recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : tablets   27

Urban innovation doesn't have to leave rural areas behind — Quartz
"A nice house in the country is an aspirational lifestyle for many: a little place in Norfolk or Maine, a few acres of land, an old farmhouse that’s been nicely retrofitted, maybe a few solar panels on the roof. You could grow some of your own vegetables in the garden and use the internet to video-conference into the office. You’d be back to the land, with all the creature comforts of the city.

But it’s very expensive to pull yourself out of Western industrial capitalism and give yourself the simpler life. If you try and do that in Britain, it’ll cost at least £300,000 (USD$380,000) to buy the place and get it set up. Then you’ve got to spend £20,000 to £50,000 a year to maintain your lifestyle on top of that. You’re basically going back to what the original builders of that farmhouse had, but the difference is that now you have an internet connection, clean water, and solar panels—and it cost you nearly half a million pounds to get there.

For so many of us, the urban phase of existence is seen as an on-ramp that will hopefully one day take us back into the rural phase; the city is where you come to make the money to buy yourself back out into the country. A simple rural life is the golden apple at the end of the capitalist trip, the brass ring that 30 or 40 years of successful work buys you. But it’s also a paradox: We want to pay to live in the near-poverty that the original builders of our dreamy farmhouse were working to escape.

That was 1600s England. Modern-day South America, India, parts of China, and most of Africa essentially have the same lifestyle niche that most of Britain had in the Elizabethan era. Their standard of living is very low. Their water is dirty. The open fires on which they cook on emit a lot of smoke, so everybody is smoking the equivalent of 20 cigarettes a day. There are all kinds of terrible diseases that lower life expectancy, and somewhere between one in five to one in 20 children will die before the age of five.

But rural life doesn’t have to look like this. It is my prediction that in the 21st century, the villagers of Africa, India, and South America will leapfrog over the city—and the rest of Western industrialized society. Instead of aspiring to migrate to the cities to make a bunch of money, the rural farmers of the developing world will be soon able to stay where they are with low-cost, local, distributed versions of all the critical amenities they need.

Start with a building, like a mud or thatched hut. Put a cheap, water-resistant coating on the outside and some solar panels on the roof, just enough to charge your cell phone. Thanks to cheap water filters—you can buy them for about 30 quid now—you’ll also have clean drinking water. There are some great designs from an English outfit called Safe Water Trust that are even cheaper, and they’ll last more-or-less forever in a typical village context.

With your phone charged, you’ll be able to access the internet; rural areas are increasingly equipped with 3G, 4G, or soon-to-be 5G connections. Your kids will therefore be able to get an education off your tablet computer—which now can cost as little as $35—and those solar panels on the roof can keep it running. You can make some money, too, like doing a bit of translation work for your cousin who lives in New York, or some web development for your ex-colleague’s start-up. You’re still growing your vegetables out the back, but now you can look up crop diseases, and there’s this thing called permaculture that you’re also taking an online course in.

Humans need to explore this mode of living if we are to continue catapulting down this materialistic path. When we wind up with a global population of 9 billion, where everybody has two cars and a four-bedroom house, there’s no other way of arranging the pieces. There isn’t enough metal in the earth, never mind enough money.

We’re therefore at a dead end. Inequality is here to stay. But inequality doesn’t have to mean abject poverty. These rural communities will have access to self-sufficient peasant agriculture, education by internet, and a standard of living that is roughly what we aspire to have when we get rich and retire—but they’ll be able to achieve it without going through the urban hyper-capitalist phase first.

This notion of rural life will be centered around the bicycle, the solar panel, and the tablet computer instead of the Land Rover, the diesel generator, and the combine harvester. A life of stable self-sufficiency, rather than precarious plenty. If leapfrogging rural communities can manifest an existence that would satisfy the lawyer-turned-faux-farmer, the notion of rural-urban-and-then-back-to-rural migration would reach the end of the cul-de-sac."
cities  rural  leapfrogging  vinaygupta  2018  capitalism  solar  internet  web  connectivity  simplicity  decentralization  mobile  phones  smartphones  technology  tablets 
9 weeks ago by robertogreco
I Embraced Screen Time With My Daughter—and I Love It | WIRED
I often turn to my sister, Mimi Ito, for advice on these issues. She has raised two well-adjusted kids and directs the Connected Learning Lab at UC Irvine, where researchers conduct extensive research on children and technology. Her opinion is that “most tech-privileged parents should be less concerned with controlling their kids’ tech use and more about being connected to their digital lives.” Mimi is glad that the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) dropped its famous 2x2 rule—no screens for the first two years, and no more than two hours a day until a child hits 18. She argues that this rule fed into stigma and parent-shaming around screen time at the expense of what she calls “connected parenting”—guiding and engaging in kids’ digital interests.

One example of my attempt at connected parenting is watching YouTube together with Kio, singing along with Elmo as Kio shows off the new dance moves she’s learned. Everyday, Kio has more new videos and favorite characters that she is excited to share when I come home, and the songs and activities follow us into our ritual of goofing off in bed as a family before she goes to sleep. Her grandmother in Japan is usually part of this ritual in a surreal situation where she is participating via FaceTime on my wife’s iPhone, watching Kio watching videos and singing along and cheering her on. I can’t imagine depriving us of these ways of connecting with her.

The (Unfounded) War on Screens

The anti-screen narrative can sometimes read like the War on Drugs. Perhaps the best example is Glow Kids, in which Nicholas Kardaras tells us that screens deliver a dopamine rush rather like sex. He calls screens “digital heroin” and uses the term “addiction” when referring to children unable to self-regulate their time online.

More sober (and less breathlessly alarmist) assessments by child psychologists and data analysts offer a more balanced view of the impact of technology on our kids. Psychologist and baby observer Alison Gopnik, for instance, notes: “There are plenty of mindless things that you could be doing on a screen. But there are also interactive, exploratory things that you could be doing.” Gopnik highlights how feeling good about digital connections is a normal part of psychology and child development. “If your friends give you a like, well, it would be bad if you didn’t produce dopamine,” she says.

