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Old 08-12-2010, 04:59 PM   #1
kzm007
Edge User
 
Lightbulb Using the Edge as a study tool - a few observations

It would be excellent if there was an app/program that offers simplicity in the relating of information to others, where it would be given to students in a straightforward and easy-to-understand format through the utilization of concise notes and hands-on video examples which showed them how the concepts are complete or why those concepts behave in a particular way.

Information that is presented in a fun and engaging style, such as a game, would also hopefully cause the student to WANT to learn about a topic; if they want to do it, and don't feel forced or pressured to do so, they will be more open and mentally perceptive to retaining what they study. The game format would be appealing to younger students, as well as older ones I am sure; personally, I find if I am enjoying something, it doesn't feel like work that absolutely has to be completed, and I seem to finish it more quickly as well as recall it more easily when prompted.

Seeing is believing, and I feel that it is most beneficial to show someone how something is done properly, as well as providing written information clearly stated and structured in a clean, easy-to-follow format, such as succinct note cards or summarized chapter pages containing all pertinent information for a subject. Things taken in smaller pieces are easier to process, understand and retain - the brain is essentially a giant computer with its own file-system and catalog of knowledge.

This filing and organization of data would allow for the use of repetition and memorization while a student is studying a field, something which aids them in recalling the information when it is most crucial, both on tests as well as later on in life or in the work force where it is most important.

In short, pieces of information could be seen as the pieces of a puzzle, and when all the pieces are properly placed, everything comes together; the answer is evident, the concept of a task is understood plainly.

To summarize:
1. Study apps, software, or websites formatted for the Edge.
2. Games for the device to make the subject more enjoyable to want to be learned or understood fully.
3. Concise written information presented in segments to a student, whether in school or out of.
4. Easy-to-follow videos that explain a concept or subject in an engaging way.

Last edited by kzm007; 08-12-2010 at 05:17 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
kzm007
Edge User
 
The Edge in an academic setting: my opinions on its marketing.

I suppose it could be seen as a list of feature requests, but I was really thinking it was more like "look at the Edge, how can it be better adapted to an academic situation?"

The device is marketed to students, why not make it even better-suited for students, of all ages?

Similar devices are coming onto the market eventually, although it will take time. The Toshiba Libretto appears to be a lot like the Edge, but among its differences, it's running Windows 7 and has no e-ink display. The Kno device is textbook sized for the collegiate field, but has two large LCDs, and from what I've read, a battery per screen.

While all these separate items play into their own strengths and weaknesses, one of the best things about the Edge is it's open-OS and general price point compared to the other two devices. The Toshiba is around $1K I believe, and the Kno has only been stated as being less than a thousand; I estimate probably $800ish given what it currently seems able to do.

Therefore, the price for the size and features of this device should appeal to students as well as developers and it's my opinion that this machine has a lot of potential, given a chance. The implementation of my ideas may broaden that student base, as well as make a great device even better for its user.

Honestly, I would lower the price on the Entourage. I understand that it's new technology, and the cost of manufacture may be high, but paying $40 extra for a different colored plastic shell is ridiculous, I think. Mid-$500s may deter the younger crowd (non-collegiate), as well as the older crowd; they may be technophiles, but some are still cautious enough to want to conserve their money and invest it wisely, given the US economy.

University students, one of the main target demographics in addition to business-folks, pay a lot of money into their schooling, regardless of whether or not they have to purchase expensive printed materials from campus shops or the like.

Add onto that the cost of gasoline on average, the cost of living as a young adult going to school while most likely working, or even someone like myself who is limited in funds due to disabilities and has a hard time making a steady income and also has medical bills to pay, and that $550ish digital book is a mite high. I love the portability of the Edge, and I think it plays into a strong niche versus a netbook. As technology advances, and if the price could be altered to be on par with netbooks, the Edge would have it - you could read, study, physically write and retain notes, and basically have the world at your fingertips, all at the fraction of a size of a netbook (even marginal difference helps) for around the same great price.

