August 2011

HP Nixes the TouchPad: Why it Actually Makes Sense

HP made big news for all the wrong reasons last week when it announced the demise of its TouchPad, a credible competitor to the iPad aside from Android-based tablets.

Apart from the abruptness and timing of the announcement, I have little to disagree with the decision itself. For all the people who feel HP made a poor choice, I say look at the numbers. In fact, I would hold HP management accountable for not picking up on this earlier than they actually did.

As early as Dec 2010, Marco Arment, founder of InstaPaper, wrote an ironical commentary on his blog, aptly titled, "There really isn't much of a "tablet" market."

There’s an iPad market, and the iPad could be classified as a tablet, from a hardware-centric viewpoint. But the market for non-iPad tablets is about as big today as it was before the iPad, which isn’t nothing, but it’s close enough to nothing that Apple doesn’t need to worry about it.

It would have been just another funny post by an Apple fanboy had it not been eerily prescient in predicting what was to come.

Much has been written about why HP should have given enough time for the TouchPad to gain traction in the market. But you have to credit HP's leadership for taking a hard-nosed look at the numbers, and making a tough choice.

1. In a report published by Robert W. Baird, a wealth management and analyst company, 95% of people who own or are considering purchasing a tablet want the iPad.

2. A report from Nielsen shows that the iPad owns 82% of the tablet market in the US. I say "owns" and not "has captured" only because it shows no signs of frittering away its dominance.

3. Apple has sold roughly 29 million iPads since launch, while Android-based tablets are estimated at about 1.5 million. The HP TouchPad, 49 days after launch, had sold about 25,000 units, prompting AllThingsD to  label HP's non-starter the "OuchPad".

Even if you ignore the survey results, sales numbers don't lie. The writing, they say, was clearly on the wall. In light of the above, some comments from the punditry on the iPad is worth revisiting (thanks to  APPLInvestors for the iPad Death Watch.)

“Apple iPad - failure, joke or fiasco? Pick one”
Linen DeFiller, MillionFace.com, 27 January 2010

 

“The tablet market has only succeeded as a niche market over the years and it was hoped Apple would dream up some new paradigm to change all that. From what I’ve seen and heard, this won’t be it.”
John C. Dvorak, MarketWatch, 29 January 2010

 

“It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.’”
Bill Gates, Microsoft, 10 February 2010

Mobicip E-Newsletter: Building Early Road Scholars - Giving Your Kids the Drive to Succeed

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In this issue...

  1. Blog Spotlight: Building Early Road Scholars
  2. FAQ Spotlight: Will My Subscription Renew Automatically?
  3. Safe Internet on Windows Using Mobicip

 

 Building Early Road Scholars: Giving Your Kids the Drive to Succeed

Students need to make the most of their time, and the best place they can do it is during their commute to school. The average American spends 100 hours commuting a year. With the average student having a one way commute time of 30 minutes (many rural students commute twice that length of time), this presents an untapped reservoir of time that is usually frittered away.

As a parent I know that only by being proactive can you help your child to succeed. In this article on the Mobicip blog, we talk about some mobile learning tips and tricks to help - Building early road scholars: Giving your kids the drive to succeed.

FAQ Spotlight: Will My Subscription Renew Automatically?

If it has been over a year since you purchased the Premium subscription, it might be time to renew it in order to keep the level of service. Your subscription may be renewed automatically provided the credit card information is still valid.

If the subscription is not renewed, Mobicip will continue to work using the default filtering level setting you had selected. Any custom filtering settings will be ignored and no Internet activity reports will be generated. To renew your subscription, simply login at www.mobicip.com and click "Renew now".

Safe Internet on Windows using Mobicip

We are happy to announce that Mobicip for Windows 7 has been launched and is available for purchase. Unlike the Safe Browser app on iOS, Mobicip operates at a deeper level on Windows. I.e. it can protect Internet access through any browser, be it Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome. Just install Mobicip, login using your account, and the filtering profile you have setup already will be applied.

How about pricing? We are thrilled to offer it at the same annual subscription price of $9.99 (per computer). Click here to BUY NOW!

If there are other issues or features you want to highlight to us, please send a quick note to support@mobicip.com. We will continue to listen to your feedback and fix problems as best we can.