Other research has found that the impact of screens on kids is relatively small, and even the conservative AAP says that cases of children who have trouble regulating their screen time are not the norm, representing just 4 percent to 8.5 percent of US children. This year, Andrew Przybylski and Amy Orben conducted a rigorous analysis of data on more than 350,000 adolescents and found a nearly negligible effect on psychological well-being at the aggregate level.

In their research on digital parenting, Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross found widespread concern among parents about screen time. They posit, however, that “screen time” is an unhelpful catchall term and recommend that parents focus instead on quality and joint engagement rather than just quantity. The Connected Learning Lab’s Candice Odgers, a professor of psychological sciences, reviewed the research on adolescents and devices and found as many positive as negative effects. She points to the consequences of unbalanced attention on the negative ones. “The real threat isn’t smartphones. It’s this campaign of misinformation and the generation of fear among parents and educators.”

We need to immediately begin rigorous, longitudinal studies on the effects of devices and the underlying algorithms that guide their interfaces and their interactions with and recommendations for children. Then we can make evidence-based decisions about how these systems should be designed, optimized for, and deployed among children, and not put all the burden on parents to do the monitoring and regulation.

My guess is that for most kids, this issue of screen time is statistically insignificant in the context of all the other issues we face as parents—education, health, day care—and for those outside my elite tech circles even more so. Parents like me, and other tech leaders profiled in a recent New York Times series about tech elites keeping their kids off devices, can afford to hire nannies to keep their kids off screens. Our kids are the least likely to suffer the harms of excessive screen time. We are also the ones least qualified to be judgmental about other families who may need to rely on screens in different ways. We should be creating technology that makes screen entertainment healthier and fun for all families, especially those who don’t have nannies.

I’m not ignoring the kids and families for whom digital devices are a real problem, but I believe that even in those cases, focusing on relationships may be more important than focusing on controlling access to screens.

Keep It Positive

One metaphor for screen time that my sister uses is sugar. We know sugar is generally bad for you and has many side effects and can be addictive to kids. However, the occasional bonding ritual over milk and cookies might have more benefit to a family than an outright ban on sugar. Bans can also backfire, fueling binges and shame as well as mistrust and secrecy between parents and kids.

When parents allow kids to use computers, they often use spying tools, and many teens feel parental surveillance is invasive to their privacy. One study showed that using screen time to punish or reward behavior actually increased net screen time use by kids. Another study by Common Sense Media shows what seems intuitively obvious: Parents use screens as much as kids. Kids model their parents—and have a laserlike focus on parental hypocrisy.

In Alone Together, Sherry Turkle describes the fracturing of family cohesion because of the attention that devices get and how this has disintegrated family interaction. While I agree that there are situations where devices are a distraction—I often declare “laptops closed” in class, and I feel that texting during dinner is generally rude—I do not feel that iPhones necessarily draw families apart.

In the days before the proliferation of screens, I ran away from kindergarten every day until they kicked me out. I missed more classes than any other student in my high school and barely managed to graduate. I also started more extracurricular clubs in high school than any other student. My mother actively supported my inability to follow rules and my obsessive tendency to pursue my interests and hobbies over those things I was supposed to do. In the process, she fostered a highly supportive trust relationship that allowed me to learn through failure and sometimes get lost without feeling abandoned or ashamed.

It turns out my mother intuitively knew that it’s more important to stay grounded in the fundamentals of positive parenting. “Research consistently finds that children benefit from parents who are sensitive, responsive, affectionate, consistent, and communicative” says education professor Stephanie Reich, another member of the Connected Learning Lab who specializes in parenting, media, and early childhood. One study shows measurable cognitive benefits from warm and less restrictive parenting.

When I watch my little girl learning dance moves from every earworm video that YouTube serves up, I imagine my mother looking at me while I spent every waking hour playing games online, which was my pathway to developing my global network of colleagues and exploring the internet and its potential early on. I wonder what wonderful as well as awful things will have happened by the time my daughter is my age, and I hope a good relationship with screens and the world beyond them can prepare her for this future."
joiito  parenting  screentime  mimiito  techology  screens  children  alisongopnik  2019  computers  computing  tablets  phones  smartphones  mobile  nicholaskardaras  addiction  prohibition  andrewprzybylski  aliciablum-ross  sonialvingstone  amyorben  adolescence  psychology  candiceodgers  research  stephaniereich  connectedlearning  learning  schools  sherryturkle  trust 
10 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Radical Tactics of the Offline Library on Vimeo
[parts of the video (from the introduction): "1. Libraries existed to copy data. Libraries as warehouses was a recent idea and not a very good one 2. The online world used to be considered rhizomatic but recent events have proven that it is actually quite arboretic and precarious. 3. A method of sharing files using hard drives is slow, but it is extremely resilient. This reversalism is a radical tactic agains draconian proprietarianism. 4. There are forces and trends that are working against portable libraries."]

[Book is here:
http://networkcultures.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/NN07_complete.pdf
http://networkcultures.org/blog/publication/no-07-radical-tactics-of-the-offline-library-henry-warwick/ ]

"The Radical Tactics of the Offline Library is based on the book "Radical Tactics: Reversalism and Personal Portable Libraries"
By Henry Warwick

The Personal Portable Library in its most simple form is a hard drive or USB stick containing a large collection of e-books, curated and archived by an individual user. The flourishing of the offline digital library is a response to the fact that truly private sharing of knowledge in the online realm is increasingly made impossible. While P2P sharing sites and online libraries with downloadable e-books are precarious, people are naturally led to an atavistic and reversalist workaround. The radical tactics of the offline: abandoning the online for more secure offline transfer. Taking inspiration from ancient libraries as copying centers and Sneakernet, Henry Warwick describes the future of the library as digital and offline. Radical Tactics: Reversalism and Personal Portable Libraries traces the history of the library and the importance of the Personal Portable Library in sharing knowledge and resisting proprietarian forces.

