Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Hmmmmmmmm........... This is a piece of technology that I can't decide on. [Disclaimer: YES, I've seen/held/played with one] The user interface is excellent. The phone's construction seems to be solid enough to handle a fair amount of user abuse - the front glass IS glass, though, so I assume there will be a lot of cracked ones before long. I was impressed with the OS - it seems easy to navigate, and the touchscreen is indeed well done. I think the product is hobbled by the strong tie-in with AT&T, though. Their data network is really too slow to be of much use for serious web browsing....... and that's a fair amount of money a year for something you aren't going to use unless you absolutely have to. Here's what I predict most people will do: They will drop the data part of the plan (assuming AT&T will let them!), and use the web surfing capabilities of the iPhone only when newar a WiFI hotspot (where the iPhone works very well, by the way). A lot of other people, though, will just continue paying that monthly fee, regardless of whether they use the capabilities or not. Yes, the iPhone is impressive. All the hype wasn't. For me, though, there is not enough need in my life/career for a $500 cell phone/music player. For $600 I could get a fairly nice large diaphragm condensor mic!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Website Growth chart

This is a chart I ran across on the web in my research, showing the growth in the number of websites on the WWW. It's interesting for a couple of reasons:
  1. Because of the logartihmic setup, it looks like the growth in the number of sites is expected to slow in 2007. I think this is misleading, IF you don't pay attention to the left scale.
  2. Just think: 100 million websites online, and the web was only "invented" in the early 1990s. That is a LOT of information to search through. That's why it is IMPERATIVE that computer classes should teach search strategies, especially at the high school level.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Finally! Someone agrees with me re: Teaching Computers

Jakob Nielsen, in his Feb. 26th 2007 Alertbox article, deals with teaching computer skills. I have said for years that we don't need to be teaching buttons in computer classes - we need to be teaching processes. "Schools should teach deep, strategic computer insights that can't be learned from reading a manual." When I taught high school computers, my big frustration with all the texts we looked at was that they ALL were focused on buttons - click here to do this, click there to do that. So what were the kids to do when the user interface changed (as it ALWAYS does!)? Better to teach them how to think, how to learn, and the overall paradigms behind the basic comptuer tasks - word processing, spreadsheets, email, search, presentation design. nielsen adds one I hadn't though of - basic debugging. His point is that spreadsheets have errors, and you need to know how to go about figuring out how to fix them. I agree. The original article is here. Definitely worth reading!