I hope this post isn't taken as a direct slight against the Edge as a whole; I plan to buy one myself, but it won't be at the current retail cost.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 08:39 PM   #3
alefor
Edge User
 
Just a few comments.... The Toshiba looks like it is actually coming out, but its quite small and not really suited for taking classroom type notes, or at least thats my impression from the pictures and stuff on the web site. It seems to be pitched as a pocket-sized device for sticky notes, etc. I dont think it is anything like the eDGe in intent. To my knowledge, the Kno doesnt exist yet. Who "knows" if it will ever really be sold (consider the Courier and the Plastic Logic Que.... both Dead before Arrival). Its a pretty device, but rather large at 14" and expensive at around $1000. And once again, the key will be availability of CONTENT.... that is textbooks. So far, this is still the big stumbling block in my opinion.

lastly you should know that the things you wrote about in your first post, such as games and videos to enhance learning... are totally unproven as learning tools. That is, there is essentially no evidence that e-learning enhances learning compared to more traditional methods such as books and notes. These are very fertile areas for contemporary educational research (thats one of my professional endeavors), and these techniques need to be refined and verified. Surely, it is not something that a hardware manufacturer or even software developed should be delving into. First, we need good quality scientific research to demonstrate an educational advantage... and the fact is that such results are rare at best, with lots of conflicting information in the scientific literature.

In any case, I am quite sure you will enjoy using the eDGe
 
Old 08-12-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
kzm007
Edge User
 
I concur with the mystery of the Kno, as well as the Toshiba's size; I have also heard that it tends to run very slowly and sluggishly.

I also seem to recall hearing the same information in regards to using games for education, but they have been around forever, and at the very least, may serve to acquaint someone with a new technology. My first experience with PCs was an Apple II playing "Oregon Trail," around the mid-90s. Later on, it was Windows 95 and the software for that OS (I still prefer 95, recalling its simplicity, and love XP on my secondary desktop, while my laptop uses Vista. It may have to do with nostalgia, but there it is.)

However, perhaps technology is too advanced these days to allow for games to be used as such tools, I do not know. The fact remains that games made the situations fun for me, and I recall them now. Recalling the data was the point, and the point was made. I can correlate this to games of 'Jeopardy' played in class to learn facts for a test - it did help, even a little.

While its unclear if making the classroom 'fun' will better help to instill information, it certainly did make the humdrum of school in general easier to handle by breaking the monotony. That really seems to have all sorts of psychological and sociological benefits to it; kids who are bored tend to do stupid things, especially when younger. If people are happy and having fun, there's less stress and the chance of lashing out is probably reduced (this coming from a man who was teased often in school for my shortcomings and physical limitations).

Can this sense of ease with learning a technology be carried into the new digital medium? I don't know, and time will tell. But two things are fundamentally still the same - if someone doesn't want to do something, it makes it harder to accomplish sometimes, and with the price point as-is, the younger crowd (even high schoolers) may be left out of this exciting new advancement.

The Edge combines three devices very well, and only stands to get better with time and dedication.

Last edited by kzm007; 08-12-2010 at 11:40 PM.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 01:48 AM   #5
Chubulor
Edge User
 
Considering a lot of reviewers and potential buyers diss the Edge for its size, one would think the much larger and heavier Kno is going to be DOA unless it packs some seriously amazing features. If the Notion Ink Adam comes out in Nov as claimed and has the features it's supposed to at a reasonable price point it's going to blow all the non-iPad tablet/readers out of the water (sorry Edge). However that scenario may be doubtful.

As for the Edge's price point, you have to keep in mind that Entourage isn't a charity...they have to pay back their investors and cover manufacturing and development costs. Increasing your sales does you no good if you're selling at a loss.

Last edited by Chubulor; 08-13-2010 at 01:52 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 02:22 AM   #6
kzm007
Edge User
 
Absolutely, but a lot of people still aren't going to pay that high a price...many of you did, I realize that, but I mean in general. If you look at the Edge in parts, you have the costs of each device that 'composites' into the Edge.