Sincerely
Mobicip Crew

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Building early road scholars: Giving your kids the drive to succeed.

Road Scholars

Time management is an issue for most folks. Chances are you are a busy parent like me and tend to procrastinate when things get overwhelming, and so do your kids. The regimented life of the average student seems designed to overwhelm your kids. Grades become all-important at a time when distractions and extra-curricular activities explode. As a parent I know that only by being proactive can you help your child to succeed. In this article, we will talk about some tools to help.

Students need to make the most of their time, and the best place they can do it is during their commute to school. The average American spends 100 hours commuting a year. With the average student having a one way commute time of 30 minutes (many rural students commute twice that length of time), this presents an untapped reservoir of time that is usually frittered away.

Whether the student is being driven by you, a bus driver or a horse-drawn carriage, they can make the most of their time with one simple tool: a smart phone or mobile device such as an iPad. These devices allow students to be more effective learners than any generation before. School administrators like Phil Hardin at the Rowan Salisbury School Systems have recognized this potential and equipped students with a mobile device to be used during commutes to and from school. I have the privilege of being involved in this project – as a vendor offering a mobile Internet safety service called Mobicip – and solving a critical problem that schools face.

Unfortunately, most parents haven't installed any Internet child safety software on their mobile devices. As a parent and a developer of Mobicip (a popular Internet content filtering service for the iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, Windows 7 and Linux, with extensible parental controls and monitoring), I lead a team that thinks about children’s Internet safety 24/7. After exhaustive research with child development psychologists, high-tech law enforcement officials, Internet safety experts, school IT directors, teachers and parents, we have developed mobile Internet safety solutions specifically with the mobile learning student in mind. A kid-safe mobile device can do wonders for students. With a mobile device you can accomplish so much.

DO PRIMARY RESEARCH: While it may be difficult to write a term paper on the school bus (not that many procrastinators haven't tried to do it), a student's commute is a great time to do a lot of the heavy research lifting. With online notebooks and clipping services like the wonderful Evernote, a student can research a topic on their smart phone, clip an article, web site or whatever to the cloud where it will be available when it comes time to write the term paper. Assuring a child-safe Internet browser experience is why we created Mobicip. Now parents can know that their kids are safely researching school topics while being protected by the latest state of the art kid-safe Internet filter.

OUTLINE, OUTLINE, OUTLINE: The secret weapon of the most prolific writers on the planet is outlining. You may not be able to write out an entire paper, but you certainly can outline one using the word processor on your mobile device. A lot of people make the mistake of waiting to outline after the research is done, but that is a HUGE TIME WASTER. Before you know much about a topic, write out a basic outline. You can do it as 20 questions about the topic. This will help you figure out what research you really need to do.  

FLASHWRITE: Many people think that commuting time is the worst place to do thoughtful writing. They'd be wrong.  Sometimes people get too tense about writing. You can write when you've got distractions, just do it fast without editing yourself. Write as fast as you can about the topic. Much of what you write will need work, but you'd be amazed how much of it doesn't. If you've got a big paper due, take those 20 questions in your outline and write the answers to them as fast as you can. If you don't have to worry about others listening in, many mobile devices have voice recognition software so you could just speak your term paper. (NOTE: even the quietest car is a noisy environment for voice recognition, you will get better results with a microphone very close to your mouth. Throat microphones are the very best for noisy environments like a car. You can pick one up starting at $20.)

PROOF: Read your term paper backwards, in addition to forward. Look at each sentence. See if there is anything that can be tightened, or punctuation that needs to be changed.

THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: Whatever the topic, chances are there is a study aid app available. Check it out. It may be a separate app or it may be an eBook like CliffsNotes.

FLASHCARDS: Create flashcards to review test material. No matter what the topic, you can find ready-made flashcards, or you can create your own flashcards using software.

LISTEN TO YOUR TEACHER: Most mobile devices can record the audio or video of your classroom lecture. Some note-taking software will actually playback the whole lecture in sync with whatever notes you took. You can play back the whole thing, just the stuff you don't understand, or anything the teacher said would be on the test.

LISTEN TO SOMEONE ELSE: No matter what the topic, chances are excellent that there is a podcast given by a high school or college teacher on the subject. It is pretty easy to find these online. If a student is having difficulty with a topic, it may not be the student's fault. Some teachers can make the most basic topic incomprehensible, boring or so abstract that it is devoid of any real world meaning. But with podcasts, you can learn from the world's best teachers.