The library in Alexandria contained about 500,000 scrolls; the Library of Congress, the largest library in the history of civilization, contains about 35 million books. A digital version of it would fit on a 24 TB drive, which can be purchased for about $2000. Obviously, most people don’t need 35 million books. A small local library of 10,000 books could fit on a 64 GB thumb drive the size of a pack of chewing gum and costing perhaps $40. An astounding fact with immense implications. It is trivially simple to start collecting e-books, marshalling them into libraries on hard drives, and then to share the results. And it is much less trivially important. Sharing is caring. Societies where people share, especially ideas, are societies that will naturally flourish."
libraries  henrywarwick  archives  collection  digital  digitalmedia  ebooks  drm  documentary  librarians  alexandriaproject  copying  rhizomes  internet  online  sharing  files  p2p  proprietarianism  sneakernet  history  harddrives  learning  unschooling  property  deschooling  resistance  mesopotamia  egypt  alexandria  copies  decay  resilience  cv  projectideas  libraryofalexandria  books  scrolls  tablets  radicalism  literacy  printing  moveabletype  china  europe  publishing  2014  copyright  capitalism  canon  librarydevelopment  walterbenjamin  portability  andrewtanenbaum  portable  portablelibraries  félixguattari  cloudcomputing  politics  deleuze  deleuze&guattari  web  offline  riaa  greed  openstudioproject  lcproject 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Silicon Valley Nannies Are Phone Police for Kids - The New York Times
[This is one of three connected articles:]

"Silicon Valley Nannies Are Phone Police for Kids
Child care contracts now demand that nannies hide phones, tablets, computers and TVs from their charges."
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/style/silicon-valley-nannies.html

"The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected
America’s public schools are still promoting devices with screens — even offering digital-only preschools. The rich are banning screens from class altogether."
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/style/digital-divide-screens-schools.html

"A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley
“I am convinced the devil lives in our phones.”"
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/style/phones-children-silicon-valley.html

[See also:
"What the Times got wrong about kids and phones"
https://www.cjr.org/criticism/times-silicon-valley-kids.php

https://twitter.com/edifiedlistener/status/1058438953299333120
"Now that I've had a chance to read this article [specifically: "The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected"] and some others related to children and screen time and the wealthy and the poor, I have some thoughts. 1/

First, this article on the unexpected digital divide between rich and poor seems entirely incomplete. There is an early reference to racial differences in screen usage but in the article there are no voices of black or brown folks that I could detect. 2/

We are told a number of things: Wealthy parents are shunning screens in their children's lives, psychologists underscore the addictive nature of screen time on kids, and of course, whatever the short end of the stick is - poor kids get that. 3/

We hear "It could happen that the children of poorer and middle-class parents will be raised by screens," while wealthy kids will perhaps enjoy "wooden toys and the luxury of human interaction." 4/

Think about that and think about the stories that have long been told about poor families, about single parents, about poor parents of color - They aren't as involved in their kids' education, they are too busy working. Familiar stereotypes. 5/

Many of these judgments often don't hold up under scrutiny. So much depends upon who gets to tell those stories and how those stories are marketed, sold and reproduced. 6/

In this particular story about the privilege of being able to withdraw from or reduce screen time, we get to fall back into familiar narratives especially about the poor and non-elite. 7/

Of course those with less will be told after a time by those with much more - "You're doing it wrong." And "My child will be distinguished by the fact that he/she/they is not dependent on a device for entertainment or diversion." 8/

My point is not that I doubt the risks and challenges of excessive screen time for kids and adults. Our dependence on tech *is* a huge social experiment and the outcomes are looking scarier by the day. 9/

I do, however, resist the consistent need of the wealthy elite to seek ways to maintain their distance to the mainstream. To be the ones who tell us what's "hot, or not" - 10/

Chris Anderson points out "“The digital divide was about access to technology, and now that everyone has access, the new digital divide is limiting access to technology,” - 11/

This article and its recent close cousins about spying nannies in SV & more elite parent hand wringing over screen in the NYT feel like their own category of expensive PR work - again allowing SV to set the tone. 12/

It's not really about screens or damage to children's imaginations - it's about maintaining divides, about insuring that we know what the rich do (and must be correct) vs what the rest of us must manage (sad, bad). 13/fin]
siliconvalley  edtech  children  technology  parenting  2018  nelliebowles  addiction  psychology  hypocrisy  digitaldivide  income  inequality  ipads  smartphones  screentime  schools  education  politics  policy  rules  childcare  policing  surveillance  tracking  computers  television  tv  tablets  phones  mobile  teaching  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  anyakamenetz  sherrispelic 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Children are tech addicts – and schools are the pushers | Eliane Glaser | Opinion | The Guardian
"As a culture, we are finally waking up to the dark side of new technology. “The internet is broken”, declares the current issue of Wired, the tech insiders’ bible. Last month Rick Webb, an early digital investor, posted a blog titled “My internet mea culpa”. “I was wrong,” he wrote. “We all were.” He called on the architects of the web to admit that new technology had brought more harm than good.

Yet while geeks, the public and politicians – including Theresa May – grow disenchanted, schools, and those responsible for the national curriculum, seem stuck in an earlier wide-eyed era. My instinct tells me that this innocence is perverse. As a friend memorably described it, when he gave his three-year-old his phone to play with, it was as if a worm had found its way into her head.

I flinch internally when my five-year-old tells me she plays computer games in what primary schools call “golden time” rather than enjoying some other more wholesome reward; and when my eight-year-old says that he’s learned to send an email when I sent my first email aged 20, and email has since taken over my life and that of every other adult I know.

Our kids don’t use computers at home. They watch a bit of television, but we don’t own a tablet. Their school is by no means evangelical about technology, but I nonetheless feel like it is playing the role of pusher, and I’m watching my children get hooked. When they went suspiciously quiet the other day, I found them under the kitchen table trying to explore my phone. Unfortunately for them, it’s a brick.

I’m wary of sounding sanctimonious, and corroding much-needed solidarity between busy parents with different views on screen use. But when I see an infant jabbing and swiping, I can’t help experiencing what the writer James Bridle calls in a disturbing recent essay a “Luddite twinge”; and the research suggests I should trust it.

Earlier this month the children’s commissioner for England warned that children starting secondary school were facing a social media “cliff edge” as they entered an online world of cyber-bullying and pornography. According to Public Health England, extended screen use correlates to emotional distress, anxiety and depression in children. The American College of Paediatricians associates it with sleep problems, obesity, increased aggression and low self-esteem.

