My favorite iPad feature

Tap Left Mar­gin -> Next Page; my favorite fea­ture of the iPad. This means I can com­fort­ably read while drink­ing tea and not worry about which hand holds my iPad.

The major­ity of the time I’m read­ing a book I just want to go for­ward. It always felt clumsy to swipe with my left thumb. Advanc­ing with just a tap means the device never breaks my flow.


Maybe these dif­fer­ent stan­dards are because the con­texts are so dif­fer­ent: mag­a­zines, news­pa­pers, and TV all feel cheap, since they’ve shat on con­sumers to make a few more cents for decades, but the iPad or a well-designed web­site are clean, high qual­ity, and customer-centric.

Or maybe it’s just me. I just don’t feel com­fort­able pay­ing for an iPad or web pub­li­ca­tion, no mat­ter how good it is, and then hav­ing ads shoved down my throat. It makes me feel ripped off: what did I pay for?

Marco Arment — Double-dipping.

Steve Jobs and the Eureka Myth

Deci­sions, not options.

This is what I think when I see Sam­sung ship­ping five or six dif­fer­ent sized tablets. It’s not that Apple didn’t try a bunch of dif­fer­ent form fac­tors — it’s that they tried them inter­nally, fig­ured out which one was best, and only shipped that one.

John Gru­ber — Steve Jobs and the Eureka Myth.

We just want to read

How many peo­ple are sub­scribers to The New Yorker iPad app that don’t actu­ally read for what­ever rea­son? If the app were eas­ier to use and quicker to access, then you’d have users, not just sub­scribers. And users tell their friends about the recent arti­cle they read; users read the app in front of their co-workers dur­ing lunch break; users actu­ally get invested in the app. If you can gar­ner the atten­tion of your sub­scriber base, and not just their money, then your road to growth gets sig­nif­i­cantly easier.

Shawn Blanc — We just want to read.

Construction of space in computer labs

I was read­ing this arti­cle about online courses on the Mind­Shift blog today. It starts off with this image.

What a hor­ri­bly depress­ing vision of a com­puter lab. While it is how the lab in my high school and those at Whit­man were set up it nev­er­the­less seems like such an utter fail­ure at cre­at­ing a place where stu­dents can col­lab­o­rate around dig­i­tal content.

In addi­tion to the great fire­wall prob­lem of web access in schools per­haps a large rea­son why online courses and dig­i­tal ini­tia­tives fail is because they are forced into spaces like this.

This is what makes me most excited about the role iPads could play in schools. The oppo­site of a desk­top machine, an iPad would allow stu­dents to engage with con­tent with­out hav­ing to sit in straight rows with noth­ing in front of them but a monitor.

If a school could cre­ate socially designed spaces for their com­put­ers they might be sur­prised by the type of learn­ing that happens.

Paperworks / Padworks

Dif­fi­cult to pull just one quote from the recent Mark Pesce arti­cle but this is my favorite:

we need to think of every edu­ca­tor in Aus­tralia as a con­trib­u­tor of value.  More than that, we need to think of every stu­dent in Aus­tralia as a con­trib­u­tor of value.  That’s the vital gap that must be crossed.

The arti­cle is one of the clearer state­ments of what we can do in edu­ca­tion by incre­men­tally chang­ing ourselves.