2Three Pilot Programs Test Tablets’ Roles In Education
Deborah Moschella Saks, director of user services at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, discussed a $30,000 technical grant the school established for “designing new instructional techniques and programs.” Largely involving iPads, these have included pushing out real-time polling during lectures and creating time-period-based social communities to assist learning through cultural immersion.
3New Devices, New Software, New Learning
4Technology Should Be Invisible
Brian Garcia, CTO of emerging business at insurance provider Aetna, gave a compelling keynote about the need to decrease the friction between technology and the problems we’re using it to address. He told a story about a woman whose cancer treatments were subtly brightened by the knowingly atrocious ties her physician wore, but how after a computer was brought into the exam room for data input, she spent the majority of her visits looking at his back while he typed.
5Find the Answer, Then the Technology
Alan Masarek, director of Chrome and apps at Google, talked about the seeming craziness of Google working on a browser during a time when Microsoft’s Explorer seemed the end-all. “In my view, Chrome will win out. … These moonshots Google is taking are really working.” He also described Microsoft as being stuck on the issue whether they’re a platform company or a software company. “They’re in a tight spot,” he said. “But they’re smart guys; they’ll figure it out.”
7Eating the Competition’s Dog Food
8Hewlett-Packard Wants to Be All-In on Tablets
“What we aspire to be is an HP-sized player on the tablet side,” said Omar Javaid, HP’s vice president of product management, referring to HP’s top position in the PC market. HP’s portfolio ranges from the ElitePad to, soon, the $169 HP Slate 7, its first Android-running tablet. “We have a long and successful relationship with Microsoft,” said Javaid, “but our customers are looking for more than Microsoft solutions, and we are developing those.”
9School of Rock
Evan Trent, senior vice president of corporate development at the School of Rock (on which the movie was loosely based) has incorporated tablets into its agenda of teaching kids to play instruments, to collaborate and be part of a band, and to generally inspire them in their lives. At the school, “it’s really hard to get people to follow IT policies,” Trent said. “The attitude is very ‘damn the man’—very rock ‘n’ roll.”
10The Challenges of Managing a Tablet Project
Stephen Vilke, CTO and co-founder of Framehawk; Ragu Kantamaneni, chief evangelist, product marketing and business development for Damaka; and Jan Morris, director of business development at Golden Gekko, discussed the challenges of tablets and whether they’re necessary. “The average time use for [a tablet] is eight minutes, versus eight hours for laptops,” said Vilke (left). “If you want to use them as primary devices, more innovation is necessary.”
11The Thorsten Heins Comment
When Heins’ comment was mentioned, Kantamaneni said, “I think that’s nonsense.” He went on to tell a story about a colleague’s wife who was completely computer-unsavvy and had never sent an email; then, he bought an iPad, and in one day she was emailing and messaging. “A device that makes it that easy … I don’t see how that doesn’t translate to the office.”