And not only is screen technology harmful to children per se, there’s little evidence that it helps them to learn. A 2015 OECD report found that the impact of computers on pupil performance was “mixed, at best”, and in most cases computers were “hurting learning”. The journal Frontiers in Psychology identifies “an absence of research supporting the enthusiastic claims that iPads will ‘revolutionise education’”. Researchers at Durham University found that “technology-based interventions tend to produce just slightly lower levels of improvement” compared with other approaches. Even for the head of the e-Learning Foundation, proving technology improves results remains the “holy grail”.

Education technology is often justified on the grounds that it boosts disadvantaged children, yet research shows it widens rather than bridges socioeconomic divides. The One Laptop per Child programme, which distributed 25m low-cost computers with learning software to children in the developing world, failed to improve language or maths results.

Such evidence does not dent the faith of ed tech’s proselytisers. Children need to be prepared for the future, we are told. But companies don’t want children who learned PowerPoint aged 10, they want employees who know how to think from first principles. All those mind-numbing software programs will soon be obsolete anyway. Most coding classes only teach children to assemble pre-made building blocks. Silicon Valley executives restrict their own social media use and send their own kids to tech-free schools.

Technology does not evolve naturally; programs and devices are promoted by those with a commercial interest in selling them. Ed tech is projected to be worth £129bn by 2020. This week, the world’s biggest ed tech convention, Bett, is in London, “Creating a better future by transforming education”. Google, Microsoft and Facebook are flogging expensive kit to cash-strapped schools using buzzwords such as “engagement” and “interactivity”. The traditional teacher-pupil hierarchy must be “flipped”, they say, “empowering” pupils to direct their own learning.

In reality, children tap on tablets whose inner workings are as arcane and mystical to them as any authoritarian deity – and stare, blinds down, at the giant interactive whiteboard. Children may be temporarily gripped, but their attention spans will shrink in the long term.

Cyber-utopianism promises magic bullets for poverty and the crooked timber of humanity. But it’s old-school solutions that really work in the classroom: good teachers, plenty of fresh air and exercise, and hands-on exploration of the real, physical world. This is even what “digital natives” themselves actually want: a Canadian study of e-learning in universities revealed that students preferred “ordinary, real-life lessons” and “a smart person at the front of the room”.

I don’t want my kids fed into the sausage machine of standardised testing and the bureaucratic “information economy”. I don’t want them to become robotic competitors to the robots we are told are taking their future jobs. I can opt my children out of RE, but where technology is concerned, I feel bound by a blind determinism. Surely we have a choice, as humans, over the direction technology is taking us, and education is the perfect illustration of this capacity. Our children turn up as blank slates, and learn to design the future. It’s time for schools to join the backlash. It’s time to think again."
technology  edtech  schools  education  policy  addiction  computers  tablets  curriculum  2018  elianeglaser  standardizedtesting  standardization  digitalnatives  digital  humanism  siliconvalley 
january 2018 by robertogreco
What's the Point of Handwriting? | Hazlitt Magazine
"Maybe handwriting is neither a lost art nor an anachronism; perhaps new technology will show there is some useful alchemy left in the way language, the body, and our sense of identity intertwine."



"Maybe the limitations of the body carry some hidden benefit: that in marking out ideas at a pace slower than typing, there is some link between neural and muscle memory."



"Unlike digital’s precision, writing is blurry individuality under a general system. But in addition to this, we all have our own personalized understanding of arrows, squiggles, double-underlines and so on—little personal codes we develop over time to “talk to ourselves.” To write by hand is to always foreground an inevitable uniqueness, visually marking out an identity in opposition to, say, this font you’re reading right now.'



"If one can draw over and annotate a web page and then send it to a friend, the web at least feels less hegemonic, recalling the kind of interactivity and freedom of expression once found in the now-broken dream of blog comment sections."



"For all that, though, what pens do offer is both practical and symbolic resistance to the pre-programmed nature of the modern web—its tendency to ask you to express yourself, however creatively and generatively, within the literal and figurative constraints of a small, pre-defined box. There is a charming potential in the pen for activity that works against the grain of those things: to mark out in one’s own hand the absurdities of some top ten list, or underlining some particularly poignant paragraph in a way that a highlight or newly popular screenshotting tool doesn’t quite capture. Perhaps it’s the visual nature of the transgression—the mark of a hand slashed across a page—that produces emblematically the desire for self-expression: not the witty tweet or status update, nor just the handwritten annotation, but the doubled, layered version of both, the very overlap put to one’s own, subjective ends. And then there is more simple pleasure: that you are, in both an actual and metaphorical sense, drawing outside the lines. If one can draw over and annotate a web page and then send it to a friend, for example, the web at least feels less hegemonic, recalling the kind of interactivity and freedom of expression once found in the now-broken dream of blog comment sections."



"Identity online is fraught. You could make the argument that our collected personas—the affected shots of Instagram; the too-earnest Facebook status updates; the sarcastic, bitter tweets—are all an attempt to form some approximation of who we believe ourselves to be: we perform ourselves to become more authentic versions of ourselves. I know I at least do something like this, and have made winding, verbose arguments that documenting ourselves into being is how we use social media to become more human.

Yet I have also, in the writings of those such as Rob Horning, found reason to be deeply skeptical of the economic and ideological motives behind that push. Now that the web is a place of data collection, of surveillance, and of that strange urge to perform one’s personal brand in the right way, such naive notions of performance are no longer tenable. And yet … we still do it: inscribing shards of the self upon screens, despite the fact that, in a variety of ways, we must see and build our identities through the prisms that are handed to us, shaping ourselves to the nature of the newly corporatized web."



"Have you ever seen hand-drawn ink on a page, magnified? It is jagged and rough, full of an impossible number of imperfections. Zoom in far enough and even the most sophisticated digital algorithms would find it difficult to track the cartography of just one letter. There are simply too many undulations, too many indecipherable points to make sense of it. And perhaps this is what appeals with digital ink, too, as symbol, as metaphor—as just a fool’s hope: that in that discomfiting glide of a nib atop glass, there is still the human yearning to say, “I know who I am—here, let me show you.”"
navneetalang  handwriting  writing  2015  technology  slow  bodies  body  typing  memory  musclememory  digital  precision  annotation  uniqueness  individuality  microsoft  tablets  identity  robhorning 
july 2015 by robertogreco
A Teenager’s View on Education Technology — Bright — Medium
"Wise to tablets’ distraction potential, some teachers have banned them completely. But that seems ridiculous, considering that sometimes students were required to buy tablets, therefore wasting a couple hundred bucks by not using them. Teachers need to find a happy medium, like having tablet-free lessons followed by a tablet-integrated activity. Also, teachers should consider using laptops instead. They feel more serious, and the addition of a keyboard facilitates actual work and note taking. Laptops may lack the sleek design appeal of their tablet counterparts, but they are far more functional as teaching tools, and a better long-term investment in EdTech.

