Three Articles on Education and Technology

FIRST:

How to Break Into the Educational App Marketplace

The way students prepare for tests is changing, thanks in part to a new digital industry still in its infancy: apps as study tools.

The prevalence of smartphones and tablets on college campuses is no secret. A 2013 report by College Explorer found the average college student owns seven Internet-connected devices, with tablets ranked as the highest-bandwidth consumers on campus.

One of the highest-grossing developers of educational apps today is Higher Learning Technologies, which made its name helping dental and nursing students use their phones and tablets to prepare for their industries’ most stressful standardized tests. Forbes and Inc. recently featured the company because of the waves it’s making in app store marketplaces.

HLT’s apps test users’ knowledge of exam material with questions like those they’ll have to answer. As they answer, the question lineup evolves to suit a student’s needs. <Read more.> Via D. Frank Smith, ED TECH.

SECOND:

 Four Note-Taking Apps For the Tech-Forward College Student

As we head into the depths of August (the month where time stands still), there is one interesting thing that starts to happen. Kids head back to school.

That said, we decided to use some new data from CampusBooks to look at how college students are approaching their schoolwork. Perhaps the most interesting finding was that 91 percent of college students prefer to take notes by hand.

Almost all of them have laptops, and 90 percent own smartphones. They spend more than a full day each week using these devices, with an average of almost eight hours on Facebook each week, five hours on YouTube, and three hours per week on Instagram and Twitter respectively. And still, these digital beasts prefer to take notes by hand.

And with good reason! Studies show that we retain information much better when we write it down by hand. <Read more.> Via Jordan Crook, Tech Crunch.

THIRD:

A Way to Teach Coding to the Touchscreen Generation

First came Generation X. Then the Millennials. And if you have kids under 10, you already know what they’re going to be called: the Touchscreen Generation.

For these kids, who learned to walk and talk as smartphones and tablets were saturating the cultural landscape, a computer with a physical keyboard is archaic and distant, a clattering tool their parents use. The Touchscreen Generation experiences computing as something immediate, direct, intuitive—not as an interaction that happens in a slightly removed way, where the screen and what happens on it are mediated by keys, mice, or trackpads.

And yet there’s a different kind of distance that touchscreens create. Seamless interactions with touchscreens depend on the seamless packaging of apps into self-contained experiences. What kids gain in directness, they lose in an appreciation for how the software on the screen really works, how it was built, how they too could build it. <Read more.> Via Marcus Wohlsen, Wired.

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