All posts by AliciaB

Learning with on iPad

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 19.25.53

Even if you have been following trends in online education only casually in recent years, you will have noted that the advent of the iPad (and rivals) has opened up many avenues towards new interactive and mobile learning methods. It is sometimes hard to believe that we once lived in a world where YoutubeKhan academy or TED Talks were unknowns or did not enjoy broad appeal. Coupled with the popularity of iPads and the beginning of the Tablet Age, we are now in the lucky situation of being able to find a video tutorial or range of online courses on a vast array of topics. With quick and easy access to these platforms, we can educate both ourselves and children using our mobile devices. Continue reading

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Apple’s delights with iPad mini “Piano” ad


With each new goodie or upgrade that Apple serves up, there is the accompanying ad that attempts to showcase the innate qualities of the New Thing in Question, giving observers and buyers a peek into what Apple thinks is most important about it. Let’s be honest, Apple has proven time and time again that it is best-in-class with regard to advertising choices. Examples easily spring to mind: the “1984” or the iconic iPod silhouette ads of yesteryear. Of course, not everything has been a hit, but in general, their instincts are spot on.

With the iPad mini, Apple has given us an short but sweet ad that instantly delights and shows why they excel at what they do – displaying a sense of humour and giving the right sense of what the user experience is like. No need for specs list or complex layered content. Just a tune. Played on a piano. Check it out below:



Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments!

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Apple’s new iPad Family shows they’re “just getting started”

After almost every Apple keynote I like to step back, try to see the big picture and get my bearings on where Apple is positioning itself and its products. A way to review things we saw that were surprising as opposed to things that were expected. Here are my first impressions of the Apple media event, which was already dubbed “iPad mini Launch” event by many in the tech press, but which surprised in the diversity of its additional announcements and thus turned out to be more significant, in my view. Continue reading

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Apple updates iBooks Author, enhancing the power of the textbook creation tool

Image courtesy

The advent of the iPad has undoubtedly further cemented Apple’s prominence in education circles. During today’s keynote, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the iPad an “incredible learning tool”, currently available for 80% of the US high school curriculum and for 2,500 schools in the US. A great aid for educators has been the iBooks Author app, which enables teachers to create their own interactive textbooks for the iPad platform. It was very fitting that Apple announced today an update for iBooks Author.

This update can be put squarely into the column of things that do not surprise us at all. Not only was an enhancement expected, for anyone who deals with education or who spends time with kids the impact that the iPad has had on education in the US and also internationally has been mind-boggling.

The update brings new features: integration of custom fonts, addition of mathematical expressions and improved audio support, as well as easier upload to iBookstore, and promises to make creation of a text book an even easier and pleasurable experience.

iBooks Author can be downloaded for free on the App Store.

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Best Free iPad App of the Week: 500px

Who doesn’t like free? And who doesn’t like great iPad apps? When the two come together it’s good stuff. With that in mind, we’d like to share our Best Free iPad App of the Week here every weekend.

This week’s pick is 500px, the official iPad app from the photo community 500px, which is a platform for drop-dead-gorgeous photos from creative and professional photographers.

The community has an amazing collection of images of landscapes, wildlife, portraits, still lifes – loads to discover and share or even buy. Their iPad app was recently updated for the Retina Display of iPad 3 and enables downloads of HD photos available for sale, lets you see photo geotags, has improved navigation and search and a NSFW filter.

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Why iPad generation 3 is simply the New iPad


So let’s step back and look at the bigger picture here. Today Apple unveiled the 3rd generation iPad. This brought lots of things that we were expecting. We wished for and got a Retina display, ultrafast speed via 4G LTE, a better camera (5 megapixels) and a faster chip (A5X). We also got a few things that were not really expecting, like an iLife refresh featuring iPhoto for iOS, HD video recording and Dictation (note: no Siri).

What we did not get was a name. Despite two divergent theories heading into the announcement today, it was neither hailed as the iPad 3 nor the iPad HD. It’s simply called the new iPad. Not even “n” capitalized. Continue reading

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For Tim Cook 2011 was Year of the iPad

Tim Cook Apple

During the question and answer segment of today’s Earnings Conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook made some interesting comments in response to a question of what the company thinks of their competition on tablet market. What follows is a paraphrasing of his direct remarks.

He began by stressing that Apple was happy with the 15.43 million iPad units sold in the final calendar quarter of 2011, explaining that it was consistent with their long-term belief that the tablet segment is a huge opportunity for Apple over time. Indeed, he explained that they believe that the tablet market will be larger than the PC market; tablet sales are already seeming to exceed desktop sales in US.

With regards to the competitiveness of the iPad, he feels that the iPad is in a class by itself. Their focus is on optimization of apps that take advantage of larger canvas. The iPad has a wealth of quality apps available, compared to only a few hundred on competitors’ offerings.

He closed by saying that they don’t see limited function tablets such as e-readers being in the same category as iPad. These limited-function tablets will have customers and they will sell a fair number of units. However, he opined that people who want an iPad will not settle for a device with less functionality.

He delivered a smile-inducing full stop to his remarks, saying that last year was supposed to be year of the tablet. Rather it was Year of the iPad.

Well said.

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Apple sells 40 million iPads in 2011

Apple iPads

The news today that Apple has sold 15.43 million iPads during the final calendar quarter of 2011, means that the total number of iPads sold for 2011 (that’s sold not shipped) is just over 40 million. The last quarter’s sales are 111% growth compared with the same quarter in the previous year.

These are mind-boggling stats no matter now you slice it.

No doubt the tremendous iPads are largely behind the record revenue of $46.33 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion.

With these solid numbers in hand, the future looks bright for Apple and iPad. Stock price is currently over $420. iBookstore is now being fed by ebooks created on the new iBooks author and iTunes U is free to fly.

So much for the year of the iPad killer.



In case you were questioning my math – here it is from the horse’s mouth:

4.69 million iPads during the 1st quarter 2011 – the one ending March 2011

9.25 million iPads sold during the 2nd quarter 2011 – the one ending June 2011

11.12 million iPads during the 3rd quarter – one ending September 2011

15.43 million iPads sold during 4th quarter the one ending December 2011


You’re welcome!

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iPads in Education: Wake up and Smell the Future

iPads in Education

I love it how a few days after the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 in Las Vegas ended, where people lustily obsessed over 55-inch wafer-thin screen TVs, Apple has got people talking  arguing about education reform.

Two years after launch, Apple has now unwittingly made the use of iPads in the classroom the topic of discourse and mild controversy. Finally.

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Best Free iPad App of the Week: 1,000 Places To See Before You Die


Who doesn’t like free? And who doesn’t like great iPad apps? When the two come together it’s good stuff. With that in mind, we’d like to share our Best Free iPad App of the Week here every weekend.

This week we’d like to draw your attention to the wonderful iPad app 1,000 places To See Before You Die, already familiar to many in book form, the bestseller by Patricia Schultz. This is a comprehensive and impressive collection of photos and facts on places around the globe that one has to have seen and experienced. The list of chosen places fascinates all of us who appreciate beauty and geography and of course, who love to travel, both literally and virtually.

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Best Free iPad App of the Week: News360°

Who doesn’t like free? And who doesn’t like great iPad apps? When the two come together it’s good stuff. With that in mind, we’d like to share our Best Free iPad App of the Week here every weekend.

News360° is calling itself a next-generation news personalization and aggregation service” and has been getting lots of positive buzz among reviewers. I’ve tried it for myself for the past few weeks and I can confirm that it deserves the raves, even in the face of fierce competition from the likes of popular apps Flipboard and Zite. News360° definitely draws you in. It’s a keeper. For the main screen.

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