Monday, December 05, 2011

Design may be coming full circle

Tablet PC Review reports that the Samsung Galaxy Note includes a pen.  A pen for taking digital ink notes.  This is a great step in the right direction.  I love the flexibility of the tablet (iPad, Zoom, etc), but without a pen I would not consider them.  Add the power to run compatible software to my Tablet PC and the perfect traveling machine is born.  Online learning, including interacting with the lecture in the classroom, might be enhanced with more of these devices.  Let's see.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Campus Technology misses the Tablet PC

Are you kidding me?

Campus Technology has a product focus on interactive whiteboards as a collaborative tool.  It also has a long list of alternative technologies, but they miss the ultimate collaborative tool.  Each of the technologies are involved in trying to get the written and drawn image on a white board projected or saved and transmitted electronically to students in the classroom or at a distance.

How can they miss the Tablet PC?  Really folks, I can write or draw on my tablet screen and broadcast it anywhere.  One can simply use Microsoft Journal to create a white space to write on or write on any of the Microsoft Office products and with other apps can write on anything.   I have been doing this for years to great success.  When the screen in the classroom is in front of the classroom whiteboard as it is in almost every classroom I walk into, the Tablet PC is both the projector of content and the electronic whiteboard.

I think this reaches a new height with using DyKnow Vision in a 1:1 computing environment.  Each student needs a computer to receive the message and a free client download and they do not have to be Tablets.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Tablet PC

I picked up my new Tablet PC today. This Lenova X220 replaces my HP2107p. So far the form factor win goes to the HP2107p. I am starting to set up the Lonova X220 and ergonomically I really dislike it. Why would you design a Tablet that is awkward to hold. I do like the touch screen, but little else on first impression.

The dock is ridiculous. Compared to the thin dock of the HP2710 the Lenova X220 dock raises the keyboard up over an inch. Getting used to typing at this height and angle will take some adjustment. If the DVD weren't in the dock, the dock would be in a drawer.

Overall the X220 has to edge out the 2710p, but perhaps only because it is 4 years newer.

More later.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Are You Using a Tablet (PC) at Work? is conducting an online survey of Tablets in the business space. Take the survey here: Are You Using a Tablet at Work?

I was thrilled to see that the concentration was not only on what the consumer world now calls "tablets," i.e., ipad, zoom, etc, but included the Tablet PC. One of my responses was: "The Tablet PC is a full computing environment and adds the luxury of a stylus and pen / electronic ink input and markup. It is the best of both worlds."

I remain a fervent evangelist for the Tablet PC as my only computer for my business. i still think to buy a laptop without giving oneself the luxury of a pen interface is short sighted for everyone who takes notes on paper, grades papers, gives presentations, reads articles and books, and more. In short, the Tablet PC remains the best platform for all around computing.

Friday, November 04, 2011

The recession hasn't ended from a jobs prespective.

A Graph from Calculating Risk shows the relationship of this recession to all post-depression / post-WWII recessions. What ever the administration is trying and has tried is clearly not working. Of that there can be little debate.

Click on the chart to see a larger version.

Unemployment. The cost grows.

Current unemployment measured by U-3 falls to 9.0 percent, and total unemployment measured by U-6 is at 16.2 percent for October 2011. (see Table A-15, Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The Blog Calculating Risk often produces the best graphics of what is happening. In the article which you can find at the link you will see two graphs. The first shows Unemployment by Duration. As everyone can see, long term unemployed from 1969 to 2008 was always less than the short term unemployed as a percentage of the civilian labor force. Since 2009 the effect is dramatic as the long term unemployment dominates the short term unemployment. This is unarguably a structural change in the labor market and has to be correlated with economic policies since 2009.

So who are the long term unemployed? The second chart in the Calculated Risk blog shows the Unemployment Rate by Education . The chart illustrates the answer in part. Labor economists know the answer without looking. That is, the long term unemployed are most likely to be with the least human capital, the least experience and those in jobs that have been structurally depressed or eliminated. While the second chart does not deal with all three reasons, clearly a change is visible. The brunt of the unemployed is always born by those with the least education, but look how dramatically that too has changed since 2009.

What can we conclude from this? Well two graphs do not predict or even explain what is going on and is simply a description of the events we are experiences, but the circumstantial evidence is that policies designed to deal with the 2007 recession are sadly ineffective and wrongly applied.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What The New Patent Reform Act Means For Innovation | Fast Company

Is this a game changer in new job innovation? Clearly the pace of patent approval and innovation will be affected.

