Thursday, April 21, 2005

Education Doesn't Scale

Alan passed this along to me, and I in turn am passing it along to you. Read along -- the last 4 - 5 paragraphs are great.

I am still a novice in this field (education) -- I know that. But I see what I see - there is a big disjunct between how we are applying technology, and what we know about how people learn. The evidence is there.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Treo 650 Compensates

Russell Beattie has picked a real scab with hisbashing of the Treo 650. Many of the respondents are of course defending their shiny expensive handheld. I had a Treo 600 for a few months, and actually have recommended it to people. But I don't own one. It turned out that I left it at home a lot. It is too big. The camera is lame. I just need a phone, a way to check email, look up something on the web and play a game to kill time.

I ended up getting a Ngage QD, which is a Symbian based device. It was cheap (I think Cingular never actually charged me for it) and despite all the bad press, I like it. It is simple and to the point, and the ergonomics for gaming also work great for scrolling through web pages. The functionality and price is more in line with what a student would have -- although they would likely (as I would) opt for something with a camera.

What has occured to me after having the Ngage QD for several months is that the Treo is necessary because it has to compensate for legacy back end services. Because things are not designed in ways that work across modalities of access, we are stuck in the late 60's with a typewriter connected to a computer. The Treo is pretty much that. It exists because backend services have not caught up with how people want to interact with information.

The good news is that as we invent new services -- such as image sharing -- they are by default being designed for this very purpose. Flikr works with cell phones, but in contrast, Groupwise Mail barely works. Novell is stuck with the concept that mobile devices are just a dumb web browser, not much more. This is not to say that it doesn't work -- people I know use it. But it sure isn't fluid. It isn't something that I would recommend to most people in a hurry.

Yes -- you can buy third party products that "fix" Groupwise's problem. Ho Hum.


The Crushing Blow

I have had a LiveJournal Account for a while, but have not used it as much as I planned. There are things that I appreciate about how it works, but it is become clear to me that I need to create a second blog that is more focused on the things that I am working on, things I present and write about.

hal2k will continue to live, but it will become more about day to day stuff. It will be focused on community.

This blog will be an ongoing journal, a place for people to get stuff from my presentations, etc. It is for my convenience -- I am through with generating web pages for content that is ephemeral. For me, the annoyance at simple things becoming difficult leads me to move on. It is sometimes called a "tipping point", but I prefer an alternate way of describing the moment where it becomes clear that things have changed. It is the Crushing Blow.

The Crushing Blow is the last hit -- the one that topples. I believe the crushing blow is getting ready to happen to Television, as an example. I see it happening in other things as well. Commercial radio will have to radically reinvent itself, or it will just become irrelevant. Low Power radio promised to save the industry, but the industry has tried to kill it. I hear the sound of another crushing blow, the last sound something hears before it all goes black.