So yes, tablets can be used to create a new age of interconnected classrooms of the future — but they are just as likely to turn into procrastination stations. You have been warned."



"Like a good little pupil, my first move after school everyday is to boot up my teachers’ websites on an oh-so-eager hunt for my homework assignments. If I’m lucky, a teacher proficient in the dark arts of web design will gift me with a clean, easy-to-use web page. Conversely, an — ahem — older faculty member might construct a lime-green monstrosity that truly should be ashamed to call itself a website.

If teachers feel like students are judging them, that’s because we are. We grew up in an age of immaculately designed websites that were made to be user-friendly.
I pity the poor English teacher out there who definitely didn’t sign up for web design when applying for the job, but times are changing. Nowadays, students often have more knowledge than teachers when it comes to tech. So if teachers are struggling even to post homework, or are leaving students to navigate a site that looks like MySpace circa 1999, it makes them look, to put it simply, outdated.

To remedy the inconsistency, my suggestion is to teach the teachers. Introducing, drum roll please, teacher website building bootcamp! All joking aside, schools should introduce technical support for struggling teachers so that students won’t have to suffer through any more clumsy attempts at websites."



"A touch capable projector screen… Yeah, I don’t see the big whoop for this one. It’s cheaper to hook an iPad up to a projector than to splurge on this thing. Clunky, expensive, and dare I say sometimes dumb, interactive white boards have not been the wave of the future as expected. The biggest selling point is how students can interact with the board. But the limited applications make these boards not worth their price tag, which can run $1,000 and up."



"Really though, I should be honest with you. The truth is I will never like Evernote or other note-taking apps because I am an old-timey pen and paper type gal. A tactile learner, if you will. So when my AP English teacher required that we use Evernote to download daily schedules and to share our in-class notes with her, I just wasn’t having it. People have been trying to capture the notebook experience with the addition of styluses and connectable keyboards, but for me, nothing will be the same as flipping open the real thing. Sorry, Evernote: it’s not you, it’s me."



"Teachers: Before you use social media for education, consider the risks. Twitter conversations are public and completely subject to trolling, when people purposefully target, provoke, and offend online. Trolling can cause a perfectly educational discussion to devolve into a heated argument that a teacher cannot control. Cyberbullying is still alive and well. Imagine a student trying to add an important, poignant comment to a class Twitter feed and not only getting no retweets or likes, but also being ridiculed for sharing an opinion. Teachers and students will be at the mercy of the Wild West of Twitter. The Internet can be swift and cruel. Twitter especially is not for the faint of heart.

Despite the rather scary picture I just painted, Twitter holds immense promise in its ability to connect teachers, classrooms, and schools to students and issues we care about. The best part of using social media in education is that people like me — who obsessively use social media anyway — can now do so in an academically constructive way. My hope is that young people will be taken more seriously, as education and social media converge."



"Though EdTech seems like it’s here to stay, I think that technology in the classroom has a long way to go before being used effectively. The issues that plague EdTech are major — cheating, distraction, privacy concerns, inconsistency in implementation, inequality in access, and price.

I truly believe that the most memorable parts of my education have come when a teacher has taken the time to sit down and talk me through an equation, or given an impassioned speech on how sodium and chlorine become salt. The next step for EdTech is to foster and enhance those memorable moments in school, get teens excited to learn, and make students feel invested in their education anew. While I still have qualms about where EdTech is today, I predict that with time, there will only be more technology saturation, more tech-literate kids, and more opportunities to use tech in the classroom.

One day, I’ll become the crotchety old grandma who says, “Back in my day, we only had iPads, not hologram decks.” And some young whippersnapper will respond, “Well, let me tell you how teens really feel about holograms.”"
sorayashockley  education  technology  teens  trends  edtech  twitter  googledrive  googleapps  googleclassroom  teaching  howweteach  smartboards  tablets  khanacademy  howwelearn  ipads  distraction  pedagogy  learning  evernote  notetaking  2015  attention  schools  youth  socialmedia  interactivewhiteboards 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Are Tablets the Way Out of Child Illiteracy? | Innovation | Smithsonian
"The Roanoke project was born out of a project launched in Africa two years ago by Tufts and Georgia State in conjunction with the One Laptop per Child organization, founded in 2007 by Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Lab. One Laptop per Child, or OLPC, sought to empower students in resource-poor environments by distributing 2.4 million Internet-connected laptops in 42 developing countries. The results of the project, which ceased operations last year, are still being assessed and debated—for example, a study by the Inter-American Development Bank found no effect on test scores but some increase in cognitive skills. But in some places, it became clear that children couldn’t use some of the software because they couldn’t read, and they had no access to schools or teachers.

The research team wanted to investigate whether such children could learn to read on their own, aided only by digital devices. They delivered 40 tablets to children in two villages in Ethiopia, without instructions—a scene that must have conjured the 1980 South African comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy, in which a Kalahari bushman has his first encounter with technology, in the form of a Coke bottle fallen from the sky."



"What students do when they’re left on their own with a tablet is a bit of a mystery—for now. MIT’s software records how the children in Roanoke use their tablets: which apps they open, for how long, and in what order. (Or at least it did until some students learned how to bypass the start screen midway through the year.) So far, the data show that the students use them for an average of two hours a night. Initially, they blaze through the whole tablet, exploring dozens of apps. Eventually, they settle on a handful of favorites. The Roanoke students seem to gravitate toward academic content—sounds, letters, puzzles—especially when it is framed as a game. (The piano and coloring apps are also popular.)"
tablets  education  literacy  2015  olpc  sugatamitra  holeinthewall  tinkrbook  teaching  learning  children  schools  reading 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Jolla - We are unlike
"Jolla Ltd., the smartphone company from Finland, is developing mobile devices and Sailfish OS, the open mobile operating system. The Jolla smartphone, powered by Sailfish OS was introduced to the public in Finland in late-November 2013. Currently Jolla smartphones are available all over Europe, and soon in Hong Kong and India.

