Tag Archives | Education

My First Few Questions About Apple’s Education News

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

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 technologizer.com/appleeducation. Doug Aamoth of TIME will join me with color commentary–and I hope you’ll be there, too.

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Fortune on Apple’s Education Event

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.

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Ars on Apple’s Education Event

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.”

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

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 technologizer.com/appleeducation–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

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

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

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

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

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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