Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jan 2012 17:41 UTC
Apple Apple's education event just ended, and just as Ars Technica said, Apple announced better support for textbooks, as well as a textbook authoring tool. The textbook authoring tool is heavily inspired by Keynote and Pages, and hence, I already know it's going to be top-notch and very pleasant to use. In addition, the company also repositioned iTunes U as a Blackboard competitor. As great as all these new tools are, several large red flags went up in my mind: I remember what it was like being the only student who didn't use Windows. Update: "Any e-textbook author that wants access to the iPad-toting masses must make his or her work an exclusive to iBooks 2."
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RE[4]: Ballpoint pens
by Neolander on Mon 23rd Jan 2012 08:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ballpoint pens"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

I'm trying to write more using a pen and it's not easy. My brain is way faster than my hand, causing some strange letters to appear. I think this illustrates that we still need some traditional teaching and skills.

Strange ! Even though I'm more or less born with a computer in the hands, it's the reverse for me. I strongly prefer pen and paper to computers for note-taking, drafting, and pretty much everything that requires a fast communication channel between my brain and a storage support.

I believe that is mainly because computers have inflexible input methods and tend to make me focus too much on appearance and layout. On a sheet of paper, it's natural to write in several directions, draw stuff to illustrate a point, strike stuff and redraw it from scratch elsewhere. On a computer, I tend to keep stuff clean, take the time to erase and rewrite, adjust the appearance of drawings, and I lose too much time doing it.

I would love to see a computer designed for pen input and with software that is as straightforward to play with as a piece of paper. However, it seems that Microsoft and their OEMs have done too much of a good job to associate pen tablet computers with crappy tablet computers.

When I tell other people this they often also say they have trouble writing. Sure we still write the occasional word or two, but do we write ever whole sentences? More and more people don't, they type it. Despite being a geeky nerd I don't think it's good to become so depended on technology.

Myself, computers and studies ruin my writing because they make me use English all the time, to the point where my written French becomes grammatically awful while my English does not get much better ;) Studying does help keeping good handwriting though, maybe we should do it more often in our lives ?

Edited 2012-01-23 09:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Ballpoint pens
by MOS6510 on Mon 23rd Jan 2012 09:05 in reply to "RE[4]: Ballpoint pens"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Well, when trying to write more I too discovered that it's much better suited for quick note taking and drawing stuff.

Still, when writing long text everybody does this on a computer and print it out. If I made a proposal and handed it in written by hand I'm sure I'd get a few strange looks.

There is a very cool IBM typewriter here, sitting idle on a unused desk. It would be cool to use it, but I'm afraid people will get aggressive over the noise.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Ballpoint pens
by Neolander on Mon 23rd Jan 2012 09:30 in reply to "RE[5]: Ballpoint pens"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, it makes some sense to write longer texts directly on a computer, because its ability to keep the content clean as you bring more and more corrections becomes crucial at these scales. Besides, one does not need as much concentration to develop an argumentation as one needs to set the core points and plan of said argumentation. And finally, word processors allow writing better-looking text, and you don't want to copy everything from paper to a computer.

As for electronic typewriters, I've played with one at my grandfather's when I was quite a bit younger, and these stuff are made of awesome. But they are also indeed very noisy, and even if your colleagues could concentrate in spite of the noise I am not sure that you could keep focusing on what you're writing yourself ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1