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Tablet

The education world has gone tablet-crazy!
May 28, 2014 | 3:25 pm

tabletA report crossed my in-box the other day via the usually reliable Teachers with Apps blog. It promised to inform me on 'education trends I need to know about' and said it would highlight data from around the world. Sounds good, right? Well, I'll save you reading the whole thing and sun it up thusly: everybody loves tablets. Americans, Indians, Japanese, Swiss---everybody. They love tablets. They want tablets. Tablets are the future of education. I'm not sure what to make of it. I think there needs to be some maturation of the group management options before that happens. I am still...

Today only: Amazon knocks $80 off 8.9” Kindle Fire HD refurb
May 19, 2014 | 6:28 am

Just got notification of Amazon’s latest Gold Box deal: its 8.9” 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD tablets, refurbished, at $80 off retail. That knocks the 32 GB version from $300 down to $220, and the 64 from $350 to $270. Full 1 year warranty included; the AT&T 4G LTE data plan costs extra. Not really sure this is necessarily a huge bargain. $80 isn’t all that big a discount for a refurbished product, Also, the Fire tablets are too closely tied to Amazon’s own content ecosystem to count as a true general-purpose Android tablet; one of the attendant problems...

Childwise Report charges top dollar for UK child tablet reading insights
April 24, 2014 | 4:05 pm

Mom and daughter turning page in children's book on iPad 2I have to be grateful for The Bookseller sometimes. For its boycott of Author Solutions advertising. And now for its heroic readiness to fork out £1980 ($3326) for a copy of the CHILDWISE Monitor Report 2013-14 from CHILDWISE,  "leading research specialists on children, young people and their families" with a "panel of over 1000 schools throughout the UK." And this Monitor Report states, according to The Bookseller, that one in five of UK children (going by its sample) read on a tablet. The Monitor Report, "a comprehensive annual report focused on children and young people's media consumption, brand attitudes and key...

Latest UK moral panic warns: Stop infants taking the tablets
April 17, 2014 | 2:25 pm

panic.jpegiPads and tablets now appear set to join ebooks, the Internet, television, bicycles, and other agents of moral decay as hate figures in the latest press-stoked moral panic in the UK. As reported in the UK Daily Telegraph, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers has issued research claiming that tablet addiction has left a generation of manually challenged British children. The Daily Telegraph cites an ATL conference speaker who warns of "increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like." The ATL will also apparently...

Amazon to purchase ComiXology e-comic-book store
April 10, 2014 | 6:24 pm

Looks like the Big Bad Amazon Wolf has just gulped down another hefty meal. Two weeks after rumors started going around (as noticed by Nate Hoffelder at the Digital Reader), Amazon has announced it will be acquiring ComiXology, the e-comic-book store that carries titles from Marvel, DC, Image, and a number of others. Although the various comic book publishers are trying to push their own stores, ComiXology has nonetheless become the best known source for e-books of popular comics. Now, like Audible and so many other brands, it is going to find a new home at Amazon. News is...

Pre-paid WiFi roundup: TruConnect, Wal-Mart, Karma
March 21, 2014 | 11:49 am

A while back I talked about the TruConnect Mi-Fi portable WiFi hotspot I had purchased. It’s time for an update, and discussion of a couple of reasonable prepaid Wi-Fi alternatives. First of all, I still use the TruConnect MiFi. In fact, I’m on my second one now. The first one stopped working after I dropped it; I bought a replacement and kept the battery from the old one, which means I now have access to twice the battery life, even before plugging in the three different battery backups I now have—bonus! I don’t use it as...

You can use a Bluetooth mouse with your Android tablet!
March 20, 2014 | 9:49 am

20140320_072854_HDRAlso, the sky is blue, water is wet, and the sun is warm. That’s probably what some of you are thinking upon reading that headline. But I’m pretty sure there must be plenty of people out there who aren’t aware of this yet, just because it’s not what you would assume a (non-Windows) tablet is made for. So this is a reminder to people who like to use their Android tablets for productivity purposes: there’s an easier way than tapping on the screen when you need to highlight things or move the cursor. I had known about this ability...

Behold, the $20 Android tablet
March 14, 2014 | 5:12 pm

tabletbundleWell, sort of. There are at least a couple of catches. Through March 31, TigerDirect is offering a 4 GB 7-inch Android 4.1 tablet bundled with an anti-virus software suite, Total Defense Premium Internet Security. The bundle costs $79.97, but includes a $60 rebate, effectively lowering the price to $20. Of course, to obtain the rebate, you must first activate the antivirus software, which involves giving the antivirus software company your credit card. Your first year of anti-virus service is free and you may cancel at any time, but you have to activate it before you get that...

Amazon launches interest-free Kindle installment plan
March 14, 2014 | 2:20 pm

kindleinstallmentsAmazon just keeps coming up with ways to get its devices into more and more people’s hands. So maybe you can’t afford $139 for a 7” Kindle Fire HD tablet, or $69 for a basic Kindle e-reader, in one chunk. Now Amazon will let you pay it in five monthly installments. They aren’t even tacking on any interest. You pay 20% of the device price at purchase, then make four more equal payments in the same amount every thirty days, directly from your credit card. That works out to five $27.80 payments for the 7” tablet, or $13.80...

OLPC, or not to be?
March 13, 2014 | 1:26 pm

olpcLaptopPDFgerrymWowioBlog Has OLPC jumped the shark? OLPC News seems to think so. In a recent (and controversial) post on the blog, Wayan Vota wonders if there’s any point to OLPC anymore. Vota contends that the XO-1 laptop is 7 years old—ancient technology in Internet time—and that Sugar, its operating system, is “history.” (Though he doesn’t mention the more recent XO-1.75 that came out in 2012.) It’s closed down its Boston office and its founder, Nicholas Negroponte, has long since moved on the global literacy X-Prize project. Yet let us be...

Test Run: iPad Mini vs iPad Air
March 13, 2014 | 12:35 pm

ipad mini vs ipad airThe one technology purchase I regret is my iPad Mini. I wanted something lighter than my aging iPad 2; the iPad Air was not out yet, and I thought the Mini, with its ebook reader-sized screen, was the one for me. Now that the Air is out---roughly the same weight, but with a proper-sized screen---I have pondered selling the lot of it and upgrading to the iPad Air. But the price! That sucker is expensive! So I figured I would truck along with what I had and delay the decision as long as possible. And that is still my plan. But...

Story Cards tablet CCG gamifies reading for K-12 students
March 12, 2014 | 2:58 pm

storycardsHere's an intriguing game I just learned about. Educational publisher Amplify, makers of the Amplify Android tablet we covered last year, has come up with a way to gamify classic literature, in the hopes of getting students interested in reading it. Story Cards is a turn-based character-driven CCG. Players unlock character cards with specific abilities by reading the books they come from, and can gain bonuses by answering trivia questions related to the books in question. The game supports both single-player and multi-player modes. Students can build their own decks and compete with the game or each other. The...