Will this sort of device be the breakthrough to move schools from a paper bound environment to a digital one? With Rupert Murdoch and Joel Klein involved, it has a shot.
For sale only to schools for now, the Amplify tablet comes pre-loaded with virtually everything a student will encounter during the school day, including all the textbooks, lessons, tests and e-books she might be assigned.
What's perhaps more significant, Amplify will give teachers the ability to both monitor and control what students do with the device. Teachers can conduct lessons with an entire class or small group and can instantly see what websites or lesson areas students are visiting. A teacher dashboard allows them to take instant polls, ask kids to "raise their hands" virtually and, if things get out of hand, redirect the entire class with an "Eyes on Teacher" button that instantly pushes the message out to every screen.
The national survey of 1,000 students in Grades 6 through 8 found that:
39 percent use smartphones for homework.
26 percent use smartphones at least weekly for homework.
31 percent use tablets for homework.
29 percent of those with household incomes under $25,000 use smartphones for homework.
Hispanics and African-Americans are more likely than whites to use smartphones for homework, at 49 percent, 42 percent, and 36 percent, respectively.
These free distance-learning programs are targeted to grades 4-8 and are supported with multi-disciplinary lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts, and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for students. The electronic field trips are offered on public television and cable stations nationwide, and on the internet.
Obviously the secretary isn't a dystopian and an optimist about this happening given the huge national debt.
The transition to digital involves much more than scanning books and uploading them to computers, tablet devices or e-readers. Proponents describe a comprehensive shift to immersive, online learning experiences that engage students in a way a textbook never could.
The tug of war is only going to get more intense. Wireless carriers are betting they can pull bills even higher by offering faster speeds on expensive new networks and new usage-based data plans. The effort will test the limits of consumer spending as the draw of new technology competes with cellphone owners' more rudimentary needs and desires.
So far, telecom is winning. Labor Department data released Tuesday show spending on phone services rose more than 4% last year, the fastest rate since 2005. During and after the recession, consumers cut back broadly on their spending.
The New York Times reports that not only does cloud computing not always work seemlessly among one's devices but that it contributes to global pollution via its huge Internet server system.
A yearlong examination by The New York Times has revealed that this foundation of the information industry is sharply at odds with its image of sleek efficiency and environmental friendliness.
Most data centers, by design, consume vast amounts of energy in an incongruously wasteful manner, interviews and documents show. Online companies typically run their facilities at maximum capacity around the clock, whatever the demand. As a result, data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid, The Times found.
Teachers can still teach cursive and printing without being accused of being "out of touch".
Announced on Google’s blog Thursday morning, the company's new beta project aims to make it easier to search, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Handwrite allows you to block print or handwrite letters, words, and punctuation on the screen, where it will be instantly analyzed and converted into a search term.
Because of technological advances — among them, the greatly improved quality of online delivery platforms, the ability to personalize material and the capacity to analyze huge numbers of student experiences to see which approach works best — MOOCs are likely to be a game-changer, opening higher education to hundreds of millions of people.