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Do we always work better in groups?

In an article recently published by the New York Times, author Susan Cain questions an idea she calls “the New Groupthink”, which can be described as the idea that people work better in groups. “Modern” offices, classrooms and other work spaces are now designed in a way that promotes group work–tables instead of desks, open offices rather than cubicles, etc. Office employees’ schedules are filled to the brim with collaborative meetings. From kindergarten to college, students are expected to work in small groups to complete assignments and projects.


Amazon Releases Kindle Cloud Reader

Amazon has released a new web app that allows users to access their Kindle library directly from their web browser. The app is called the Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader and is currently only compatible with Google Chrome and Safari web browsers (desktop or iPad).

The HTML5 Web reader was created in response to Apple’s new policies for their App Store. Amazon, along with other companies such as Barnes and Noble and Kobo, are no longer allowed to include links to external purchasing sites, such as the Kindle or Nook bookstore.

If you currently use these apps on an Apple device and have updated them recently, you’ll notice that the links to their bookstores have been removed. However, you may still access your library and read your books through the app.

Professors Review their First Year with the iPad

April marks the one-year anniversary of Apple’s release of the first generation iPad. The Chronicle of Higher Education posted this article on Sunday, which asked six Chronicle writers (who are also professors, assistant professors and librarians) about their experience with the iPad within the first year of its release. The writers discuss the ups and downs of owning and operating an iPad, as well as the different ways they use their devices. An interesting read for faculty members interested in using the iPad or any tablet computer to aid their teaching.

Feeling Generous? Donate Your First Generation iPad to a School in Need

The iPad 2 became available for purchase last week, and managed to sell out before the weekend was over. The device–a slimmer, lighter iPad with updated features (such as front and back-facing cameras)–was met with overwhelming excitement and response by the public. Even owners of the first generation iPad wish to upgrade to v.2, which prompts the question: “just what am I supposed to do with my first generation iPad?!?”

Well, Apple has teamed up with the nonprofit organization Teach For America in an effort to provide low-income schools with iPads. Since its release, the iPad has been praised as an incredible new learning tool for students of all ages. However, many public and low-income schools don’t have the funds to equip their classrooms with iPads at the moment.

So, Apple decided to provide an alternative to selling your iPad for the $300 or so it would make on eBay. If you bring in your first-generation device to any Apple store, they will take it and send it to a school that is teamed up with Teach For America.

Donating your old device is a great option for anyone who bought the first generation iPad, but can’t wait to get their hands on the newly-released iPad 2. The donation, GOOD reports, is also tax-deductible!


New Kindle Leaves Rivals Farther Back

When Apple launched the iPad, many people said that it would be the demise of the e-reader. After all, the iPad has a color touch screen capable of multimedia compared to the monochrome e-ink Kindle which had no support for multimedia.

This week however, Amazon revealed more details on its new Kindle. (more…)