Author Topic: I want your opinions on this  (Read 9503 times)

bds

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2012, 12:32:39 pm »
i use the fuck out of my netbook and my iPhone at school! all my notes are typed up (i'm pretty sure i can get way better WPM on the keyboard than i could w/ pen & paper -- but it does lead to me typing things up verbatim rather than condensing). also, our school computers are pretty shitty, and I tether using my iPhone so i can get internet. i get emails on my phone too, so when a teacher sends out emails with work in i get those quickly.

PLUS, it gives me something to do when i'm bored. i'm typing this right now instead of writing the introduction to an essay.  :lol:

i don't have a tablet, so i can't really discuss how useful those are -- i could only parrot the views of others in this thread. one of the kids in my class used to bring in an iPad and the notes he'd type using the on-screen keyboard were flimsy at best. some other dude has the Blackberry tablet, and again i just don't think the notes applications/text entry and such are advanced enough to take a serious amount of notes, really (although i'd love to be proved wrong on that)

AFK

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2012, 01:21:49 pm »
I'm going to be receiving an iPad for work for this new federal grant I'm coordinating starting next week.  Supposedly I need this to make my life easier.  That's what my director told me anyway, but I think it's basically just a ploy so he can get one as well.  I suppose it will be handy when I'm away and I need to check e-mails.  It will be a lot easier to whip out that small thing as opposed to my huge lap-top. 
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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2012, 01:41:29 pm »
Yes, a portable computing device is useful for academic studies.

But, IMO, it's not useful during real-time class work.

My strategy was to write everything down by hand during classes (everything, not just what I thought I'd need to remember), and then copy that onto my computer when I got back to my room after class.  It not only drilled the knowledge into my head, it made for an excellent study guide when exams rolled around.

Of course, this isn't the "tell Nigel how to study" thread, so I apologize if it seems that way.

Cramulus

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2012, 02:28:18 pm »
*Publisher hat*

Ipads and tablets are going to be in many classrooms in the next 5 years, possibly all classrooms in the next 10 years.

Several countries are working on getting ipads for all their students. Thailand (if I recall correctly.. may have been another asian country.. sorry, my notes from that meeting are spotty) just released their plan to give an ipad to all students by 2015. Likewise there are several districts in the US that are going down that track.

Textbook Publishers look at the ipad and salivate. Physical book sales have been flat for the last three years. Ebook sales are up 300%. School boards with cramped budgets know that in the long run, buying an ebook reader is a little cheaper than buying 4 or 5 textbooks per student every few years.

There's a race right now to see who can create the best content delivery platform for the tablet. All the publishing companies were both freaked out and excited two weeks ago when Apple announced it was entering the game. One of the publishers I work for said that Apple is now our "frenemy"... "we love them because they produce the hardware we're developing content for... but now we're competing with them too."

The book series I'm working on right now is pretty interesting... Usually, when we publish a book series, priority 1 is the student book. The next priorities are the teacher's guide, workbooks, teacher's resources, etc, and the website. The companion website for a book contains a lot of "extras" -- assignments, projects, quizzes that teachers can assign, links to approved websites about the topic, and other extras. It's basically something we do because the marketing department tells us we need it. The digital end of things has always been tacked on; we don't really think about it until after the book is done.

But things are different now...
THIS series is the first one we've ever done in which the digital product is fully integrated with the book. The teacher can't teach this course without one of those fancy digital projectors. Each page of the [digital] book has pop-ups that you can click on that have examples, diagrams, extra questions, activities, etc. We are telling our editors to design 16 inches of content per page (as opposed to 12). Students will have a physical book, but about 1/3rd of the content will be online. From here on out, this is the way it's going to be done.

The publishers keep saying things like, "We're not at the point where there's an ipad on any desk ... yet. We'll see what happens in the next five years."

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2012, 02:59:20 pm »
Cram, is it really that focused on the iPad in particular? They're not considering other tablets?

Because that IS scary. I don't care if that makes me an Apple hater or not, IMO any OS is pretty much as good as the next if you know how to work itm, BUT it is VERY important to keep the market level and open for Free and Open Source software. After some recent developments, I found I actually feel really strong about this, Richard Stallman is right. It pretty much is the only REAL problem I have with Apple, and Google Android is not much better even though the Android OS is technically Open Source, you can't compile and install it [a possibly modified version such as CyanogenMod] on your device because you need to HACK your OWN device (voiding the warranty) to gain full control over it.

If it weren't for that, I'd probably really like Apple, because it's pretty good otherwise.

One solution would be if some really Open/Free tablet appeared on the market that would be really good. Because I'm not seeing that happening very soon, the other possibility is to keep the market diverse so that applications need to be kept cross-compatible (we can DO this now, we got the technology and knowledge, this has been a major part of IT research for decades, the consumer would benefit greatly but market forces THROW this away) and people can really pick and choose what device they choose to use, be it open or closed or shiny or cheap.
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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2012, 03:04:30 pm »
       If you can type without looking at your hands then you can free up your eyes for images/diagrams/etc. When I take notes with my laptop I easily generate a few pages of single spaced writing much faster than by hand. I also google things that are mentioned during lectures to see if things check out and whatnot. All the online courses I've done were based on a very old-fashioned, almost rudimentary web design—either from cheapness or compatibility purposes I'm not sure which. There's a lot of variables to consider with this sort of thing. People get so focused on the THING and not how it fits into people's lives.
       
