There's nothing to be gained from requiring computers for homework in most cases, and kids get plenty of computer time outside of school. The net effect of this "progress" is that I have to constantly supervise my 15 year old like a hawk, or else no homework will get done and he will watch Youtube instead.
This is not a good set-up, because eventually there will be no supervision, and then he will be well and truly fucked, because he can't seem to realize that he needs to actually care about anything other than YT and computer games. I'm afraid that by the time he realizes that it'll be too late to fix anything.
My handwriting is slow and difficult to decipher. And handwriting makes tiny revisions—adding words into the middle of a sentence, restructuring a sentence slightly, etc—unduly annoying.
If the internet is a problem, disable the internet.
I should mention, I actually didn't start using a normal laptop until college. In grade school, I had this "digital typewriter" of sorts that ran Palm OS. Very nifty little device... it was far more lightweight than laptops of the time, and the battery lasted weeks.
Moreover, research shows that because of this bandwidth restriction (and because you can draw easily on paper), you'd memorize the material much better, because you'd be forced to summarize it before you write it down, so it's entirely possible that you'd get into an even better college.
Without the internet, at least in school that my son goes to, the computers are utterly useless because everything is online. They have an internet filter, but kids find holes in it anyway. Kids whose parents don't give a shit just browse bullshit during class.
At home I use a combination of PiHole and OPNSense to filter things until homework is done. The list of sites and wildcards is well over 1000 entries long, and I still can't block everything I need to.
But I don't know how I'd take notes in science and math if I couldn't quickly write formulae and draw. My handwriting is also terrible, but I could read it, and I would not be academically successful if I wasn't forced to take notes. I'm 100% certain of that. In fact, I've been writing more lately as a part of my studies. Things just seem to "stick" much better if I don't passively record, but either summarize, or embody something in code.
Learning to type around 8th grade was a revelatory experience, and it had a noticeable impact in my academic performance. Writing, reviewing, note taking, and even just general organization became much easier, and I thus got better at it.
I will say, dealing with math symbols on my typewriter-device was always a bit annoying, and I would sometimes write formulas from those classes on a standard notepad. I would hope that nowadays, we have better programs for dealing mathematical notation (in an easy/expedient way).
As far as potentially missing things, I think a thing that has changed is video recording of lectures. I went to a perennially broke mid-tier public university in the US, and all lectures (unless small humanities affairs) were recorded so that you could watch it later, and all the slides were put online. So it was possible to go back and add things to your notes that you may have missed before, and in fact it would be a severe disadvantage to not rewatch lectures since everybody else was doing it. It becomes a lot easier to take handwritten notes once you can rewind and fast forward through lectures at your pleasure.
Not that I know of, no. The fastest thing available is LaTeX, and you need to compile to see if the formula came out correctly or not, and you might not know how to encode some of the gnarlier formulas or characters. And even if you compile as you type, it's still not as fast as writing by hand. You can write formulae by hand using a digitizer, but the experience leaves much to be desired as well.
Maybe it would. Or maybe it wouldn’t and he’d just get left behind and withdraw from academic pursuits. It’s not like that doesn’t happen all the time.
Private run schools are increasingly going back to pen and paper under pressure from parents who work in corporate jobs, and see an overreliance on computers as a disadvantage.
Luddites were against technology because of fears that society would wind up being worse off, and especially that they would end up starving to death.
Laggards are people who cling to their technology because it feels "good enough," and they do not perceive the benefits of staying so-called "current" outweigh the costs of adopting new tech.
Being a luddite is having a strong opinion about whether new technology is bad for society, and then acting to protect society (from your POV).
Being a laggard is having an opinion about whether technology new technology is a waste of time, and then acting or refusing to act to protect yourself from wasting time and effort.
You appear to be happy as a desktop user. No argument from me. If your rig makes you happy, who am I to tell you to spend money on a tablet and then re-learn all your habits?
Most tech companies want to make money as their primary goal, rather than "make people's lives better with our tech".
As their goals in selling items are largely orthogonal to improving one's life calling someone a "laggard" -- which bears a slightly derogatory air -- simply for not buying in to a tech company's latest money acquisition effort seems, well, strange.
Perhaps "discerning" is a better description.
