000 e-books, newspapers, and magazines. Users will be able to receive the latest content on their devices via automatic scheduled delivery. Next year, Sharp will expand the offering to include movies, music, and games.
The tablets and e-bookstore will be available in Japan in December and Sharp plans to launch the system in the U.S. and Europe “as soon as possible.” It has also been reported that Sharp is in negotiations with Verizon.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Additional results from the study can be found here.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
As with other e-textbook pilots, the comments show that there are advantages and challenges to using the technology in the classroom. Some of the advantages include: the wide range of real world material that is available compared to the paper text and that the students are performing better in math class with the digital textbooks. While some of the challenges include: self guided quizzes that do not give detailed feedback and difficulty accessing the materials from home. Teachers at the school also say that they have difficulty finding and producing multimedia content to incorporate into the digital textbooks.
Mr. Young summed up the article by pointing out the e-textbooks provide an interactive and engaging experience but at this point seem to be high maintenance.
You can read more about Mr. Young’s travels on his College 2.0 column.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Here are some links to interesting articles from the past few days:
- The Xplanation blog has a posting about “Nine Important Trends in the Evolution of Digital Textbook and E-learning Content” that is worth a read. Some of the trends include the growth of OER, the development of a common format for e-textbooks, and a merging of the rental and e-textbook markets.
- An article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Blackberry could unveil a 7-inch tablet as early as next week. According to the report, the tablet will not be sold with a cellular service but users will be able to connect to cellular networks through Blackberry smartphones.
- According to a recent press release, Vook has released 47 enhanced e-books or “vooks” in the Apple iBookstore. As mentioned previously, vooks blend text, video, images, and social networking into a single experience. Here is a video demo that explains more.
- Here is an interesting article about a school in Scotland that gave each of its students an iPad for use in class and at home.
- According to Publishers Weekly, the Community College Open Textbook Collaborative (CCOTC) has partnered with Dynamic Books, an interactive digital textbook platform from Macmillan. CCOTC is a nonprofit coalition of colleges, governmental agencies, educational nonprofits, and other education-related organizations that was formed to help reduce the cost of textbooks. CCOTC has identified 27 open textbooks that will be made available through Dynamic Books beginning in January 2011.
- A posting on the Kindle Nation Daily blog says that Amazon is winning the e-book pricing war against publishers. The number of e-books in the Kindle store that are in Amazon’s preferred price range has increased significantly over the past few months. The posting includes a pricing analysis as well.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
According to the article, faculty members at Seton Hill University are working with the developers of Inkling, an interactive textbooks app for the iPad, to determine how to integrate the technology into the classroom. As mentioned previously, Inkling has many appealing features including: figures and diagrams that can be freely rotated and resized, embedded videos and case studies, and interactive quizzes. One of the most interesting features is the note sharing functionality that allows students to take notes in the margins and then share the notes with classmates or instructors in real-time. This gives students the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas instantly. Catherine Giunta, an associate professor of business at Seton Hill, says that the technology has changed the way that students interact with the textbook and how she interacts with the students. Ms. Guinta has been able to give students individualized instruction and guidance after reviewing their margin notes.
The article also discusses the iPad experience at George Fox University. For the first time this year, the university expanded the computing options and offered each incoming first-year student a choice between an iPad and a MacBook. According to the article, only about 10 percent of the students chose the iPad so it has been difficult to completely incorporate the device into the curriculum this semester.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
HMH also plans to invest in innovation centers in the U.S. and Ireland. At the centers, innovation teams will work with third party manufacturers, foundations, and academia on new solutions. The HMH Fuse: Algebra 1 app that we discussed last week is one of the new solutions.
Today, HMH also announced a new partnership with A&E Television Networks (AETN). Content from HISTORY, a division of AETN formerly known as the History Channel, will be used to create digital education materials including: multimedia classroom packages, a streaming digital library, and interactive textbooks.