Netbook...roughly $250 new

E-reader...about $150 or so

That leaves us with $450 after taxes and/or shipping, give or take. I understand productivity costs and marketing/research, but consumers are naturally attuned to want the best bang for their buck. I simply meant that I believe the Edge would continue to soar not only through development and tweaking, but through price adjustment as well. It would certainly help if they could drop the price somewhat on the other color options and give people a chance to buy. $40 more for a different color just doesn't seem sensible since its not really a 'better feature' that would increase usability or place it above the bar.

Not trying to offend any early adopters; without you guys, we wouldn't have technology just my two cents.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 02:33 AM   #7
alefor
Edge User
 
The key to everything remains CONTENT. And the Adam (and Kno) if they ever exist will die quickly without easy access to the content that people want. I believe that this is the success of the iProducts. As long as you are willing to buy into the Apple ecosystem thru iTunes, you can have crazy amounts of content, easily (music, TV shows, movies, Podcasts, etc). Thus the success. Of course, they have never really been marketed as as educational devices so the relative lack of educational content (textbooks) is not a problem. But the Kno and the Adam, and the eDGe are calling themselves tools for the educational community so they better have what people want available.... and available easily at a reasonable price. I think the price of the initial device is less important than easily available content at reasonable prices. When you read about people unable to get the textbooks they want, that could spell trouble in the future.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 02:46 AM   #8
Chubulor
Edge User
 
You're not going to get a 10 inch e-reader for $150, let alone one with annotation capabilities. The comparison you could make is netbook + Kindle DX, which is going to run you at least $750 and you still don't have annotation and the two screens don't work together at all...you have to shuttle stuff back and forth on a USB stick or something.

Now, I think Kindle DX is a better pure e-reader than the Edge's eink half, and a netbook is obviously much more powerful than the LCD half. So people looking for one or the other should look elsewhere, but for people who need both and need annotation capabilities it's a good deal.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 03:14 AM   #9
kzm007
Edge User
 
Fair enough, and I had forgotten about the annotation, which will be a plus for me. But it seems that almost everywhere I look concerning the price, people do still think it's a little too high.

And I stand by my statement that I can't justify paying $40 extra for a different color; why would the company do that, when it can't cost that much more to color a plastic shell red, or even white, versus the cheaper blue? That said, I may buy another color, don't get me wrong. But as different as the red is from the standard black I see on electronics, it still seems pricey to me.

I also agree wholeheartedly with the content being the lifeblood of the machine - without content, it's just a paperweight.

I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to pick a fight with you C, or anyone else, and I do plan on buying an Edge. I just don't understand the price raise for something as non-consequential as color. $10 more, if that maybe, but not $40.

They may be trying to hype the Edge, but as a student on a budget, as well as a voracious reader, $40 would buy a lot of pertinent e-books for my collection, especially if they're cheap; $3 apiece would get you 13 books with change, and many books are cheaper elsewhere. Granted, they may not have the cover art or illustrations, but I'm speaking generally.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 06:36 AM   #10
alefor
Edge User
 
I agree fully that paying for the color is unreasonable... and rare among devices of all kinds. I would say that while it can be hard to come up with the initial cost, the cost of the device is less important than the availability and cost of the content. Look at the big picture over time..... just one perspective.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 06:38 AM   #11
Chubulor
Edge User
 
Well, it's more spirited discussion than fight. The concerns you give voice to are widespread which probably is why I reacted so strongly...now if you'd criticized the weight of the Edge it would have been even worse!

I would guess the difference in price for the different colors is probably due to Entourage ordering a ton of Midnight Blue shells, and getting charged less per unit because of the size of the order, while they have to pay more for the other colors because they order fewer of them. If they'd ordered equal numbers of each color and then it turned out no one wanted to buy the light blue ones, they'd be stuck with a lot of devices they couldn't sell because they were the wrong color.

Personally I don't get the appeal of the light blue or red ones. Midnight blue and black are professional-looking colors, while the white might appeal to people in love with Apple's aesthetics (ugh!).
 
