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iPads in Schools: A Case Study That’s Working, So Far. Part 2 of 3
November 25, 2013 | 2:39 pm

ipads in schoolsEditor's Note: This continues our three part series about iPads in Schools. This time we look at growing pains. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 In the previous article, I explained how iPads came to my school---not as an administrative command-from-on-high but as an organic one-step-at-a-time process. In some ways, getting in early was a blessing, from a simplicity standpoint---there were at the time no competitors to consider, and from an IT standpoint (we have no onsite IT people) no debate about rollout. When I left things off in Part 1, the school had three iPads, plus my personal one,...

iPads in Schools: A Case Study That’s Working, So Far. Part 1 of 3
November 22, 2013 | 12:32 pm

ipads in schoolsEditor's Note: This will be a three part series about iPads in Schools. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Yet another story crossed my inbox this morning about a failed tablet program in a school. The school, this time in Ireland, has just distributed paper textbooks to all students so they could finish out the term after an HP tablet program went off the rails due to technical issues. I see these stories almost weekly; it's clear to me, both from the media mentions and my own experience as the de facto admin for our school's own tablets, that there are...

Why Are iPads in the Classroom So Popular?
October 25, 2013 | 1:18 pm

ipads in the classroomOne of the morning links today talked about the ballooning cost of the Los Angeles School District's iPads in the classroom program, which we have written about before here on Teleread. It always amazes me to read stories like this and see schools get snookered into paying higher-than-retail costs because they are trying to trade money for support---and invariably, the support isn't there and the programs go awry for both the kids and the teachers. But still, schools are lining up to drink the iPad Kool-Aid. Why? Why all the iPad mania? Why aren't schools buying a cheaper brand of tablet...

Debating the Digital Textbook Issue—Again
October 8, 2013 | 5:33 pm

Thanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for sending my way two stories in as many days about the digital textbook issue. In the first, he outlines some reasons behind the 'growing resistance' to digital textbooks, including poor navigation features, inadequate study extras and internet requirements which limit student use. In the second, he profiles a North Carolina school district whose difficulty with the actual devices pre-empted any further use, textbook or otherwise. So, what's going on here? A few things: 1) Most educators don't know squat about IT. Why was that North Carolina school district paying $200 per YEAR for off-brand...

iPads in Schools-A Debacle or Not?
October 5, 2013 | 2:51 pm

Kids using iPads in school Nate at The Digital Reader has posted a good little recap of the 'iPads in schools' debacle that's been making the news. The short version is that the Los Angeles Unified School District spent a whack of money buying iPads for student use, then had to recall them when the students hacked them to get around the security controls which prevented them from doing anything unauthorized. I've sat on this story for a few days because, as an educator myself, I wasn't quite sure how I was meant to respond. When I wrote about a similar issue earlier this year---it was...

Morning Roundup: Apple files patent for eBook autographs, Goodreads replacements; more
September 30, 2013 | 11:20 am

Apple Files Patent for eBook Autographs (GoodeReader) Apple has just filed a patent for an eBook autographing system. Their new system is designed to work with iCloud and in physical proximity. The technology will allow for the author and readers to be in the same room and have autographs transferred over via Bluetooth or WIFI. *** The Problem with Apps in Schools (Teachers with Apps) More than a million apps flood online stores around the world, thousands of which claim to be educational. And they threaten to drown educators who already have a huge workload to carry. *** Finding a Replacement for Goodreads (Dear Author) After Goodreads...

LA stops letting high schoolers take school-issued iPads home after they easily bypass Internet lockdown
September 26, 2013 | 9:17 pm

Turns out the problem with issuing iPads to high school students, as LA is doing in a $1 billion program for its public schools, is…they actually want to use them for stuff other than school work. So finds the LA Times, which notes that it only took about a week for students to figure out how to remove the school restrictions on the tablets so they could use them for things they wanted to do, such as social networking or streaming Pandora. As a result, the school has halted its tablet roll-out program, at least insofar as letting students...

Morning Roundup: Frankfurt Book Fair opens to authors; adapting to tablets in schools; more
September 19, 2013 | 8:37 am

No, Books Should Not Tell You How Long it Will Take to Read Them (The Digital Reader) Dennis Abrams has a post over on Publishing Perspectives that asks a question that I would like to answer: Should books then come with a label telling you how long it should take to read them? *** With Tablets in Schools, K-12 Teachers Must Learn New Techniques (Digital Book World) As the 2013 school year begins, some of the newest members of the classroom are digital. Tablets are now part of the instructional landscape in more schools than ever across the United States. *** Now is the Time to Reform...

UK Cohort Study research confirms that reading enjoyment counts in class
September 17, 2013 | 9:30 am

In news that ought not to come as a surprise to anyone, the UK Institute of Education (IOE) has concluded that "Reading for pleasure puts children ahead in the classroom," basing its findings on research from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which tracks "the lives of more than 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970." The research, "which is believed to be the first to examine the effect of reading for pleasure on cognitive development over time," based on study of the behavior of some 6000 young readers from the Cohort Study, found...

Digital age puts Chinese ‘characters’ in a bind
September 3, 2013 | 12:57 pm

Long ago, in ancient China, the feet of some women from wealthy or ruling families were bound, and the resulting "bound feet" were not a pretty picture. Now, the digital age of computers and microblogging is placing a bind on the ability of younger Chinese people to write their Chinese characters. While there are around 25,000 Chinese hanzi to learn, most people in China get by with knowing about 2,000 to 3,000 characters, tops. Still, the digital age has turned millions of Chinese youngsters into calligraphy dummies, and even writing simple Chinese characters in email and microblogs has become something they...

Don’t Go to Art School, Part 6: The Nearly-Free English Degree — Electives and Wrap-Up
August 31, 2013 | 9:49 pm

Read the entire “Don’t Go to Art School” series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 * * * I hope you've been enjoying my series on the "nearly free" English degree! So far, I think I asked you to buy just one book. That reallyis nearly free! For this final installment, I list books and subjects you can use to round out your program with some electives. These are all intended to be introductory courses to various topics; it is beyond the scope of this series to present a full-fledged program for higher math and science subjects, for example. But you can take...

‘Find It Fast’ research tome from print era seeks rebirth in Internet age
August 30, 2013 | 7:45 pm

Find It FastChalk this story up to a chance encounter at a yard sale overseas in Taiwan. Meet Robert Berkman, a man with over 25 years experience as an editor, author and professor in the media and information industries. You might know him as the author of a curious little paperback from long, long ago titled "Find It Fast: How to Uncover Expert Information on Any Subject," first published in 1987. The subtitle of the print edition sounds quaint now. But with a new subtitle in the works, Berkman's info tome is now being prepared for an updated sixth edition to be released next...