Here is an interesting video from the companies that discusses how the partnership could help transform education in the classroom.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
According to a recent article, the University of Texas at San Antonio has also created a new library space which will be the first bookless library on a college or university campus. The Applied Engineering and Technology Library at the university includes 425,000 e-books and 18,000 e-journal subscriptions, as well as computers, LCD screens, printers, and scanners for student use. In the near future, the library will also make e-reader and tablet devices available for check out.
According to the article, the new bookless library is catching on with students because librarians now have more time to assist them.
Monday, September 13, 2010
An article on Forbes.com discusses the results from the first survey of a test group of students using iPads at the University of Notre Dame. While the students have only been using the devices for a short time, the overall results are positive. Corey Angst, Assistant Professor of Management, and the faculty member teaching the class, noted that he anticipated more negative feedback. “In [Information Technology] research, we almost always see a slight dip in satisfaction after a couple weeks of usage. In this case, we saw very little of that.”
Below is a listing of some of the pros and cons that were expressed by the students.
- Encouraged exploration of additional topics
- Provided functions/tools that are not possible with a traditional textbook
- Made coursework more interesting
- Improved collaboration among team members
- Helped with organization
- Made bags/backpacks much lighter
- Used for reading in other courses and non-academic reading
- Reduced paper usage
- Distracting due to games, apps, and web browser
- Concerned about the effects of spending so much time looking at a screen
- More difficult to highlight text on an iPad than a regular book
Notre Dame plans to rotate the iPads among different classes next semester. The university aims to create an “e-publishing ecosystem” for the entire university in the future.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
“I worry that, before long, we’ll become so used to the mindless clarity of e-ink – to these screens that keep on getting better – that the technology will feedback onto the content, making us less willing to endure harder texts. We’ll forget what it’s like to flex those dorsal muscles, to consciously decipher a literate clause.”
The full article can be found on Wired’s website.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
An article about the announcement can be found here.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The article points out that the college bookstore will not benefit from this new model but the college is prepared for that. Spiwak noted, “The simplest conclusion would be we’ll have no bookstore. What we’ll have is a store that sells t-shirts and backpacks, and things that go with e-readers.”
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The app is called HMH Fuse: Algebra 1 and it includes a year-long course and ancillary materials. The app is intended to provide students with an interactive learning experience that features: guided practice, video lessons, vocabulary links, graphing tools, highlighting, and notetaking capabilities. The app also provides teachers with real-time performance feedback for students.
According to the press release, approximately 400 students in San Francisco, Long Beach, Riverside, and Fresno school districts will participate in the pilot. The students will utilize the algebra app on iPad devices while control groups of students will use traditional paper textbooks. The groups will be compared based on student achievement and attitudes about learning.
The HMH Education website features additional information about the app and pilot. There is also a video demo to show how the app works on the iPad.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
The article also includes some interesting stats. It says that the average person today consumes about three times as much information as a person consumed in 1960. In addition, an average computer user can switch programs 36 times an hour.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Siok Wai Ting, assistant professor of linguistics at Hong Kong University, pointed out that forgetting how to write the characters could eventually affect reading ability.
Friday, September 3, 2010
The pilot begins this semester and includes five California State Universities: Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, San Bernardino, and San Francisco State. Between the schools, 32 courses will be participating and about 4,000 students. Students enrolled in the participating classes will be able to purchase subscriptions for the digital content through their campus bookstores. With the subscription, students will be able to access the digital content for the length of the term and read the texts on computers/laptops, iPad, iPhones, and other devices.
According to an article on the California State University website, the pilot program will likely expand to include more courses and campuses for the spring 2011 semester. In addition, data will be collected throughout the pilots to learn more about student and faculty preferences for digital material.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Nigel Portwood, the chief executive of Oxford University Press, commented, “The print dictionary market is just disappearing, it is falling away by tens of percent a year.”
Simon Winchester, author of ‘The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary’ added, “The printed book is about to vanish at extraordinary speed. I have two complete OEDs, but never consult them – I use the online OED five or six times daily. The same with many of my reference books – and soon with most.”
Oxford University Press, owner of the dictionary, said that it will still continue to print the Oxford Dictionary of English which is sold in bookstores.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
In addition, Sony has announced plans to expand its Reader line to Italy, Spain, Australia, Japan, and China.