LISTEN TO YOUR BOOKS: For kids who are auditory learners or who have reading problems, audio books offer a great way to supplement standard reading. By listening to and simultaneously reading the same text, you process the content in more sections of the brain. This will greatly increase recall during test time. If your child has been diagnosed with a learning difference you may be able to get the audio book for free. Ask your school system which services are available.

WATCH YOUTUBE: YouTube is one of the greatest untapped educational resources on the Internet. Just type in almost any topic and you'll find instructional videos. The problem is that your kids can easily find other less than educational videos as well. That's why we included a robust, kid-safe YouTube filter into the Mobicip child safe browser.

PLAN YOUR SUCCESS: People don't plan to fail; they fail to plan. Use the scheduling function in your mobile device to map out homework times, reading times, review times. Many productivity experts swear by writing and reviewing daily to-do lists as a way of keeping on track.

REVIEW EARLY AND REVIEW OFTEN: You can have your entire school experience in your pocket. Most people learn via repetition. Review your notes during all the down times like when you are waiting in line.

CREATE AN ONLINE STUDY GROUP: Sometimes students can help each other learn a topic. Study groups are the key to success in college. They can also be effective during junior high and high school.

EMAIL YOUR TEACHER: Sometimes it can be scary to raise your hand in front of the entire class. A mobile device is a fantastic way to discretely get the extra help you need.
 
GET INSPIRED: If you want to go into a particular field, read, listen or watch YouTube video interviews with leaders in that topic. Sometimes inspiring passion can be the best study aide ever.

Whether the student in question is 8 or 85, these road scholar tips will help you get to the head of the class.

About Author
Suren Ramasubbu is the Founder of Mobicip.com, a leading online child safety service for mobile Internet devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and netbooks. Mobicip's mission is to provide a safe, secure and educational Internet experience for school-age children. Mobicip's dynamic content filtering technology helps parents protect their children from a new wave of Internet hazards stemming from mobility so they can learn and love the mobile web. By delivering an online safety net through its parental control solution, Mobicip gives parents and educators the ability to safeguard their children's mobile devices.  Before launching Mobicip.com, Suren was an Operating Manager at Agilent Technologies, responsible for a division's enterprise web infrastructure strategy and team. At Agilent, Suren has led QA automation strategy, evangelized software engineering methodologies, and developed software for RF and mixed-signal electronic design automation. Suren has also volunteered as a consultant for educational technology projects and led successful United Way volunteering and fundraising campaigns. He holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Mobicip Supports Back To School Program: Bring Your Own Device

Mobicip Supports BYOD  While many schools are starting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Initiatives to further classroom education via technology, mobile Internet safety service Mobicip.com reinforces the need to ensure child safety.

Thousand Oaks, CA - Mobicip.com, the leading Internet safety and parental control service for mobile devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, is a key enabler for mobile learning projects in K-12 schools.  While typical mobile learning projects are sponsored by the school, mobile learning is slowly and inexorably moving towards what is called BYOD. Bring Your Own Device is a movement that helps get technology in the classroom in a way that is very affordable for schools (meaning parents or PTAs pitch in) while still being on the cutting edge of educational practices.  Mobicip, an organization dedicated to enabling students to learn on the mobile web, reminds parents of K-12 students during this back to school time that while movements like BYOD can help get technology in classrooms, it is always important to ensure that online safety controls and online content filtering be factored into the equation.  

 “I have heard talk of all students in K-12 schools expected to have BYOD learning devices by 2015”, says Suren Ramasubbu, Founder and CEO of Mobicip.com. “In quite a few instances, the parents or PTA are pitching in and purchasing the technology to empower always-on access to learning.  While this is a creative, fast and affordable way to get technology in the classroom, it is important for these parents and educators to have content filters set up on their kid’s devices to protect the K-12 students using any online or mobile device so that the focus stays on education.”

