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How Teachers, Entrepreneurs Can Create Common Ground (EdSurge News)

How Teachers, Entrepreneurs Can Create Common Ground (EdSurge News) | Must Read articles: Apps and eBooks for kids |

Edtech developers typically try to solve what they believe are the pain points that exist in schools. But as startup gurus such as Steve Blankrecommend, entrepreneurs need to be in close contact with their customers or they risk building on assumptions that are out of sync with reality


(...) Sue Krause, a technology teacher and coordinator at Blaine Elementary in Chicago Public Schools, and who spent 12 years as a software and web developer, expressed concerns whenever she heard entrepreneurs describe their products as “intuitive.” She wished, for instance, that NoRedInk had user documentation. “When I asked for user documentation, [the vendor] said, ‘Oh, it’s so intuitive.’ I can tell you that nothing is that intuitive when a teacher is not that tech savvy,” Krause noted. Similarly, with InstaGrok, she found “the content was fantastic and the ability to do research was great, but right now, working with it is extremely cumbersome.”

  (...) These comments underscore the tricky balance between listening to feedback and acceding to feature requests, something that Cogan-Drew knows all too well. Not too long ago, he was on the buyer’s side of the table, as director of digital learning at Achievement First Public Charter Schools. “I gave 100 amazing ideas to [entrepreneurs about products] that were not adopted,” he recalls. “I may have been frustrated, like ‘Hey, why didn’t you use that?’...It’s hard, you get 100 ideas a day and you get a lot of voices telling you which way to turn.” Now, as a vendor, he urged teachers to cut developers a bit more slack. “It’s about focus: while we’re definitely listening, we can’t pivot as quickly as you may think. We have to set long-term priorities.”
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It’s a book… or is it? | Feature | Computer Arts magazine

It’s a book… or is it? | Feature | Computer Arts magazine | Must Read articles: Apps and eBooks for kids |
Books are changing, and the publishing world itself is taking on a new form where designers, animators and technologists will be essential, says Sophie Rochester
In 2013 we’re likely to see much more experimental participation from the writers themselves, and we expect to see many more teaming up directly with technologists to create new kinds of work. (...) Authors will want to collaborate directly with designers, animators and technologists, and vice versa. And we’ll see many projects initiated by designers, animators and technologists bringing their creative instincts and experience to the storytelling arena. These innovative approaches to content are what we’ll be looking to cover with the most interest through 2013.
@CotCotCotApps's insight:
love this article! experimental projects, innovative approach to content and storytelling, collaboration is the only way forward for apps and ebooks!!!
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