Because my iPad is so pleasurable to use for the things that its good at (media consumption and handwriting for me), I always feel so tempted to just get rid of my laptop and move over completely to my iPad but it honestly just isn't as good at keyboard centric tasks as a laptop is.
I feel the iPad's real strength is in the intimacy of the experience so its really great for handwriting, looking through photos, reading books. It really gives a stronger feeling of connection to whats on the screen than a laptop or desktop can in my opinion. But it still has a long way to go before I’d use it in anger for programming
Neither app can recognize math unfortunately (sounds like a very hard thing to support!) but both recognize handwriting. Notability in my opinion has a much more pretty UI and has infinite scrolling (scrolling down to the bottom of a page just brings you continuously onto the next page).
On the other hand, GoodNotes has
* More levels of folder nesting, a feature one only truly appreciates after a few years of collecting daily notes.
* More control over the 'background' of your note. You can upload whatever PDF you want, with whatever proportions and use it as your 'paper', and you can have notes where the background paper changes from page to page
* Inking that I like a bit more. It's less pressure sensitive than Notability is which I think makes my writing look a bit more uniform. This one is completely up to taste.
There's more to the differences but if you decide on an iPad I'd recommend getting both apps and seeing which you prefer. I started with Notability and switched after 4 years. I like both but find GoodNotes works better for me these days. They're relatively cheap (cheaper than nice a physical notebook) and both allow for a variety of cloud storage options which is great. I can't recommend an iPad Pro enough for anyone who does a lot of math with pen and paper.
It's stuff like that which kills even a browser experience for me because a lot of my browsing is navigation and exploration, e.g. on HN or Wikipedia, rather than pure-reading on a single page for 30 minutes which is nice to do with a light Pad on the couch.
Being able to organise a mini-session of 20 different wikipedia links with small tidbits of information relating to a central topic of interest, opening and closing them and switching between, is just so much easier on a Macbook with monitors, mouse and keyboard.
Hell even typing this comment is trivial on a keyboard.
That's right. I want an iOS laptop. A Bluetooth keyboard with an iPad Pro is just about perfect for me.
It all comes down to what applications you need to run and the hardware that supports it. I have a laptop that I'm using for Ruby on Rails right now (just learning it). But it doesn't run Procreate or support anything like the Apple Pencil. So for that application, the iPad is perfect. I have a Kindle Paperwhite that I read on. I used to have a Windows desktop that I would play games on, but now I do all of that on a PS4. These are all different computers for different things.
> I also don't understand who would make their tablet
> their primary work device, or even a secondary or tertiary
> work device.
I carry my iPad Pro (previous generation) + Apple Pencil + Smart Keyboard Cover to all kinds of meetings. I take notes with the pencil, can look up anything I want in Trello, G-Suites, Confluence, &c. ...
It is wholly inadequate for coding, but I'm with the late Steve Jobs on that. Laptops—even Apple laptops—are pickup trucks. When I want to haul stuff around, I use my pickup.
But it's amazing how much of my job is concerned with words and people. You don't do words+people with a pickup truck. Ok, the metaphor is strained, so I'll just say that when I'm using my words with people, the iPad Pro is a very good tool for augmenting my memory and my words.
p.s. There is something amazing I have noticed ever since I got a Toshiba Portegé Tablet PC decades ago: If you are talking to someone, the laptop screen is a wall and a psychological barrier.
A tablet reverses this. No wall. Also, less privacy for taking notes. But that can be a plus, it implies that you don't have some secret agenda. I think that's something in favour of a tablet, regardless of whether it's an iPad or some origami-like device that is a tablet or a clamshell depending on how you fold it.
I am a principal engineer with a very successful technology company. If being good at my job is accomplished via telephone sanitization and/or soft skills, so be it.
I don't care what you call me, just don't call me late for dinner.
To give an example that I hope is perfectly clear, I contend that for me, a tablet is a better device to take when interviewing a candidate than a laptop.
Interviewing candidates is not my only job, or 50% of my job, or anything like that. But when I do interviews f2f, I take my iPad, not my Macbook.
being a forgetful person, i've had to balance the optics vs. being able to remember meeting contents :) maybe a tablet is in order...
