Technologizer posts about Education

My First Few Questions About Apple’s Education News

By  |  Posted at 9:33 am on Thursday, January 19, 2012


Judging from the turnout for our live coverage of Apple’s education event–which was much sparser than for something like the iPad 2 announcement–a lot of tech enthusiasts lost interest in today’s news when they figured out that it didn’t involve any new hardware. That’s a shame. The news–a new textbook-friendly version of iBooks, a free book-creation tool called iBooks Author, and a spiffier version of the iTunes U courseware app–has as much or more potential to make its mark on the world as any new iPad or iPhone could. Everything looks really, really cool.

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Join Us for Live Coverage of Apple’s Education Event

By  |  Posted at 4:15 am on Thursday, January 19, 2012

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At 10am ET this morning, I’ll be at the Guggenheim Museum here in New York for Apple’s education event, liveblogging the whole thing at Doug Aamoth of TIME will join me with color commentary–and I hope you’ll be there, too.


Wait! Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune says that Apple’s education event isn’t about “a GarageBand for e-books” at all:

MacInnis also mentioned GarageBand in our interview. But what he was describing was a sample iPad textbook, produced in-house and packed with pedological bells and whistles, that would serve as a reference design for textbook publishers, much in the way GarageBand for the iPad showed iOS developers what the new platform could do.

MacInnis does expect Apple to unveil new tools for creating iPad textbooks, along with a new content repository to make e-textbooks easily available to teachers. But the tools are not a “GarageBand for e-books.” And according to MacInnis, they’re designed to support the textbook industry, not to do an end-run around it.

Posted by Harry at 8:07 am


Chris Foresman of Ars Technica says that Apple’s education event–which I’ll liveblog at 10am ET on Thursday–is about a “GarageBand for e-books.”

Posted by Harry at 1:21 am


Coming on Thursday: Live Blog Coverage of Apple’s Education Event

By  |  Posted at 12:13 am on Monday, January 16, 2012


On Thursday, January 19th, Apple is holding a press event in New York at the Guggenheim Museum. It says that the topic involves education. Lots of folks are logically assuming that iPad textbooks are at least part of the story. We won’t know any more details for sure until the event gets underway at 10am ET, but once it does, I’ll liveblog the whole thing at–and I hope you’ll join me. (Head there now if you’d like to get an e-mail reminder when the event begins.)

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Goodbye Textbooks, Hello iPad

By  |  Posted at 4:38 am on Friday, December 9, 2011


A technology shift is underway. The PC’s promise to transform how learning happens in the classroom is being realized by Apple’s iPad. Students and teachers in grade school through higher education are using the iPad to augment their lessons or to replace textbooks.

The iPad is especially helpful for students with special needs. Its simplified touch interface and accessibility features help these children learn more independently; aftermarket accessories assist in making the iPad more classroom-friendly.

In March, I wrote about how my mother learned how to use her iPad for basic stuff–like checking e-mail and browsing the Web–without ever having used a PC in her life. Students at all grade levels are finding it just as easy to use.

Jennifer Kohn’s third grade class at Millstone Elementary School in Millstone, NJ, mastered the iPad with minimal training. For the most part, the students didn’t need to be taught how to use their apps, Kohn says.

Kohn uses the iPad when it’s meaningful to enrich, extend, or introduce what students are learning in the classroom. Her class has used their iPads to interact with storybooks, brainstorm ideas for creative writing, and to learn mathematics. Math Bingo, an app that teaches kids math through gaming, is one of the top selling iPad apps  for education.

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$25 Computer Aims To Teach Computing

By  |  Posted at 12:12 pm on Saturday, May 7, 2011


A British game developer has turned his efforts away from video games for a moment, and is focusing on bringing computer science education into schools. Frontier Developments founder David Braben has introduced the Raspberry Pi, a $25 Linux-based computer.

The computer is not much larger than a USB keychain dongle, and includes an HDMI port to connect a display, and a USB 2.0 port to connect peripherals. The device runs on Linux, thus keeping any software licensing costs low (if not non-existent).

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Growing Up Digitally: The iPad As a Learning Device

By  |  Posted at 1:36 pm on Thursday, March 17, 2011


His name is Bridger Wilson, and he’s two years old. He’s just like any other toddler, full of imagination. But Bridger’s father Mike has bought him an iPad. It’s not immediately clear how much experience that Bridger has had with the device previous to the taking of this video (which we should mention is about 8 months old now), but the results are seemingly rather stunning.

He appears to have the basic methods of navigating the device down, which is somewhat amazing since he likely cannot read and is just learning to speak. But Bridger’s father Mike says in the comments that “his speech, understanding, word recognition, and even hand eye coordination have improved within just a short while.” Quite an an accomplishment for a gadget from Cupertino, no?