According to Project Tomorrow’s Learning in the 21st Century: 2011 Trends Update, “Three times as many high school students have access to online learning and twice as many middle school students are learning online, since Speak Up 2007.”  The report continues by stating; “More than 40 percent of students now designate online classes as an essential component of their learning experience. Administrators and parents are increasingly supporting the students’ vision for learning online.”  EdReach, an online platform for passionate, outspoken educators did a recent post about BYOD saying that “While BYOD is far too radical for many school districts at this time, it is inevitable that this is the future.  The sooner districts embrace this future and begin to plan for it, the more effective this transition will be.”

BYOD may not be the success formula to get devices in all classrooms, but the facts do support that online and mobile learning works, so there are stronger efforts to get devices in the classrooms in as many ways as possible.  Project Tomorrow’s Learning in the 21st Century: Taking it Mobile! said in their report that "90 percent of the Mobile Learning Explorer administrators state that mobile computers increase students’ potential for success, as compared to 59 percent of the non-Mobile Learning Explorer administrators." "62 percent of responding parents report that if their child’s school allowed devices to be used for educational purposes, they would likely purchase a mobile device for their child."

The future of education is growing more and more mobile.  BYOD is something back-to-school minded parents and educators may have read about, considered starting or have been in meetings about this already.  Leaders in online safety like Mobicip.com, who are dedicated to enabling online learning, remind deciding parties that mobile kids deserve to safely use and learn on the mobile web and that does involve making sure all devices have content filtering on them to ensure CIPA compliance, eRate eligibility, and to keep the focus on learning.

To learn more about Mobicip.com, visit www.Mobicip.com.

About Mobicip’s Web Filtering and Dynamic Parental Control Software
Mobicip is the most popular content filtering solution available on the App Store. The best-selling Mobicip Safe Browser app has been consistently rated among top paid apps, downloaded and used by tens of thousands of parents and several K-12 schools and school districts in the US, and was recently recognized by the 2010 Parents’ Choice Awards as a Top Mobile App. Mobicip's dynamic content filtering includes a new YouTube filter, Windows 7 Content Filter, and Linux Content Filter for parents and educators to ensure their children’s Internet safety while they are on the web. In addition to enabling online learning by supporting iOS-based devices, Mobicip partners with schools like Comal ISD to create custom app solutions that further enable online learning.  Learn more at www.Mobicip.com.

FAQ Spotlight: How to setup Mobicip to allow only the websites on my list

Now that you have signed up for a Premium subscription, follow the step-by-step instructions below, to customize your child’s Internet using Mobicip Premium!
1.    Go to www.mobicip.com
2.    At the top right-hand corner there will be a login prompt. Enter the email address and password you used to setup your Mobicip account.
3.    Once logged in, you will notice 2 tabs on your screen: “Reports,” and “Settings.” Click the “Settings” Tab.

 Mobicip setup sites

4.    Next, click the “Websites” tab on the left side of the screen. You will notice 2 options below the word websites: “Block” and “Allow.”
5.    Click the “Allow” tab. Make sure the correct user is selected at the top drop-down box.

Mobicip report setup

6.    Enter the website(s) you wish to allow and click the green “Allow” button after entering each website URL.
7.    In order to ONLY allow websites to be visited that you have entered in this category, click the box that says, “Allow ONLY the websites on this list.”

 mobicip setup reports

8.    Once finished, allow up to 60 minutes for the categories and websites settings to register the changes you have made and to take effect on your device.

Look out for our next Mobicip FAQ spotlight to learn how to setup Mobicip in no-filtering mode with only monitoring enabled.
 

Cannot render https after update to v1.1.2

 I have recently installed v1.1.2 and can no longer get to sites that require https://. For example, I can get to the News section in Google, but I cannot sign in or get to Gmail (i.e., something requiring https://). I have turned the Mobicip filter on/off to determine if the issue presents only when the filter is on. That appears to be the case: with the filter off -- i.e., not applied to a specific user -- that user can go to https://www.google.com/mail; when the filter is on for that same user, the page never renders.

-Update

FAQ Spotlight: How to Use the Mobicip Reports Function

This spotlight is a continuation of our recent FAQ Spotlight: How to monitor your child’s Internet activity using Mobicip Premium where we reviewed setting up email reports using Mobicip Premium. Now that you know how to setup the reports, let us teach you how to use the reports function.

