Friday, January, 15, 2010 (07:17 AM)
Good morning from sunny Florida. I came down here to attend FETC. I went to the conference, but I really can't prove it. Basically, there was no there, there. Attendence appeared to be way down. Unless there was a big demo going on, the booths were pretty much empty. It was easy to grab a shuttle, get a cab, or even a seat for dinner. Not the FETC I remember.
Beyond the general wide open spaces, there was also nothing to see. After spending about five total hours carefully walking the exhibit floor, the most interesting thing I encountered was a cool little fold up map of the world that was a give-away from Maps101. Yes, you read that correctly. The most interesting thing I saw was made of PAPER!
Did all the problems that are faced by America's schools and America's students get solved and nobody told me? Has the majority of educational content recently become engaging and y'all kept it a secret from me? Have effective methods for integrating technology into the classroom been developed and deployed while I was having a nap? I truly doubt it.
This trip was intended to keep me connected with all the good stuff happening and hopefully show me some new and interesting things that are coming from nowhere. Thankfully, I had several really good meetings with clients and some others with folks who may become clients. If seeing friends, clients, and colleagues hadn't happened, this would have been a totally wasted trip.
Come on people, wake up and make something interesting happen. 55 million students are counting on you.
Friday, January, 08, 2010 (09:00 AM)
Regardless of what the naysayers think, eReader devices continue to push forward into the marketplace. By the end of 2009, there were already 6 million "new" eReaders in the hands of content hungry readers (meaning actual people!). That 6 million number refers to Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, and the like. This week at CES a new group of devices debuted. These new group includes devices with color, devices with 2 screens, and devices with whole ecosystems built around them. Clearly, there is a market for these devices and for content that goes with them. B&N even announced they will be selling multiple reading devices. This more is no doubt in response to customer demand. As I've said many times, none of this means the DEATH of the print book. What it cleary does mean is a huge step forward in the LIFE of the eBook.
Next week's posting will be from the Florida Educational Technology Conference in Orlando. I'm going down to see what people are thinking, and more importantly doing, about making some meaningful progress on using technology to better engage k-12 students.
Let me know if you are going too!
Monday, January, 04, 2010 (01:34 PM)
On December 25, 2009 Amazon sold more eBooks than physical books. While this is certainly a fact influenced by the huge numbers of Kindles that were received as gifts of Christmas day, it is not a fact than can be marginalized. There are now no less than 10 eReader devices available to consumers here in the US.
A day scarcely goes by when there isn't another amazing article on the spread of eContent and the impact all this is having on business up and done what used to be called the publishing business. You can even find articles at AARP.ORG about eBooks.
As the wise folk say, "where's there is smoke there is fire". There should be no doubt that there is smoke and fire in the massive movement around the creation and distribution of digital content. If you are not already making adjustments in everything you do to reflect this movement, then you need to start today.
Visit your local library (in person or online) and see what they are doing about digital formats for some of your favorite authors or music acts. You may get a big surprise. Heck, you might even learn something.
None of this is to say the book is dead. Print has been around since the 15th Century and I'm not predicting it's ending anytime soon. Here's a link to a story about just such a prediction in 1894 http://www.uiowa.edu/~obermann/endofbooks/end_of_books01.html
This is about opening your eyes and your mind to the endless possibilities of digital content. I want you to consider how this "new binding" can change your life, your business, and the world around you.
When a thought about all this hits you, please share it.