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Cramulus

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2012, 03:26:15 pm »
Cram, is it really that focused on the iPad in particular? They're not considering other tablets?

I can't speak with too much authority on that, but the publishers I work for seem to use the word iPad when they mean Tablet. The reason they love the ipad so much is apple's app store. In 2010, the iphone app store did more business than the entire English As a Second Language industry. So the publishers immediately vomited on their dead-tree format publishing model and began cramping their brains to figure out how they can get a slice of the app store money.



tl;dr version of the story, I think they prefer ipad because Apple has monetized it very successfully. 
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 03:29:15 pm by Cramulus »

AFK

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2012, 04:00:39 pm »
Pretty much every education system in Maine that has had any kind of program getting technology in the hands of kids has been using Apple products.  Maine has a laptop program where every kid in a certain grade, I think it's 7th grade, gets a laptop.  They are all Apple's.  My local school district just started a program where every kid in Kindergarten gets an iPad.  I think it speaks to Apple's ability to make products that translate very well to these kinds of programs.  I don't know if it's just that their products are more intuitive for kids, or if it's developing good marketing strategies to appeal to school districts, or more likely both. 
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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2012, 04:23:16 pm »
Probably marketing strategies because they're strictly more expensive than equivalent products of other brands. You do see this reflected in quality of hardware and sleekness of design, so you do get your money's worth, but it's very much a luxury decision IMO, like buying certain name-brand clothing (which has better quality stitching, generally looks nicer and has a prominent logo for everyone to see) versus buying plain stuff at the H&M (crappy quality, looks well enough and you can actually find shit without a logo or meaningless typography like DOCK #54 URBAN PILOT WEAR, the latter which pisses me off almost more than a big brand logo). Except that the price-quality difference is not as pronounced with computing hardware, a brand name shirt can easily cost 5-10x an equiv H&M shirt, but if you compare the cheapest tablet with the iPad you get 2.5x price difference at most, I think.

Anyway, I digress, point is if it weren't for marketing, and the school had to set it up themselves (instead of Apple sponsoring it) they would naturally have chosen the cheaper non-luxury version, because while the iPad is good, it's not so good that there's no other choice.

Then again I have an odd perspective on this because I know Apple is WAY bigger in the US than it is here.
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Freeky

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2012, 05:45:25 pm »

I know that I could buy a Netbook for about the same price as an iPad, and that's certainly a possibility. I am a little leery of super-cheap notebooks though, as I have gone that route before and barely got two years use out of it, as opposed to the 5+ years I normally get from an Apple computer. Plus, my desktop computer is a Mac, and to me it makes very little sense to buy a propane appliance when you already have natural gas, you know? Especially because they crippled cross-platform networking in the latest version of Windows.


Just as an anecdote, I have to say that my Acer is giving as good as I've got to throw at it.  Roger I'm sure can tell you how hard I am on my things.  I mean, ask him how many times last month he had to tell me off for leaving blood all over the bathroom after dorking around with some cute boy I picked up at the bar! I've had this thing for nearly two years; it's been dropped on hard tile at least twice (and crushed the lid a bit), had energy drinks spilled on it, hauled it around in a backpack full of hard textbooks (admittedly, I'm a bit more careful there), left it on for days on end to save my spot on some page on the internet, dropped it some more, left it in positions that destroyed the power cord's ability to work right without hours of finagling, and it is still going strong, even if the keys are a bit sticky.

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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2012, 06:04:41 pm »

I commented that it seems arrogant to me for anyone outside of their program to tell a student what tools will and won't be useful for them, and in response was told (by a former art student who dropped out about ten years ago) "It's not arrogant, it's called "advice".


Roger's response to a fucked up comment like that: "This isn't a punch in the bits.  It's called an 'adjustment'."
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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2012, 06:07:45 pm »
I feel that the reaction is just part of a consumer backlash.  People are tired of shiny new ways to play Angry Birds.  It's just that though, a reaction.

I feel that gadgets like the ones being discussed are classroom and prof dependent.  If the prof has a really engaging teaching style, where they actually expect some kind of back and forth or participation (rare but I get them), then gadgets aren't helpful. 

If they're lecturers who just talk and pass out work, then I like to have wiki, google, or wolfram alpha by my side.

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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #43 on: February 06, 2012, 08:20:53 pm »

I commented that it seems arrogant to me for anyone outside of their program to tell a student what tools will and won't be useful for them, and in response was told (by a former art student who dropped out about ten years ago) "It's not arrogant, it's called "advice".


Roger's response to a fucked up comment like that: "This isn't a punch in the bits.  It's called an 'adjustment'."

I like this, and am totally going to use it.  :lol:
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: I want your opinions on this
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2012, 08:24:53 pm »
I feel that the reaction is just part of a consumer backlash.  People are tired of shiny new ways to play Angry Birds.  It's just that though, a reaction.

I feel that gadgets like the ones being discussed are classroom and prof dependent.  If the prof has a really engaging teaching style, where they actually expect some kind of back and forth or participation (rare but I get them), then gadgets aren't helpful. 

If they're lecturers who just talk and pass out work, then I like to have wiki, google, or wolfram alpha by my side.

I'm not even thinking about in-class, necessarily. It would be really handy to be able to do research or work on projects between classes, or even to be able to go to certain types of social events and still be able to work on a project, or to have the capability of going to an SE's house or away to the coast for a weekend and still getting homework done.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”