Jolla was born in 2011 out of the passion of its founders towards open innovation in the mobile space. Jolla is about offering a true alternative to the big players in the mobile industry. Our revolutionary Jolla smartphone running on our own distinctive mobile operating system Sailfish OS, was built on the heritage of Meego, an open source operating system formerly developed by Nokia among others.

Our aim is to be open, independent, and transparent in everything we do. DIT – doing it together is in our hearts. Our developer and fan communities are an integral part of the way we operate, how we develop things and move forward. We listen, and we take feedback. Without our community, Jolla would not exist.

Currently we have 125 employees working in our offices in Helsinki and Tampere, Finland and Hong Kong."



"INDEPENDENT SAILFISH OS

It’s unlike what you’re used to. But once you get the hang of the gesture based Sailfish OS, you’ll never want to go back. Totally independent and highly adaptive, Sailfish OS is an open platform, so if you know how, you can change whatever you want, whenever you want."
mobile  tablets  alternative  jolla  jollatablet  phones  sailfish  sailfishos  meego  nokia  opensource 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Subcompact Publishing — by Craig Mod
"A Subcompact Manifesto

Subcompact Publishing tools are first and foremost straightforward.

They require few to no instructions.

They are easily understood on first blush.

The editorial and design decisions around them react to digital as a distribution and consumption space.

They are the result of dumping our publishing related technology on a table and asking ourselves — what are the core tools we can build with all this stuff?

They are, as it were, little N360s.

I propose Subcompact Publishing tools and editorial ethos begin (but not end) with the following qualities:

• Small issue sizes (3-7 articles / issue)
• Small file sizes
• Digital-aware subscription prices
• Fluid publishing schedule
• Scroll (don’t paginate)
• Clear navigation
• HTML(ish) based
• Touching the open web

Many of these qualities play off one another. Let’s look at them in detail.

Small issue sizes
I’ve written quite a bit about creating a sense of ‘edge’ in digital space. One of the easiest and most intuitive ways to do so is to limit the amount of data you present to the user.12

It’s much more difficult for someone to intuit the breadth of a digital magazine containing twenty articles than a digital magazine containing, for example, five. By keeping article number low this also helps decrease file size and simplify navigation.

Small file size
Speed is grossly undervalued in much of today’s software — digital magazines inclusive. Speed (and with it a fluid and joyful user experience) should be the thing you absolutely optimize for once you have a minimum viable product.

One way to bake speed into a publishing product is to keep issue file sizes as small as possible. This happens naturally when you limit the number of articles per issue.

Reasonable subscription prices
Ideally, digital subscription prices should reflect the cost of doing business as a digitally indigenous product, not the cost of protecting print subscriptions. This is yet another advantage digital-first publications have — unlike print publications transitioning to digital, there is no legacy infrastructure to subsidize during this transition.

Fluid publishing schedule
With smaller issue sizes comes more fluid publishing schedules. Again, to create a strong sense of edge and understanding, the goal isn’t to publish ten articles a day, but rather to publish just a few high-quality articles with a predictable looseness. Depending on the type of content you’re publishing, days can feel too granular, and months require the payload to be too large. Weeks feel just about right in digital.

Scroll (for now)
When I originally presented these ideas at the Books in Browsers conference in 2012, the dismissal of pagination was by far the most contentious point. I don’t mean to imply all pagination is bad. Remember — we’re outlining the very core of Subcompact Publishing. Anything extraneous or overly complex should be excised.

I’ve spent the last two and half years deconstructing scrolling and pagination on tablets and smartphones. If your content is formless, then you might be able to paginate with minimal effort. Although, probably not.

Certain kinds of pagination increase the complexity of an application by orders of magnitude. The engineering efforts required to produce beautiful, simple, indigenous, consistent — and fast — pagination are simply too high to belong in the subcompact space.

Furthermore, when you remove pagination, you vastly simplify navigation and thereby simplify users’ mental models around content.

No pagination is vastly superior to pagination done poorly.

Clear navigation
Navigation should be consistent and effortless. Subcompact Publishing applications don’t require complex how-to pages or tutorials. You shouldn’t have to hire a famous actor to show readers how to use the app with his nose. Much like a printed magazine or book, the interaction should be intuitive, effortless, and grounding. The user should never feel lost.

By limiting the number of articles per issue, and by removing pagination, many of the routes leading to complex navigation are also removed.

HTML(ish) based
When I say HTML I also mean EPUB or MOBI or any other format with an HTML pedigree. HTML has indisputably emerged as the future format for all text (and perhaps also interactive) content. By constraining Subcompact Publishing systems to HTML we bake portability and future-proofness into the platforms. We also minimize engineering efforts because most all computing devices come with high-quality HTML rendering engines built in.

Open web
Simply: whatever content is published on a tablet should have a corresponding, touchable home on the open web.

Content without a public address is non-existent in the eyes of all the inter-operable sharing mechanisms that together bind the web."
craigmod  publishing  epublishing  magazines  themagazine  writing  digital  design  2012  digitalpublishing  html  html5  matter  joshuabenton  touch  mobilephone  ios  iphone  ipad  skeuomorphs  openweb  scrolling  pagination  navigation  tablets  claytonchristensen  davidskok  jamesallsworth  marcoarment 
april 2014 by robertogreco
PowellsBooks.Blog – Q&A;: Mark Z. Danielewski - Powell's Books
"The way many tablets automatically alter fonts, for example, or authorize the reader to select from a limited list, disregards a tradition, centuries old, of designing and carefully selecting a type design. And it's a tradition not born out of constriction and control, I think, but expression and the aesthetics of sense and beauty. We both know how much time goes into designing a book. Personally, I go through hundreds of fonts before choosing one. And that's just the start: margin size matters (put that on a T-shirt!). Folios. Colors, of course. Not to mention how the book as an object sits in the reader's hand…

How is meaning altered if a book is typeset in Legacy instead of Garamond or Minion? How is meaning altered if word density is constant? If ink color is uniform? If there is no cover?"

