By Paulie Suarez
Sometimes I wonder
if the creators of The
Jetsons were prophets. Sure, we’re
not flying around in
our space cars and
I don’t have a robotic maid—yet, but
that’s probably where the differences end.
Obviously, shows such as The Jetsons
and Star Trek were just science fiction,
but some of the technology they dreamt
up for their fictional shows is a reality
Technology is a strange word with
many connotations. It seems to mean
“success,” “progress,” and “the future
. . . today.” All elements of society have
always been affected as technology has
advanced. As long as the technological
industry grows, so will every other
industry. Everything from farming to
communication to portability has been
affected by technology. And now, the last
thirty years have brought technological
advancement after advancement to
education. Especially right now—
technology is revolutionizing the way
we educate. What will be next?
There are new ways to learn, new
ways to teach, and new ways to live.
So it’s no wonder that technology is
making a huge impact on the ways we
educate as well. Of course, technology
does not replace quality teaching, nor
will it ever, but when used effectively
with one-on-one teaching, technology
not only can enhance the quality of
one’s education but also can ease the
student’s acceptance of it. Like I was
saying, education is changing. We’re
in a special transitional age right now,
from the old way to “the new way.” I’ll
explain what I mean by “the new way”
over the course of this article.
In the balance of this article, the
latter half of which you’ll find in
our next issue (Spring 2011) as a
continuation, we’re going to look at
some of the events, products, software,
and services that are making an impact
on the education market. Initially,
though, let’s jump into some new
hardware and concepts.
THE AGE OF THE
Yep, it’s finally here.
The most inconvenient thing about
traditional education has been one of its
primary tools, the textbook. The weight
(and cost) of dozens of books from
which we traditionally learn and teach
has been a burden we’ve had to accept.
But not any more . . .
The companies mentioned below
know this and have been developing
several exciting products to address
this very issue. Soon, very soon,
textbooks will be completely obsolete.
That’s right, the conventional method
of teaching a student using a printed,
bound book is now starting to sound
The Internet has become our library,
and computers, our textbooks. This
is perhaps the single most notable
advancement technology has achieved
Increasingly, textbooks are now
being offered in a digital format
(ebook). This is great for those of us
who desire to save money and/or just
want the product instantly. However,
being chained to a computer can be
a real inconvenience, and companies
such as Apple, Amazon, and Barnes
& Noble understand that.
Ebook Readers (or just e-readers) are
small, handheld, portable devices that
specialize in storing and displaying
complete books. While there are
several on the market, I’m only going
to talk about a few that are leading the
First, Amazon’s Kindle. You may
have heard of the Kindle—it was one
of the first mainstream e-readers on
the market. Amazon actively marketed
this product as the ultimate e-reader.
They also built a huge library of digital
products (more than 670,000) that
Fascinating Facts . . .
· 3 million iPads were sold during the first 3
months after its release.
· More than 75 million iPhones are in
· As of October 2010, 35 million iPod
Touches had been sold.
· More than 175 million mobile devices that
distribute content are available.
· The first-ever APPNATION conference,
which focused on the growing consumer
applications economy, was held in
September 2010. It targeted social and
mobile apps across all devices and platforms,
including Internet-enabled TVs, portable
gamers, PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
· Apple has 150 million credit card numbers
on file. That number exceeds the total
number of households in the United States.
· There are more mobile phones in existence
than the number of Internet connections and
· In Africa, there are more cell phones than
· “App” refers to “application software”
that enables a user to carry out a specific
task. The popularity of apps has increased
dramatically since the introduction of hi-tech mobile phones.
· 2010 is expected to be the first year that the
Financial Times (FT), a British international
business newspaper, makes more money
from content than from advertising. In the
first two weeks following the launch of
FT’s free iPad app, U.S. consumers alone
downloaded 130,000 copies.
· Wired sold 24,000 copies of its iPad app in
the first 24 hours following its release.
· The Wall Street Journal has 10,000 readers
paying a monthly fee of approximately $17
for an iPad app.
· Experts predict that more than 28 million
iPads will be sold by the end of 2011 and
that more than a million apps will be on the
market by that time.
· As of October 2010, $17.5 billion has been
spent on app downloads.
These fascinating facts were provided courtesy of Turn-Page
software, a dynamic platform that allows publishers to deliver
their content like never before. In addition to the realistic
page-turning effect, hyperlinks, audio clips, and video clips
can be embedded through the Turn-Page platform; users
can add publications to social networks accessed on mobile
devices such as the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android
with this technology; and subscriptions to it can be sold. For
more information, contact Clifford Hoffer at choffer@turn-
page.com. You may view a sample of their work at this link:
The Future of Technology l Winter 2010/11 89