From DSC: Expectations, today, are getting hard to beat

Since Apple’s event yesterday, I’ve heard some conversations on the radio and reviewed several blog postings and articles about Apple’s announcements…many with a sense of let down (and some with the usual critical viewpoints by the backseat drivers out there who have never tried to invent anything, but who sure like to find fault with everyone else’s inventions and innovations).

It made me reflect on how high our expectations are becoming these days!  It wasn’t enough that iCloud is coming on 10/12 (and who knows the directions that will take society in). It wasn’t enough to introduce some serious software-based innovations such as Siri (which bring some significant advancements in the world of artificial intelligence) or AirPlay for the iPhone.  It wasn’t enough to enter into the multi-billion dollar card industry with their new Cards app for the iPhone.  Wow…tough crowd.

What might these announcements — and expectations — mean for education? 
Well…I can see intelligent tutoring, intelligent agents, machine-to-machine communications, the continued growth of mobile learning, learning from the living room, the initiation of programs/events caused by changes in one’s location, continued convergence of the television/computer/telephone, continued use of videoconferencing on handheld devices, cloud-based textbooks/apps, and more.


Siri on the iPhone 4S -- October 4, 2011




Some items from Apple today:



From DSC:
This posting evolved after having read $500 billion TV market new battlefield for Internet companies (from and the Trefis Team therein) as well as the posting at Future TV disruption – Forbes says it’s worth half a trillion dollars for Internet companies (from

As the convergence — and the movement of data/apps/content/services towards the cloud — continues, I wanted to jot down some thoughts re: the current field:

  • Apple, Google, Cisco and Microsoft seem to be solid players to watch in terms of cloud-based computing architectures, tools, and functionality — something to keep in mind when planning for the future directions of your organization’s set of tools and technologies.
  • Personally, I vote for vendors that “get the web.”  Apple and Google have traditionally been very solid innovators on the web and have turned in solid report cards in terms of innovation, performance, and web-based applications.  (Adobe — with their Macromedia purchase years ago and their current lineup of tools — has also done a pretty good job, but doesn’t have the arsenal to make my top 4 picks here.)
  • I don’t need to say much about Apple in terms of innovation — as they have out innovated every company on the planet while becoming the world’s most valuable company in terms of market cap.   Apple is on the verge of adding enormously powerful, cloud-based functionality and apps to their ecosystem when they introduce iCloud this fall (and perhaps a web-connected/smart TV type of device in the future).  They have proven themselves to be #1 in terms of working with multimedia-based content — its creation and distribution. Given the continuing trend of the convergence taking place with computers, telephones, and televisions, the ability to create and work with multimedia is key for many technology-related vendors, and, in my mind, Apple leads in this area.
  • Google has shown themselves to be solid innovators as well — and they “get the web.”   Their current set of web-based apps — including Google Docs, Calendar, Hangouts, Reader, Alerts, etc. — provide a solid menu of web-based apps to choose from.
  • Cisco has proven themselves to be innovative as well, and owns some powerful technologies in their WebEx Meeting Center, Videoscape, networking infrastructures, and some of its other tools.
  • Though traditionally not a leader/innovator on the web, I think that Microsoft has deep pockets and they are a savvy business (having just purchased Skype as an example).  So with SharePoint, Skype and Office 365, Microsoft is laying the foundation for a solid, web-based collaboration space.

Having said this, one can see that it is getting harder to practice the KISS principle in the IT departments out there.  But where we can do so, it makes sense to do so — as there is less finger pointing and more accountability.  It’s easier to support a fewer amount of tools and, often times, it seems that things simply work better with a reduced amount of vendors/technologies involved.

So I’ll wrap up this posting by listing some of the things that I’m trying to (simultaneously) keep in mind:
  • Web-based collaboration tools such as videoconferencing, shared interactive whiteboards, shared document creation, calendars/scheduling, form creation and reporting tools, chat, other
  • Cloud-based content/data/apps/services
  • Synchronization across multiple types of devices
  • Web-based updates (think publishers’ content in addition to apps)
  • Storage plans and pricing
  • Types of integration and tools a vendor provides on the cloud
  • The end user experience and the usability of proposed solutions
  • A vendor’s strategic direction(s) for the future

Lessons on mLearning

Also see:

    From Daniel Christian: Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes.

    From DSC:
    Immediately below is a presentation that I did for the Title II Conference at Calvin College back on August 11, 2011
    It is aimed at K-12 audiences.


    Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a K-12 audience)


    From DSC:
    Immediately below is a presentation that I did today for the Calvin College Fall 2011 Conference.
    It is aimed at higher education audiences.


     Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a higher ed audience)


    Note from DSC:

    There is a great deal of overlap here, as many of the same technologies are (or will be) hitting the K-12 and higher ed spaces at the same time. However, there are some differences in the two presentations and what I stressed depended upon my audience.

    Pending time, I may put some audio to accompany these presentations so that folks can hear a bit more about what I was trying to relay within these two presentations.

    Tagged with:  
    Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple CEO "effective immediately"


    From DSC:
    I want to post a thank you note to Mr. Steven P. Jobs, whom you most likely have heard has resigned as Apple’s CEO. Some articles are listed below, but I want to say thank you to Steve and to the employees of Apple who worked at Apple while he was CEO:

    • Thank you for working hard to enhance the world and to make positive impacts to our world!
    • Thank you for painstakingly pursuing perfection, usability, and excellence!
    • Thank you for getting back up on the horse again when you came out of a meeting with Steve, Tim and others and you just got reamed for an idea or implementation that wasn’t quite there yet.
    • Thanks go out to all of the families who were missing a dad or mom for long periods of time as they were still at work cranking out the next version of ____ or ____.
    • Thanks for modeling what a vocation looks like — i.e. pursuing your God-given gifts/calling/passions; and from my economics training for modeling that everyone wins when you do what you do best!

    Thanks again all!



    Abilene Christian U supports teachers through Digital Learning Institute — from by Tanya Roscorla


    This summer, Abilene Christian University in Texas hosted its first K-12 Digital Learning Institute for teachers. And this school year, the university will observe teachers’ lessons as they apply what they learned about mobile technology to their classes.

    Near Field Communication (NFC): A Quick Guide to the Future of Mobile — from Sarah Kessler


    NFC allows a device, usually a mobile phone, to collect data from another device or NFC tag at close range. In many ways, it’s like a contactless payment card that is integrated into a phone. In other ways, it’s similar to Bluetooth, except that instead of programming two devices to work together, they can simply touch to establish a connection.

    So why are some of the world’s most influential companies so excited about it? We’ve compiled notes on what NFC is, why its useful and how it’s starting to permeate the product world.


    Also see:

    MIT launches Center for Mobile Learning with support from Google — from by Jon Mitchell


    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced the creation of a new Center for Mobile Learning. The center will be housed at the MIT Media Lab. Google supported the creation of the center with a grant from Google University Relations. The center’s first project will be the adoption and further development of App Inventor for Android, a do-it-yourself tool for building apps for Google’s Android mobile OS with no programming skills required.

    From the announcement

    The Center, housed at the Media Lab, will focus on the design and study of new mobile technologies and applications, enabling people to learn anywhere anytime with anyone. Research projects will explore location-aware learning applications, mobile sensing and data collection, augmented reality gaming, and other educational uses of mobile technologies.

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