There's no explanation required. Given the context of the quote, that person was simply being condescending and dismissive.
Effectively, it means "I deem what you do and how you do it to be lacking in worth, therefore you must be a waste of space in the same manner as the worst of the Golgafrincham race".
I mean I don't use one. The keyboards are awful and the system is ridiculously locked down when you start thinking about iOS as a desktop rather than a phone OS. But I can see how it would work for certain people.
When I have heavy creation to do, I use my desktop.
Other answers already covered email, slack, jira, etc. iPad is great for anything that’s more text or equal parts reading/writing.
Where GC comes in, is when I need bigquery or to actually work with code, I can do a lot via the browser and for the full power just need to SSH into a box in the same project. Cloud shell can be used in a similar manner with Vim and tmux. I just need more than 5GB of disk usually.
I’m actually evaluating ChromeOS as a possible replacement because of the Linux app support and better support for the GSuite, so this article is an interesting read.
I love my iPad Pro for several purposes -- media consumption, some light gaming, reading, managing media / bookmark / book collections -- but it would never occur to me to code on it (even through shells to Linux).
I am not fully comfortable even with my MacBook Pro. I am working on building a work process that doesn't rely on a mouse or a touchpad and then I could work on the MBP full time (mostly involving memorizing shell and editor shortcuts, and making a lot of shell aliases).
Before that there's simply no point -- it's like trying to run with weights on your ankles.
Not only is the editing experience amazing (which is super important as in physics I probably write more incorrect things down than I write correct things), but it makes organization painless. I never had the discipline to keep paper notes in tidy binders and put them back after I take them out.
There's no way I'd have as good access to my six year old notes if they were written on paper, especially considering that now they're all backed up to the cloud and my app has handwriting recognition (only words, not math unfortunately) so they're quite searchable.
There are other IDEs for other languages, too, although Pythonista is the star at the moment.
So it's not as though programming, even graphical using UIKit, isn't possible just because there's no Xcode.
My problem is just, I only use Macs because of iOS development.
The best thing about them is they require almost no troubleshooting except for the occasional restart. The first iPad still has a week standby battery life which blows my mind.
That said, the devices are still fragile and require bulky protective cases for kids to not destroy them.
If Apple really cared about iPad in education, they would release a $100 plastic version (hard poly clear screen and backing a la iphone 5c) to get kids on the OS. They have the software infrastructure to make sure the device only works through schools if they were afraid of it cannibalising sales of their glass/metal versions.
Ipad could be an amazing remote teaching assistance device, where someone can write pen/paper style to walk students through problem solving (I tried this volunteering through WeTeach, but the browser software was too laggy).
I am all for google docs dominating education if Apple is unwilling to compete here. We can’t honestly expect schools to spend money on ‘textbooks’ that will shatter if dropped, and that cost many hundreds of dollars per device.
I think a cheap, plastic iPad would be a significant downgrade. You can't broke a hole in the back side of an iPad, and no plastic screen can match the strengthened glass — not only does impact cause it to crack rather than shatter, but I don't think Apple would or even could put their Apple Pencil-compatible touch technology on to plastic.
Modern laptops aren't much different. You should see how easy it is for a kid to destroy a MacBook.
I keep my MacBook on my desk nearly 24/7 now, but I’d hate to know the cost or have to pay for a display replacement.
- the iPad Pro is amazing for reading academic papers with the pencil at hand. Ditto for grading and such.
- the keyboard is good enough that I can write on it at just about full speed, and I write in markdown anyway.
- most of the things I need to do that require full computer chops can be done in the cloud---I have a bunch of little Heroku dynos sitting around sleeping (on free time) until I ask them to do something like run a document through pandoc or add something to a database for one of my data collection projects. The shortcuts app in ios12 + Pythonista + Heroku are an amazing combination, they allow me to turn almost anything complicated into an API call that I can trigger with a freaking voice command if I really want (but mostly share documents into).
Just about the only way this hinders my usual workflow (apart from having to bust out the Mac for heavy coding) is that there's no Zotero on iOS. But sooner or later I will get around to shoving that into a Heroku dyno and making some shortcuts to push web pages into its readers and then it'll be solved too.