[So much more, read on…]
print  images  text  art  expression  bookcovers  edg  srg  glvo  bookfuturism  interviews  2012  via:bobbygeorge  markdanielewski  tablets  ebooks  digital  bookdesign  design  books  petermendelsund 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Putting people first » The bling approach to the school of the future
"My provisional assessment is that there is a lot of bling: shiny objects promoted all around us make us focus on the tools rather than on the didactic objectives…I want to open my reflections and initial analysis – in twelve hypotheses…

1. A technology-first approach thrives…

2. There are dominant but untested preconceptions about schools, learning, teachers and students…

3. There is a boom of iPad and tablet deployments…

4. Little research has been done on educational impact…

5. Governments are pushing hard…

6. There is a lot of money to be made…

7. Apps, e-books and software are often of dubious quality…

8. Other digital tools are not part of the debate…

9. Teacher training and resources are lacking…

10. Initiatives to support schools and teachers are rare and often quite local…

11. We are facing a bubble…

12. Valuable opportunities definitely exist for players big and small… people-centred training… educational and didactic qualities and impact"
shinydistractions  bling  wastedopportunities  2012  government  training  waste  policy  teaching  digitaltools  appilications  ebooks  siliconvalley  bubbles  money  ipads  technologyfirst  edtech  tablets  education  technology 
september 2012 by robertogreco
One Tablet Per Child: Technology Making a Difference | ITProPortal.com
"This initial phase of the experiment quickly yielded results, with the children unboxing the tablets and switching them on within a matter of minutes. By the end of the first week, an average of 57 apps were being utilised per day. By the end of week two children were already learning to recite the alphabet and even competing with each other while doing so.

That natural interaction also represents an important aspect of the study, with children gravitating towards both collaboration and competition - the sociological backdrop to the experiment is almost as important as the educational goals.

It's still too early to tell whether these children will complete the long journey to full literacy without any input from outsiders, but the initial results are looking very promising.

Reading is a skill on which almost all of our learning is based, and if something as simple as a tablet computer can empower children across the globe with that most basic of building blocks…"
otpc  sneakernets  literacy  reading  tablets  nicholasnegroponte  maryannewolf  2012  holeinthewall  olpc  sneakernet 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Penumbra - Samantha Gorman
"Penumbra is a hybrid art/literature application in development for tablet media. It expands “ebook” conventions by carefully integrating video, illustration and fiction. These media work equally together to inform the total reading. Tablets are a promising literary medium with the potential to redefine our reading practice beyond a simple emulation of print on screen. Increasingly, ebooks could represent a growing platform for the consumption and dissemination of media art: a platform that is inherently interactive and readily mobile.

Investment in actively reading the interface relies on our experience with interaction design; the goal is to implement touch-screen gestures in service of the story’s content. Touching and tilting the screen places the reader in the position of the main protagonist. The reader can use the interface to decide how long the protagonist focuses on his external vs. internal world."

[Now called Pry: http://samanthagorman.net/Pry
http://prynovella.com/
https://vimeo.com/78973518

Penumbra video:
https://vimeo.com/33515808 ]
floatingtext  animation  perspective  worldswitching  thebookofjudith  ephemerality  gestures  mediaart  penumbra  ios  interactivefiction  content  video  futureofmedia  literature  storytelling  interactiondesign  interaction  tablets  ebooks  ebook  2012  samanthagorman  reading  ipad  digitaltext  if  applications  cyoa  ephemeral  pry  novellas 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Augmented Paper - Matt Gemmell
"For me, software experiences that feel like Augmented Paper are those that second-guess our (developers’) natural tendency to put functionality first, or to think of our apps as software. Apps are only incidentally software; software is an implementation detail. Instead, apps are experiences. Design an experience. Make it as beautiful — and as emotionally resonant — as it can possibly be. Then adorn the core experience and content with only as much functionality as is absolutely necessary. Functionality…is like seasoning. A little is an enhancement; any more destroys the flavour…and may well be bad for you. These new classes of devices, so immediately personal and portable and tactile, aren’t desktop-era shrines demanding incantation and prostration. They’re empowering extensions to our real, actual lives - and that’s a profound thing. They take what was once prosaic or mundane, and give us just a taste of superpowers. They’re augmentations, and they should be beautiful."
instapaper  aesthetics  tactile  clear  invisibleinterfaces  instinctivecode  digital  minimalism  skeuomorph  tablets  augmentation  mobile  ipad  iphone  applications  augmentedpaper  mattgemmell  2012  via:preoccupations  designasexperience  ui  ux  windowsphonemetro  windowsphone7  metro  windows  design  ios  apple  android  wp7 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Nicholas Negroponte Talks About Learning by Yourselves - OLPC News
"Having heard plenty of talk of the first three points in the past I was most interested in hearing what Negroponte had in mind with regard to the "New Constructionism". Unfortunately most of what was said doesn't really strike me as new at all.

The one thing which was quite interesting is the aspect of "Learning to Read by Yourself" which very much ties in with Negroponte's much discussed helicopter deployments which saw its first pre-pilots being launched earlier this year.

He shared that the first 30 tablets with several thousand books on them had been distributed. Not too many other details were revealed and while Negroponte mentioned that "they read themselves" it's not quite clear for example what language these books are in. What is really exciting however is that he mentions a rigorous evaluation of these efforts and working with critics which I believe should make for some interesting results and discussions down the road."
education  learning  deschooling  unschooling  learningbyyourselves  readbyyourself  tablets  newconstructionism  constructionism  connectivity  nocostconnectivity  newconstructivism  2012  autodidacts  autodidactism  reading  literacy  holeinthewall  sugatamitra  nicholasnegroponte  olpc  autodidacticism 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Matthew Battles: It doesn’t take Cupertino to make textbooks interactive » Nieman Journalism Lab
"Schiller made a sentimental play to this constituency, opening his presentation with a series of excerpted interviews in which teachers sang the sad litany of challenges they face: cratering budgets, overcrowded classrooms, unprepared, disengaged students. The argument that Apple — founded by dropouts and autodidacts — is fundamentally motivated to change this set of conditions is as ludicrous as the notion that the company could ever hope actually to do any such thing…