See for yourself:

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Survey: Social Media Makes Kids Better Writers

By  |  Posted at 5:06 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009


The debate over whether computers are making kids dumb was reignited today with a BBC report about a survey which concluded that children who use technology may be better writers.

The survey was conducted by the UK’s National Literacy Trust with a sample size of 3,001 school children aged nine and showed that 16. 24% had their own blog, 82% sent text messages at least once a month, and 73% used instant messaging services, according to the BBC’s report.

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Obama Praises Tech Giants

By  |  Posted at 9:50 pm on Tuesday, September 8, 2009

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U.S. President Barack Obama heralded the technology industry in a speech today about the importance of education. The speech, which was given to school children across the country, emphasized personal responsibility, hard work, and perseverance.

In his remarks, Obama told school children that students sitting in classrooms a generation beforehand had grown up to produce Facebook, Google and Twitter –changing the way Americans communicate with one another. Those successes would have been hard to come by without an education, the President noted.

Obama successfully leveraged social networking in his campaign to become President, building a large grassroots following on the Web. His campaign leveraged Web services to rapidly convey his message and to respond to political attacks.

Despite the President’s praise, technology didn’t get a free pass in his speech. He cautioned against too much of a good thing, and asked parents to manage how much time their children spend watching TV and playing Xbox. (Obama singled out Microsoft’s game console rather than mentioning the PlayStation and Wii as well, a fact some folks noticed).  He also told children to be careful about what they post online (which was a world away from President Eisenhower’s generic appeal for students to study math and science).

Here’s the speech in its entirety, in two chunks–thank you, YouTube:

Controversy aside, the President gave common sense advise that it would behoove every child to follow. Maybe the inventor of the next big thing was listening in, and became inspired by the President’s words.

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Talk About School Gadgets, Win a Half-Terabyte of Portable Storage

By  |  Posted at 8:39 am on Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Seagate Free Agent Go[UPDATE: The contest is over--thanks to everyone who entered. We'll announce a winner shortly; if you have a comment here, you're in the drawing.]

Hey, it’s back-to-school time! I’m just glad I’m not going back to school myself, and I’m kind of amazed that it’s here already–back in the day, I don’t remember school starting until September. But we’re going to celebrate by giving away a snazzy 500GB Seagate FreeAgent Go Special Edition portable USB hard drive to a lucky member of the Technologizer community. (No, you don’t need to be a student at the moment to win it.)

The drive is a $169.99 value, has a red aluminum case (as shown at left), and comes with a docking station, and is provided courtesy of Seagate. I certainly would have found it useful in college, when I stored my data on 72KB floppy disks, although I seem to remember cranking out most of my papers on an electric typewriter–at least it had a built-in correction feature.

To enter, respond to this message in the comments and tell us about the gadgets you found (or find) most essential for high school or college–and/or the ones you wish you had but didn’t (or don’t). Please fill out the e-mail address field so we can contact you if you win the FreeAgent–it won’t be displayed publicly, and we won’t use it for anything other than conveying the happy news to you. (If you’re logged in as a user, you won’t have to enter your e-mail address–just make sure that the address associated with your WordPress account is current.)

We’ll close this contest at 5pm PT this Friday, August 21st 2009, choose a winner at random, and notify that person by the following Monday, August 24th. If you’re shy, you can also enter by dropping us a line with your e-mail address using this form.

Your favorite gadget for classwork could be something like one of these…


Or this…


Or this…

Olympus Voice Recorder

Or even this…

MacBook Pro

Or maybe it’s something weird and unexpected.

Good luck and have fun!

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OLPC Slashes Staff, Refocuses Mission

By  |  Posted at 8:01 pm on Wednesday, January 7, 2009

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olpcJust weeks after administering its “Give One, Get One” holiday season drive, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation has cut its staff by 50 percent to downsize its operational costs. But the news is not entirely grim: OLPC has announced several new technology initiatives.

In a blog posting, founder Nicholas Negroponte explained that as a non profit, OLPC is bearing the brunt of the worldwide economic downturn. It has reduced its team down to 32 people, and the remaining personnel have reduced compensation. With luck the person that produced the foundation’s creepy John Lennon ad wasn’t spared the pink slip.

Negroponte reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to its mission of providing children in developing countries with laptops. To that end it will embark on several new technology initiatives. Those include:

1. Development of Generation 2.0 of the XO laptop
2. A no-cost connectivity program
3. A million digital books
4. Passing on the development of the Sugar Operating System to the community.
5. Creating a $0 laptop to be distributed in the least developed countries.

The foundation will also change its deployment strategy, targeting Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. Further, it is restructuring its Latin America operations into a separate support unit.

500,000 children have already received laptops, according to OLPC. Computer literacy plays a role in economic development, and the foundation’s work should continue. Let’s all hope it rides out the downturn.

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