A Supercomputer in Every Backpack

A Supercomputer in Every Backpack: People visit my school all the time. They shake my hand as they leave and tell me how inspiring it all is and often they sign off with “truly, the iPad is the future of education”. I bite my tongue every time because unlike Richard Stallman I’m not an anti-social jackass, but I want to correct them.

I want to tell them that the iPad is not the future of education, it’s the present of education. If we consign the iPad to the realms of the future, then we are implicitly saying that it’s not for right here, right now, today. We’re saying that we can postpone the task of seriously engaging with the educational and social impact of ubiquity of Internet-connected computing.

I ask you to consider other industries that put off dealing with such challenges. How is that approach working out for record companies? For newspapers? For booksellers?

The hour is already late. We have allowed a 16-year gap to develop between society and schools in terms of our children’s access to computers. Can we properly prepare Beth and her cohort for the year 2029 with the same level of access to computers that I had 35 years before?

How long can we let this gap continue to grow? Another five years? Another ten? In another 14 years, if GSMA are right, society as a whole will have 7 connected devices each – will we be delivering relevant education in that world if each pupil only has a third of a computer to themselves?

Cedars is not a school of the future. I think we’re a decade late. [Everything that Fraser has been working cuts close to my heart as I concern myself Noah’s education. What parts are his school getting right? What parts are they getting wrong? Where is it so bad that I need to shore it up, where can ignore it as it as irrelevant? Clearly his school has the computer and technology stuff wrong. But I don’t think it matters because that is something that I can (fortunately) fix. Not everyone can, but I (we) can. The stuff I can’t fix? What they feed him. The crappy behaviors he learns from the kids on the bus. Yeah, I know all survivable stuff, but considering the importance of these years… anyway, consider how your child’s education doesn’t match the needs of the marketplace. What are you going to do about it? Where do you think it’s lacking?]
Source: Fraser Speirs

Automatic Spelling Corrections On Github

Automatic Spelling Corrections On Github: “Github projects may be seeing a different kind of contributor than normal: a small bot is now crawling through projects, contributing spelling corrections. It builds on top of the github API and existing documentation style-checking code. Future directions for the project look beyond spelling mistakes and at automated bug fixing on a large scale.” [Github has a number of features that make it interesting. It’s really a wonderful tool for collaboration that goes beyond code.]
Source: Slashdot

Unconventional Monetary Policy

Unconventional Monetary Policy: “Unconventional monetary policy” means the Fed targets some level of nominal GDP and keeps buying things until that level is met. Usually, the Fed buys and sells short term Treasuries to influence the clearing price of reserves in the overnight interbank market. The clearing interest rate in the overnight interbank market is the “Federal Fund Rate” and this intervention is the mechanism it uses to manage the level of excess reserves in the system (as it can drain reserves by converting them to Treasuries). Scott argues that the Fed can buy other things, like road repair services, bridge building services, etc. etc. and therefore hit any NGDP target it chooses. [Hmmm.]
Source: Zimran

10.7: Some Mission Control keyboard shortcut tips and conflicts

10.7: Some Mission Control keyboard shortcut tips and conflicts: Mission Control includes keyboard shortcuts for each space which use the Control key (^) and Control+Option (^ ⌥). These keys can conflict with quite a few high end apps which use many keyboard shortcuts, and turning them off isn't so obvious.

In Spaces (Now ‘Desktops,’ which I suppose is more accurate) desktops numbered 1-10 are defined by Control+(1-0) and desktops 11-16 by Control+Option+(1-6). These are useful to know if you regularly use lots of spaces, and are easy to remember.

You can easily turn off ALL Mission Control shortcuts in System Preferences, but the Control Left-right keys are still quite useful, and don’t conflict with many apps.

The trick is to have all the desktops active BEFORE you try to edit keyboard shortcuts if you want to edit just the ones for the desktops.

  • To turn off just the keys for each Space, first go into Mission Control.
  • Now you’ll need to add the maximum of 16 desktops to remove all the ke …

Source: Mac OS X Hints

10.7: Have a custom Dock per Space

10.7: Have a custom Dock per Space: An awesome new feature in OSX Lion that is easily overlooked is the ability to customize the Dock in each Space.

By right clicking or Ctrl+clicking on a dock icon and then going to ‘Options’ you will notice the ability to assign that icon to ‘All Desktops’, ‘This Desktop’ or ‘None’. None is set by default.

A simple yet useful feature that was requested so many times in Snow Leopard.

[crarko adds: This is legitimately cool if you like to use custom Spaces, and a good follow-up to this hint.]

Source: Mac OS X Hints

Glassboard is for sharing privately with groups

I’ve just started using Glassboard. Glassboard is for sharing privately with groups on your iOS, Android or WP7 devices. But while I’ve barely sent a message as yet it fits so well where tools like Twitter were failing. And yes, that means that it only runs on mobile devices at least for now. Could easily work, but for me, having the ability to see activity on my boards from bots, or notify my desktop could be helpful. Maybe. I have to think about that some more. But it certainly seems that way for the use cases I have in mind for myself.

There are other tools that I’ve been using that do similar things (so far) like Groupme which has advantages (at least for now). For example, not everyone I work with or everyone in my family has a smart phone. But every one (at least as of recently) can receive and send text messages. But they also fail in various ways.

I’m looking forward to see how Brent and crew move this forward.