Word Processing and the Loss of Simplicity

It makes no sense that the word processors are still designed for the printed page” – this is the title of an amusing piece from the Motherboard blog ,complete with links to 1960s and 1970s video clips promoting the paper explosion.

The author takes us through a short history of word processing since the 1970s, and asks “for all they’ve gained, what have modern word processors lost?”   He suggests the loss of simplicity. 

“Since I started writing as a career, I’ve always preferred my writing tools to have a certain style – I want them as little like Microsoft Word as possible”  – Ernie Smith.

Although the online world is capturing our attention with multi-modal texts, are we ready to forsake the printed word?  I’m not so sure.  However, I do wonder about the percentage of the features of word processing (I’m talking about Word, of course) I use – not many!  

Choosing and Evaluating Educational Technologies

We have seen it all too often – school leaders seeing a new technology application, thinking it fulfils an immediate need, and purchasing without investigating how this product integrates and overlaps with existing applications.  I find it difficult to comprehend why one would not start with a needs analysis.

Edsurge, an organisation committed to connecting educators with emerging technology trends, products, events and the entrepreneurs who build new applications,  has good advice on choosing, vetting and purchasing Edtech products in this post  and downloadable sixty-eight page guide, The Edtech Selection Playbook.

The message is clear:  start with a needs analysis; ensure that research studies are reliable, valid, without bias and not merely marketing-promoted hype.

edsurge-edtech-book

Minecraft for Education

Today, Minecraft Education announced that the full version Education Edition is now available for purchase in eleven languages and fifty countries.  For more information see the Minecraft: Education Edition website

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According to the marketing information, “this full version includes the Classroom Mode companion app, allowing educators to manage world settings, communicate with students, give items, and teleport students in the Minecraft world. It displays a map view of the Minecraft world, a list of all the students in the world, a set of world management settings and a chat window.”