Google announced a new $1300 Chromebook with a super high resolution touch screen and backlit keyboard. They’re even rolling in three years of 1 TB Google Drive storage. Any good? One reviewer compares it to a Lamborghini, and that’s probably about right. This is a status symbol of a notebook for people that really love their Chromebook. It’s not quite a desktop replacement, yet.
I’ll note that the Pixel is more expensive than the Surface Pro tablet and runs less software. It does have an extra hour of battery life, but it’s arguably less functional in many other ways.
If you’re curious about the Chromebook, we’ve got a couple of the $250 variety over at the Ed Tech center. The lower price point is a big advantage in our eyes, even if you don’t get a touch screen out of the deal. We’re exploring ways the technology could be incorporated into classrooms, and we’d love to hear your input.
Well, the reviews are in, and they’re less than flattering. Microsoft released the new Surface Pro tablet that promises to run a full version of Windows 8 on a tablet form factor. This should be revolutionary, but even the most flattering of reviews seems to think it’s a little meh.
Why? It’s thicker, hotter, and heavier than other tablets already available with about half the battery life. This could be forgivable by itself, but the real problem is Windows 8. I’ve got a Windows 8 computer at home myself, and the biggest problem is that it can’t make up its mind about whether to show you the touch screen metro interface or the traditional Windows desktop. Some programs only launch one way, and they’re not consistent. So imagine using a thick, heavy, hot tablet to peck at those Windows 7 menus sometimes and the Windows 8 squares at others. Now put a $900 price sticker on it.
Next year, the Surface tablet may be the must-have item, but this year you’re better off buying a laptop and a tablet instead of expecting one device to be a replacement for both.
There’s a new online tool to help students evaluate colleges. It compares things like graduation rate, student loan default rate, and tuition costs.The data about JCCC seems less than flattering at first glance. Part of that is the nature of our college. Our graduation rate is lower because graduation is not necessarily the goal of attending classes at a community college.
However, this could be a fantastic tool for evaluating transfer colleges for students who are interested in completing a four year degree. Currently there’s no job information, but it looks like that’s data that will be available in the future.
We’ve been looking at a new LMS from Instructure called Canvas. A number of faculty will be teaching pilot courses in Canvas during Spring 2013, so that we can gather some real-world data. We also have some useful documents about Canvas for faculty who have used ANGEL:
Piktochart is a Web-based infographic creator. If you need to visualize data, you can use this app to help. Some features are available in the free version, and there’s an educational discount for paid accounts. You can also use your friendly neighborhood edtech analyst to create the chart with your data.
Here’s an example chart:
If you’re trying to present slides or other content from your iPad on campus, IS is working on a wireless solution. Meanwhile, you can buy a $30 adapter from the bookstore to project from the “laptop” port in classrooms with projectors and VGA cables. Just make sure you ask for the VGA adapter.
We will be upgrading the ANGEL server on Thursday May 24th from 5:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Access to the server will not be available at that time. New features that we will be providing include the following:
New Browser Support
ANGEL now supports the desktop versions of Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari browser. Clients will enjoy more flexibility in their choice of supported browsers and be able to offer their students a learning experience in their preferred browser.
A feature previously available in ANGEL Quizzes, Assessment Navigation allows instructors to have the option of enabling a Navigation tool within any given Assessment. This update allows students to mark questions for review, sort on questions or answers stat, and jump to any question. Students may now more easily manage and navigate large assessments.
Discussion Forum Grading Rubrics
The same efficiency and consistent evaluation & feedback available via Rubrics for other content items is now available for Discussions in ANGEL 8.0. Instructors may view / edit rubric scores directly inline within the forum. Students may view the rubric before and/or after they’ve been graded. The students may see the completed rubric simply by clicking on the score they’ve received in the forum.
Submission Date on Drop Boxes
ANGEL Drop Boxes now allow you set different Viewable and Allow Submission date ranges. This allows Drop Boxes to be present and viewable in the course without necessarily accepting submissions. This can help with student visibility into upcoming work and it allows instructors to view, manage and grade drop box submissions without risking additional or late student submissions.
Zip File Imports
Support for newer file types means easier file imports using the Zip File import tool, allowing automatic import/item creation tool to accurately recognize and properly process a much wider array of file types. (Applies to MS Office 2007 XML types supported docx, xlsx, pptx and iWork, Open Office, Star Office, Flash and Shockwave.