Archive for the ‘Tablets’ Category
It’s truly amazing how different my kids’ childhood is from mine. The technology that they just take in stride is more and more spectacular by the year, from laptops and Wi-Fi to smart phones and tablets. Thankfully, VTech is creating children’s products that are child-friendly and child-appropriate form. Creative Learning InnoTab 2VTech’s InnoTab 2 Learning App Tablet is the perfect example of that. Made for kids 3 to 9-years-old, this multi-functional tablet is my children’s version of my tablet. It keeps the kids entertained with a movable photo/video camera, creative activities, animated interactive e-books, tilt-sensor learning games and so much more. My daughters have played with the InnoTab 2 daily since we got it and absolutely love it.
On Wednesday, Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire tablet. The Fire, priced at $199 and lacking many of the features of Apple’s iPad, garnered a mixed response from analysts. On the one hand, they noted that Barnes and Noble and many of the Android-based competitor tablets should be worried. On the other hand, the consensus was strong among market observers that Apple should not be concerned at all and that it should keep on doing exactly what it’s doing — making more powerful tablets. Many analysts believe that Amazon failed to unveil the iPad killer that many anticipated the Kindle Fire could be.
Hewlett-Packard’s financial results showed falls in PC sales – but tablet owners are more likely to have bought a computer in the past two years. But Forrester says change is coming, and fast.
Educators say students who use the touch-screen devices for class appear to be more engaged in their studies. Students can view their school work anywhere and eMail their teachers anytime. It seems to be making a difference: Test scores of iPad-using students are climbing.
Mobile digital devices rocketed to popularity around 10 years ago with the release of the iPod. Mobile computing went mainstream with the release of the iPhone in 2007. With the release of the iPad just one year ago, we are now seeing a significant shift in the dynamics of computer purchase and practice – moving away from desktops and laptops to iPads and other mobile devices. Their cost relative to laptops along with the promise of mobile computing has raised tremendous interest in iPad use in education.
I don’t believe Apple anticipated the demand for iPads as educational devices. When they were first released, more than one Apple sales representative suggested that iPads were designed for personal media consumption and laptops would be a more appropriate investment for schools. In response to overwhelming interest among educators, I started our online community – iPads in Education – within weeks of the iPad’s release.
Tablets offer a number of advantages for education in comparison to laptops or netbooks. First, their lighter weight and orientational flexibility makes them far superior for digital reading or accessing of content. Second, their instant-on capability and fast switching among applications allows learning activities to proceed with less delay. Third, their touchscreen interface allows a high degree of user interactivity. Fourth, they are much more mobile than laptops, as students can carry them inside or outside a room without having to close and reopen the screen and can also use them for mobile data collection or notetaking. Fifth, since it is inexpensive to develop apps for mobile platforms, there is a rapidly growing amount of free or low-cost apps for tablets, many of which are suitable for education. And finally, tablets’ long battery life makes them more suitable for a school day.
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad and referred to it as a magical device, lots of people snickered. Most iPad owners will tell you that it can indeed inspire the kind of astonishment you might have felt while watching your first magic show — that is, if the device is properly loaded. Here are my 10 favorite apps, plus a few extras to make the iPad magic happen.
The Transformer is a full-Internet touch tablet, running Flash, and employs the sun-beating IPS (in-plane switching) screen technology. In seconds it “transforms” into a netbook, snapping onto a lightweight keyboard. Especially clever is the extra eight hours offered by the second battery built into the keyboard.
Adobe has launched the Photoshop Touch SDK, enabling developers to create applications that can interact with the desktop version of Photoshop on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS platforms.
To showcase the possibilities of the software development kit, Adobe has initially launched three Photoshop CS5 companion apps for the iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop.
With the rise of the iPad, Kindle, and similar eReaders and touchscreen devices, tablet-shaped form factor computing power has become much more portable and yet sizable. This holds great promise for educators on par with the introduction of slates, which swept across classrooms at the turn of the century before last. Back then, the personal transcription device of chalk and stone slate tablets was seen as revolutionary.
But is this just hardware hype?
Yes, the iPad is intuitive, the Kindle and Nook are cheap, and Android is Open Source, yet is the tablet form factor really all that? There is the immediate e-reader usage model, but what other roles can tablets play? And are those roles most cost-effective with digital devices vs. analog or even paper technologies?