Friday, May 21, 2010

Five university students given iPads to test drive

North Carolina State University Libraries lent 5 students iPads on the proviso they would blog about their experiences. I think it’s so cool to see what real life students think of the iPad, and whether it can help with their learning. The general consensus seems to be that it won’t replace their netbooks or laptops, but it’s a great email reader, media consumer and it is fun to use. Of course the touch screen is user friendly, but they were happy to part ways with it when they returned it to the library. I liked these summing up posts “Affair to remember” and “It was a great relationship, but it was time to go our separate ways

The students' comments are similar to a lot of comments I’ve read about the iPad. People seem to agree it’s great for consuming media rather then creating it, so in a university or for most creative uses (besides some cool visual art apps), it is far from ideal. I agree with Stephen Abrams that it’s great to play and explore these gadgets. I still think the colour touch screen would suit a lot of applications especially as an e-book reader, though the size may make portability an issue. I’m loving my iPod touch as an ebook reader at the moment, and the small size of the screen isn't that much of an issue. I'm even reading comics for the first time in my life.

“NCSU Libraries has long been a technology incubator for the university [good on them! A great idea for libraries to take this role] helping students with budgets based around Ramen Noodles to have free access to the latest computing platforms, ebooks and multimedia gear. This week, we put iPads in the hands of five students, who agreed to blog about the gadget as they head to class, do their work, and surf the Web.”

Read more

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stuck on the social part of social media

A colleague asked me the other day “You’re an intelligent person Tom, why are you on twitter?” I answered in person but I’d like to answer properly here. First, I think that question is fascinating and I want to thank the person for asking it!
This question implies an intelligent person wouldn’t join twitter. Now I’m a total twitter newbie, I won’t lay any claims to expertise, let alone an understanding of how twitter works in its entirety. I don’t what to defend it as I’m still getting a hang of it, and deciding whether it will be useful to me or not. I’m considering our users who are on it, the world at large who are definitely using it, but mostly I’m considering it as a tool for professional discussion and development, which is the key reason as to why I’m a member of twitter. I currently have a handful of followers; people who track my updates known as tweets, and I follow about twice as many. I think the answer to the question of why I tweet lies in the people that I follow and the people that follow me, who I think are intelligent too!

Monday, May 3, 2010