What The New Patent Reform Act Means For Innovation | Fast Company

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Great Recession and Government Failure | Hoover Institution

Gary Becker, 1992 Nobel Prize inning economist and a personal hero of mine, weighs in on the
The Great Recession and Government Failure.

Whoop - Everything Mobile

Whoop - Everything Mobile

Creating Mobile Apps seems to be just this easy. I haven't contacted them to find out how much they want for their product, but the first glance at their web pages is very impressive.

They promise a Whoop App Agent installer by texting 'whoop' to 53000, but all efforts to get that failed. I was trying to see what apps were available and in particular see the new Red Cross app that was created in Whoop. I do not recommend this site. I am impressed with their presentation and intrigued with the concept that anyone can create apps for mobile phones.

Perhaps more later.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our latest article on program assessment is out in the latest issue of Journal of Economic Education 42 (2).

Assessment of the Undergraduate Economics Major: A National Survey
(co-authored with Drs. Nelson and Stratton) "reveals that nearly two-thirds of the departments have a formal assessment plan. There is substantial agreement on the most important student-learning outcomes, which are consistent with the Hansen proficiencies. The most common approaches that departments employ to measure learning outcomes are course-embedded assessments and senior exit surveys. Capstone courses and senior projects as program assessment methods are most common in departments that are not in business schools and are without doctoral programs. Finally, more than half of the departments have adjusted their curriculum based on the results of their own assessment plans."

I think one of the most important lines in the abstract above is : "There is substantial agreement on the most important student-learning outcomes ... consistent with the Hansen proficiencies."

Friday, April 01, 2011

iPads for College Classrooms? Not So Fast, Some Professors Say. - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education

iPads for College Classrooms? Not So Fast, Some Professors Say. - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Best paragraph damning with faint praise:
For some professors, an older, less-hyped model of tablet computer offers far more advantages. That device is the tablet PC. It's clunkier than the iPad—and so uncool that it runs Windows—but it allows instructors and students to write precisely because it uses a penlike stylus, and to type quickly on its attached keyboard.

I remain a fervent advocate of the Tablet PC. I use it every day and every day that I am teaching class. I would enjoy an iPad or Moto Zoom for reading and browsing and reference work, but for serious work in the econometrics classroom nothing can touch a Tablet PC. For me I need a very good way to do writing with digital ink, drawing graphs and writing complex equations. Until a tablet can do that I will be supporting the Tablet PC.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Tablet: Is the Revised Galaxy Tab 10.1 an iPad 2 Killer? More importantly is that "digital ink" I see?

New Tablet: Is the Revised Galaxy Tab 10.1 an iPad 2 Killer? [GALLERY]

This one got my attention. In image 6 of 9 of the original story is an on screen image of "PenMemo" with pen ink control and an illustration of a drawing having been made on the screen. While I don't see evidence of a stylus in the article, the ability to write on the screen is the right direction.

(image grabbed from linked page)

Anyone who knows me and the way I use my HP2710p Tablet PC in the classroom will know that a device that offers ink capabilities will be high on my list of things to have. Using DyKnow Vision with the Tablet PC in a 1:1 computing environment has been a great experience, but the entry price for students is they must purchase a Tablet PC (a harder and harder to find item) and not what students show up to class with. For $499 -- if this could support the wireless capability of a powerhouse like Dyknow (and I know I am dreaming) I would be in line the day it comes out.

I do like "For business users, the new Tabs both include Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support, and Quickoffice HD Editor for managing office documents via Android." (source:

Apparently no USB or SD card slot, but the Moto Zoom has at least the USB. (source: engadget).

So after some searching I can find nothing about "PenMemo" that excites me and nothing about a stylus being able to be used on these new Tablet PC's. (I really hate that the real Tablet PC's have lost the branding war with the Tablets that are out now.)

Someone find me a good digital ink solution in these new fangled Tablets. (Hey APple if you get there first I could jump ship...)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Motorola's Xoom Is iPad's First Real Rival -

Motorola's Xoom Is iPad's First Real Rival -

Is this the one for you? Or do you prefer the iPad. And what about full funcion Tablet PCs. How do they rate with you?