Why Apple’s education strategy is not based on reality

March 28, 2018

Bradley Chambers:

Who’s anyone? Which teacher has time to make custom books for his or her class? One of the things I’ve become concerned about is the number of items we tend to keep adding to a teacher’s plate. They have to manage a classroom of 15–30 kids, understand all of the material they teach, learn all of the systems their school uses, handle discipline issues, grade papers, and help students learn.

When do we start to take things off of a teacher’s plates? When do we give them more hours in the day? Whatever Apple envisioned in 2012, it’s clear that did not play out.

Chambers works in education, and has been paying close attention to the market for years. He knows what he’s talking about, and his main point is that Apple hasn’t made a good enough value proposition for schools to wean them away from Google.

The optimist in me would like to think that Apple’s system would work, but people who actually work in the field are saying otherwise.

I Tried to Befriend Nikolas Cruz. He Still Killed My Friends

March 28, 2018

Isabelle Robinson, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Shooting Survivor:

No amount of kindness or compassion alone would have changed the person that Nikolas Cruz is and was, or the horrendous actions he perpetrated. That is a weak excuse for the failures of our school system, our government and our gun laws.

She’s not wrong.

Bringing Back Skeuomorphic Design

March 28, 2018

Michael Flarup:

See, I was recently commissioned to come up with a redesign of the calendar and note-taking app Opus One and I was excited to share this particular bit of work— not only because I really liked how it came out, but because it represented the sort of work I have always loved doing: Themed UI carefully crafted to create a memorable experience through textures, lighting and dimensionality. A UI that is fun, takes cues from the real world for context and aims to be delightful, simply for the sake of invoking a feeling in the user.

In other words; a skeuomorphic design.

I think this looks great, and the concept is in keeping with how I think of my devices as “digital notebooks”. The clean iOS 7 style is fine, but I do think that both macOS and iOS have lost some of the whimsical touches that made Apple design stand out. Like the wormhole background in Time Machine. Completely unnecessary, but it always made me smile.

I’m not sure Opus One is an app that I personally need, but if more design like this started making it’s way back into iOS, I’d be all right with that.

Erasing Complexity – MacStories

March 27, 2018

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Probably for the first time since I started MacStories nine years ago, I feel comfortable using Apple’s services and hardware extensively not because I’ve given up on searching for third-party products, but because I’ve tried them all. And ultimately, none of them made me happier with my tech habits. It took me years of experiments (and a lot of money spent on gadgets and subscriptions) to notice how, for a variety of reasons, I found a healthy tech balance by consciously deciding to embrace the Apple ecosystem.

Federico comes to the same conclusion I did eight years ago. Apple and I have a deal. I give them money, and they provide technology that allows me to get things done without having to muck about. Investing in the Apple ecosystem has paid off over the years, and continues to be, from my humble perspective, a wise investment. There may come a time when Apple no longer is able to hold up their end of the bargain, but that time isn’t here yet, and doesn’t appear to be on the horizon any time soon.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

March 26, 2018

I spent some time remodeling the old digs here, adding a fresh coat of paint in the form of a new theme, new hosting, and a shiny new SSL lock.

The new paint comes in the form of the Swiss Jekyll Theme, which I just thought looked like fun while keeping the site readable. The only configuration I did was to switch the theme color to orange, just to brighten things up a bit. And I like orange. I decided a while back that designing my own theme comes at the price of me not writing as much, because I tend to spend too much time tweaking the theme. Now, I search around and browse through twenty or thirty themes till I find a few that I like, then I download each of them and drop my content in them, run the site locally and see how my posts look. Most of the time I just go with my gut… do I feel happy when I look at the site? If not, I move on. For now, I’m happy with how this looks.

I was inspired by Jack Baty’s post on moving to Amazon to migrate my own blog over to S3 and CloudFront. I love that the SSL comes along for the ride. Although I don’t need it for anything here, at least Chrome users won’t be subject to a warning when visiting my site. I remember advocating for doing this back in 2002 in a paper I wrote for college, encrypt everything.

Apart from that, the site is still my outlet for talking about technology, design, and culture. It’s a place for me to own my words, and hopefully say something useful. Maybe, someday years from now, my kids or my grandkids will find this and have some idea of who I was, and what I stood for.


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