Recent Articles By Jeff Butts [RSS]
Apple’s “reinvention” of the textbook has created a buzz throughout education, as educators and journalists alike try to predict what impact iBooks 2’s interactive textbooks might have on K-12 public and private schools. What hasn’t really been covered yet (outside the outlets covering home schooling), is what impact the new interactive textbooks might have on the growing number of home schoolers.
Today, Apple announced iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and a new, free iTunes U app. Apple executives tout these as efforts to reinvent education and curriculum, and at first blush, they look very exciting. When you dig down into the innards of how it all works, though, Jeff Butts thinks the plan seems to break down quite a bit, and he’s dubious.
Mint.com and Scholastic are teaming up to make it a little more fun to develop good money management skills. The release of Mint.com’s online game, “Quest for Money,” will hep teach kids (and even adults) sound money management principles through a fun online board game. It’s all part of Intuit’s financial literacy program, announced in December 2010.
GoodSync for Mac provides fast and easy file synchronization and backup capabilities to the Mac. While Time Machine is great for maintaining a backup of your Mac, the backup files aren’t easily accessed by other computers. For that, you need a way to sync the files, and GoodSync fits the bill for that quite nicely.
Apple’s Education division has been quietly touring universities around the country, promoting the adoption of the iPad as a learning tool in higher education. The 60-minute seminar covers a number of features of the iPad, as well as Apple and third-party apps that carry great potential for students and educators alike. The seminar also highlights case studies of iPad adoption in universities, sharing the experiences from these early-adopting institutions.
Farmville is one of the most popular Facebook games ever, and there was a fair bit of excitement in the Farmville community after the iPhone 4 announcement when Zynga announced the upcoming Farmville app for the iPhone. The app is out, and TMO has put it through its paces. The Farmville app shows that it is definitely possible for games like Farmville, which is Flash-based on Facebook, to come to the iPhone, but the experience isn’t quite the same in this case.
A veritable explosion of cases have hit the market since the iPad released. Marware, a leading manufacturer of iPhone cases and skins, has joined the growing market with its Eco-Vue folio-style case for the iPad. The case is designed to give a professional impression while protecting your iPad, but does it actually fit the bill? Read on to find out.
We Rule, one of the latest games from ngmoco, allows you to rule your own kingdom on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. You farm the land, plant trees, and build cottages and businesses in an easy-to-use interface. As part of the Plus+ gaming network, the developers have encouraged network play by allowing your friends to place orders from your businesses. The game play is fun, if repetitive, and the game’s graphics make it easy to see the beauty of the iPhone as a gaming device.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 is the latest document scanner to hit the markets. If your goal is to digitize all of your financial records, legal documents, and other miscellaneous papers on the fly, the ScanSnap S1300 should fit the bill at a fairly inexpensive price. The scanner is portable, scans both sides of a page simultaneously, and offers a variety of choices for saving your scanned files.
PhoneSuit makes one of many battery packs for the iPhone. Jeff Butts has been testing the PhoneSuit MiLi, which has a 2,000 mAh (milliamp-hour) smart battery. The device does an excellent job extending the iPhone’s battery life. The battery pack has its drawbacks, but it’s definitely one of Jeff’s favorite iPhone accessories so far.