Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blio Release Date: August 2010?

UPDATE: launch postponed again to September 28
When I check my Google Analytics statistics for this blog, it's surprising to see how much traffic comes here looking for information on K-NFB's Blio e-reader. When Blio failed to launch as expected in February (and still hasn't yet), no revised release date was given. Thanks to blog The Digital Reader, we now have indications that Blio will be released in August 2010. Yikes, that's a few weeks from now! (I don't think they're likely to miss the boat again, given the amount of time they've had to iron out the kinks -- whether technical or legal -- and the embarrassment that would result from making the same mistake twice.
The Digital Reader blog has a lot more information on Blio than I do, so I will refer you to that site for now. Once Blio is released, I'll be one of the first to try it out and review it from an assistive technology / special education perspective.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

SMART Notebook Math Tools: follow-up review.

I was speaking to a former Math consultant who returned to the classroom. She is very much into technology and had put SMART Notebook Math Tools to the paces in her high school math classes. Unfortunately, she found the software to be unreliable when it comes to stability and performance. She gave up using it because it would often crash or not work properly. She hopes that SMARTtech improves this soon, because she'd really be interested in using its features, but she can't be wasting her students' time with software that doesn't consistently do what it's supposed to.

I was sorry to hear about this. I myself haven't had very much opportunity to try the Math Tools, but I've used other SMART software and found it to be solid. I am hesitant to paint such a negative picture of a piece of software based on the experiences of one user (which I'm getting second-hand), but I wanted to make sure I provided balance after being so optimistic in my earlier review. If you've used Math Tools, please leave a comment about your experiences: is the code buggy, or has it been a trouble-free ride for you?

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