Old 08-13-2010, 06:42 AM   #12
Chubulor
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alefor View Post
I agree fully that paying for the color is unreasonable... and rare among devices of all kinds. I would say that while it can be hard to come up with the initial cost, the cost of the device is less important than the availability and cost of the content. Look at the big picture over time..... just one perspective.
How much does Apple charge for red iPads again?

Let's not criticize Entourage for giving customers more options than they'd have with most other devices.

(Edit) I spoke too soon. You can get your iPad in different colors by buying it from these folks...but it's going to cost $400 on top of the price of the iPad.

Last edited by Chubulor; 08-13-2010 at 06:50 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 07:34 AM   #13
alefor
Edge User
 
Yes, but let's feel free to criticize when things are outside a standard deviation on the bell curve. For example, Sony offers laptops in many colors, but the ones I know are not differentially priced.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 12:58 PM   #14
aidren
Edge User
 
I found the Entourage color surcharge a little incomprehensible, too, but when I went to buy a sleeve for it at a local store, believe it or not, the blue one was $9.95; the red one $14.95; and the purple one $19.95 -- all the same sleeve design. Maybe it's a new marketing trend -- or, maybe China has a surplus of blue dye Needless to say, I now have an EE with a color coordinated sleeve...
 
Old 08-13-2010, 11:10 PM   #15
kzm007
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubulor View Post
Well, it's more spirited discussion than fight. The concerns you give voice to are widespread which probably is why I reacted so strongly...now if you'd criticized the weight of the Edge it would have been even worse!

I would guess the difference in price for the different colors is probably due to Entourage ordering a ton of Midnight Blue shells, and getting charged less per unit because of the size of the order, while they have to pay more for the other colors because they order fewer of them. If they'd ordered equal numbers of each color and then it turned out no one wanted to buy the light blue ones, they'd be stuck with a lot of devices they couldn't sell because they were the wrong color.

Personally I don't get the appeal of the light blue or red ones. Midnight blue and black are professional-looking colors, while the white might appeal to people in love with Apple's aesthetics (ugh!).
I'm sick and tired of people judging the weight - yes it's heavy, but it's a first-gen device. Give it time to be streamlined. The color, however, is such a minor difference that a $40 just makes me crazy.

White is a nice color because it's 'cleaner,' but I'm also fed up with it's proliferation in the market; Apple is not worth the price, either. Conversely, I like black, a lot, but seeing it on EVERY device I own (my TV, laptop, BR player, speakers, printer etc.) is too much of a good thing. My cell phone was downgraded from a BB and is a nice wine red from Casio.

Midnight blue; now that's a color I really like for the Edge - it's both professional and different for me. I'll either get that or a white one and accent it (keyword is accent because I like unique when I can).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubulor View Post
How much does Apple charge for red iPads again?

Let's not criticize Entourage for giving customers more options than they'd have with most other devices.

(Edit) I spoke too soon. You can get your iPad in different colors by buying it from these folks...but it's going to cost $400 on top of the price of the iPad.
Again, Apple is nice, but it's so over-hyped. And its marriage with AT & T, whom I hear sucks, makes Apple guilty by association...but I digress. They all want money, no matter what the product is...Entourage included, but people make concessions, we know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alefor View Post
Yes, but let's feel free to criticize when things are outside a standard deviation on the bell curve. For example, Sony offers laptops in many colors, but the ones I know are not differentially priced.
I'm not sure why this remark confuses me so much could you rephrase it and dumb it down for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aidren View Post
I found the Entourage color surcharge a little incomprehensible, too, but when I went to buy a sleeve for it at a local store, believe it or not, the blue one was $9.95; the red one $14.95; and the purple one $19.95 -- all the same sleeve design. Maybe it's a new marketing trend -- or, maybe China has a surplus of blue dye Needless to say, I now have an EE with a color coordinated sleeve...
That's insane, and is another example of my original problem with costs glad you're happy now though, that's all that matters.
 
 

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