We can never count Apple out — the company’s visions have an implacable way of turning into givens — but the future is undoubtedly more complex. There will still be overcrowded classrooms, overworked teachers, and shrinking budgets in an education world animated by Apple. But I prefer to think of teachers and students finding ways to hack knowledge and make their own beautiful stories to envisioning ranks of studens spellbound by magical tablets."
ibooksauthor  ibooks  technology  schooliness  rubrics  standardization  autodidacts  pearson  timcarmody  matthewbattles  publishing  tablets  knwoledgebowl  knowledge  interactive  textbooks  books  schools  learning  storytelling  teaching  education  2012  ipad  apple 
january 2012 by robertogreco
How the iPad 2 Became My Favorite Computer
"Based on my first three months as a mostly-iPad person, I’m convinced that I’ve arrived in the future of computing–or a rough approximation thereof–a little ahead of schedule. I’m glad I’m here, and I bet I have lots and lots of company soon enough."
ipad  2011  computers  apple  tablets  computing  via:Preoccupations 
december 2011 by robertogreco
OnSwipe - Insanely Easy Tablet Publishing
"Onswipe lets you provide a beautiful app like experience for your website on tablet and phone browsers. Onswipe is not an app and works in the browser with your existing content."
design  web  mobile  media  iphone  ios  webapps  touch  ipad  tablets  onswipe 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Apple: Their Tablet Computer History – liquidpubs' blog
"Now that Apple has released the market-leading iPad, with a barrage of other tablet computers and dedicated eReaders flooding the market, it’s worthwhile to look back and see where all of this came from. The focus will be on Apple, and their history with tablet computers.<br />
Apple’s history with tablet computers dates back to at least 1979. A good stock of the following pictures and associated captions/background information are themselves derived from the book, AppleDesign, The Work of the Apple Industrial Design Group, by Paul Kunkel/Photos by Rick English (1997).<br />
<br />
Roll the curtains…"
apple  history  ipad  design  tablets  newton 
march 2011 by robertogreco
In Cramped Japan, the iPad Is the Home Library - BusinessWeek
"Armed w/ a cutting board, the 28-year-old pharmaceutical company employee chopped his 850 titles to fit inside a cheap scanner & converted each book into a PDF. His library now lives in his preferred tablet computer, a Samsung Galaxy Tab. "There was just no more room for books when my son was born," he says.

Japan's famously small living spaces make it a natural market for such space-saving innovations as digital books. Japanese have taken to tablet computers…While the iPad has opened the doors for e-books, the publishing industry has been slow to walk through them & still offers few Japanese-language editions. A cottage industry of pulp-to-PDF scanning startups are filling the void and now offer to digitize books for a modest fee.

Some Japanese, such as Tagomori, are doing the scanning on their own. Fujitsu's PFU scanner-manufacturing subsidiary says sales of its consumer models rose 80% in June, the month after iPad was released, & more than doubled the following month."
japan  technology  books  ebooks  scanning  ipad  tablets  trends  2011  space 
february 2011 by robertogreco
ongoing by Tim Bray · Galaxy Tab
"What Are Tablets For? The trade-off is obvious. You win because you can show a bigger picture, which is important, & you lose because it just won’t fit in many pockets, which is important. It’ll go in most purses, though.<br />
<br />
I know what I’ll use the Galaxy Tab for: to show off Android. The big screen just makes everything easier to see & point at, & graphics look outstanding, & it passes from hand to hand easily. Showing off Android is part of my job & this will help me do my job better.<br />
<br />
Which leads to a general theory, reinforced by informal observation of hipsters w/ iPads in coffee shops: a tablet is, crucially, a more shareable computer. A laptop, w/ its fragile hinge-ware & space-gobbling keyboard, is just not comfy to share. A tablet is easier to bring to the café, easier to hand across the table or along the sofa, easier to seize in the heat of the moment, easier to hold up in triumph, easier to set aside when you need to meet someone’s eyes."
samsung  android  portable  sharing  tablets  ipad  samsunggalaxytab  timbray 
september 2010 by robertogreco
How the Tablet Will Change the World | Magazine
"The fact is, the way we use computers is outmoded. The graphical user interface that’s still part of our daily existence was forged in the 1960s and ’70s, even before IBM got into the PC business. Most of the software we use today has its origins in the pre-Internet era, when storage was at a premium, machines ran thousands of times slower, and applications were sold in shrink-wrapped boxes for hundreds of dollars. With the iPad, Apple is making its play to become the center of a post-PC era. But to succeed, it will have to beat out the other familiar powerhouses that are working to define and dominate the future."

[Guest essays here: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/03/ff_tablet_essays/all/1 ]
apple  computers  computing  ebooks  edtech  future  gadgets  tablet  tablets  gui  innovation  interface  internet  ipad  media  mobile  technology  trends  stevenjohnson  kevinkelly  nicholasnegroponte  olpc  chrisanderson  marthastewart  bobstein  jamesfallows 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Notion Ink Tegra Android smartpad uses Pixel Qi display - SlashGear
"CES 2010 is likely to see a fair few internet tablets being announced, but SlashGear has heard about one particular model that has more than a little promise. Notion Ink’s as-yet unnamed Android “smartpad” is based on an unnanounced NVIDIA Tegra T20 chipset supporting 1080p Full HD video playback, has integrated WiFi, Bluetooth and UMTS/HSDPA, and – perhaps most interestingly – is the first confirmed device to use the Pixel Qi transflective display. Notion Ink are saving the live hardware shots for CES – hence the renders – but they did send us some photos of the 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 Pixel Qi panel in action, which you can see after the cut along with the full specifications."
pixelqi  technology  mobile  touch  android  screen  tablets  2009  tegra  ebooks 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Electronic tablets can't possibly save magazines and newspapers. - By Jack Shafer - Slate Magazine
"That's not to say that the tablet has no future. It's just if the past is any guide, the future of the tablet won't look like the SI or Wired prototypes—any more than Pathfinder turned out to be the future of the Web. I find it more likely that some young people at a startup will figure out the highest uses of the tablet form before SI or even Slate does. As Newsweek's president ultimately learned from his CD-ROM debacle, not all head-starts turn out to be valuable."
newspapers  technology  future  magazines  publishing  tablets  journalism  entrepreneurship  broadcasting 
december 2009 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read