For non-collaborative workflows this is perfect. I can see how the author's collaboration needs really would not be met by such a setup though.
Now.sh could be another useful tool for that kind of thing, since their 2.0 product is focused on no-hassle lamda functions, without needing a full VM setup.
Pending full write up, here are some key pieces:
Shortcuts side: the shortcuts app is really shockingly powerful, mainly because you can share almost anything you want into it and it intelligently figures out what you want. For example, if you share a web page from safari into it, if the first action receives a url, it'll treat it as such, if it receives a web page it'll take the DOM and not worry about the URL, etc.
There are really three key actions.
1) `Get contents of URL` allows arbitrary http requests. You can pass in data from other actions. This is the main workhorse for heroku things.
3) `Run Pythonista script` does what you'd expect. It passes whatever the action receives into Pythonista as a command line argument. And then, obviously, anything goes. If you haven't tried Pythonista, you should check it out---it's hard to get 3rd party libraries in (and many don't work), but you get the full stdlib plus a bunch of key libraries that the dev has taken the trouble to build in, including numpy, requests, matplotlib, beautifulsoup, PIL, sympy, etc...)
After receiving a response from heroku, it's trivial to save it to iCloud/Dropbox, put on clipboard, open a preview window with a share sheet available, etc.
On the Heroku side, the key trick is that you can run Docker containers. So, for example, my mobile pandoc solution is a docker container that has texlive and pandoc on it, allowing me to have basically a personal improved docverter. So I just post a markdown document via shortcuts to a flask endpoint that converts the document and returns it to me as the response.
Are there any workarounds or markdown presentation apps I should check out?
Seriously? I could do that using a 1985 Amiga or Atari ST.
The Pixelbook of course does not support iMessage, so on it I would use OWS’ Signal for messaging... but they (OWS) discontinued their Chrome App version, and the Android/Play Store version is “incompatible with this device”, so I can’t use my Pixelbook to chat with anyone outside of Slack or IRCCloud (or other undesirable/non-e2e chat services like Hangouts/etc), which is super lame.
OWS really needs to support that platform better.
Really? I’ve found it awkwardly designed; it’s really a “form follows function” laptop to me–especially the palmrest, which makes my fingers angle downwards while typing and has an unappealing material which seems to gather sweat. I know why it’s there, but I feel that it could be significantly improved if the keys were placed in a depression rather than trying to add stuff to keep them from hitting the screen.
Also your wrists are _supposed_ to be elevated when typing.
Form follows function is a principle associated with
20th-century modernist architecture and industrial
design which says that the shape of a building or
object should primarily relate to its intended
function or purpose.
This however requires that I eschew all of the security benefits of ChromeOS, falling back to the basic Linux security model to protect my Signal chats from eg any package on PyPi (pip supports full package-provided code exec on every install, without sandboxing). While I will
probably end up doing it regardless, this defeats much of the purpose of having a Chromebook
in the first place.
(also, the apt security model where any repo you have configured can replace any package with a newer version (even packages not first sourced from that repo, like distro stuff) sucks really bad.)
Try comparing it with the obvious alternative - a lightweight Linux distro running on identical or roughly equivalent hardware - and you probably won't think of it as "snappy". Linux desktops can run absolutely fine on hardware from 10 years ago and sometimes more: "resources" are almost a non-issue these days.
(And Linux distros are also about to get the sort of comprehensive touch-screen and small-screen support that iOS, Android and ChromeOS are usually known for, as a side effect of the ongoing work on "mobile" interfaces for the OS. Using a touch-screen-only device for productivity purposes will probably always be a challenge, but a high-quality OS and UX can absolutely make a difference.)
i tried safari for a couple of days when i switched to mac and switched back to chrome. safari lack of feature parity isn't worth the battery savings(although i do have an android not an iphone so that probably affects my decision)
While I find the reasoning sound on why iPads can't be your full time productivity device, completely ignoring Microsoft surface in this space seems either ignorant or a paid Google ad for the Chromebook
Mobile is Apple/iOS, or Google/Android, for better or worse.
Like another comment mentioned, it's much more likely that the web version, which constitutes the major use case for the app (chromebook, windows, macOS, etc.) just has a boatload more developers working on it.