1.    Once you have set up an E-mail Report, and the child has had sufficient time to browse the Internet on their device, click on the “Reports” tab.
Mobicip Reports Function


2.    Make sure that the correct user is selected.
3.    Then make sure that you select either “Allowed” to see only websites that Mobicip has allowed to be viewed, “Blocked” to view only the websites that Mobicip has blocked, or “All Websites” to see both.
Mobicip Reports Function FAQ

4.    When websites have been blocked, the reason for the block will also be noted.
FAQ Mobicip Reports Function

5.    Finally, a graph will be shown next to the history of data. This shows the types of categories that can, and have, been blocked by Mobicip in a circular graph.
Mobicip reports function FAQ


That’s it! An email report will also be sent to the email address you provided with a break-down of websites viewed, as well!

If you have a Mobicip question that you would like us to answer on the blog, please share it with us! You can leave a question in the blog comments or find Mobicip on Facebook or Tweet us @Mobicip on Twitter.

Challenge Your Students with FlipBook Lite

FlipBook Lite, created by Josh Anon, tells a story by putting individual frames in motion. Frames are created with personal drawings or inserted photos and then played back to display an animated story. This app takes the paper and pencil flipbook animation and makes it digital. There are endless classroom uses for this entertaining app and it is especially useful in language arts. Here are a few ideas:

•    Teachers can create a flipbook for a story that a student just finished reading, then scramble the frames (yes, that is an option!) and have the student put them in order. It could be a flipbook just for the beginning, climax or end.
•    Students can create a flipbook to describe their favorite part of a book.
•    Students can create a flipbook showing their prediction for the ending of a story.
•    A flipbook can be made as an alternative to writing a story or as the illustrations for a short story.
•    It can also be used to express pure creativity.

FlipBook Lite App Review     Flipbook app review by Mobicip

The user directions are a bit difficult since there are a lot of motions to remember, such as tap once with 2 fingers to open toolbar, drag 2 fingers to zoom, slide 3 fingers to change brush and eraser size, etc. It is not extremely difficult once you get the hang of it, but it could be more challenging for elementary level students  (however, I am constantly amazed at what students can do with technology.) FlipBook Lite also has a website: http://www.flipbook.tv/ where flipbooks can be downloaded. It is a fun website with amazing flipbooks- a great tool to help give students ideas.

This is a review from a series on educational apps by Kathy Burdick, an educator for over thirty years. Kathy is an experienced educator and former principal. She graciously agreed to let Mobicip republish and promote her reviews on the Mobicip blog. Kathy has been infatuated by the possibilities of technology and educational content for the K-6 students. Kathy writes about how education is changing due to new technologies and reviews the technologies that facilitate that change. Follow Kathy on Twitter @ iAppleLearner or get more information here: http://mobileieducator.com/

If you have an app that you would like the Mobicip team to review, please let us know! You can leave a blog comment or you can find Mobicip on Facebook or Twitter (@Mobicip)!

Mobicip Facebook pageMobicip on Twitter

you tube question and problem

 I have one question and one problem.

My question is -- how can I see the specific you tube videos my son is viewing through the history page here? All I can see is a link to a main you tube page with suggested videos, not the specific video he was viewing.

My problem is -- I have controls on you tube set to "elementary age" and this evening he was watching/listening to an Ememim video "Bad Meets Evil." I do NOT want him to be able to listen to music like this!!

Thanks for your help.

FAQ Spotlight: How to monitor your child’s Internet activity using Mobicip Premium

Now that you have signed up for a Premium subscription, follow the step-by-step instructions below, to monitor your child’s Internet activity and setup email reports using Mobicip Premium!

1.    Go to www.Mobicip.com
2.    At the top right-hand corner there will be a log in prompt. Enter the email address and password you used to setup your Mobicip account.
3.    Once logged in, you will notice 2 tabs on your screen: “Reports,” and “Settings.” Click the “Settings” Tab.Mobicip Premium account setup

HOW TO SETUP EMAIL REPORTS

4.    On the left side of the page, there are several tabs. Click the “Email Reports” tab.
5.    In the “Send reports to” box, enter the email address you would like your user’s reports to be sent to. To send reports to multiple email addresses, separate each separate email address with a comma.Setup Mobicip email reports
6.    Next, select if you would like to receive email reports Monthly or Weekly with the drop-down box.
7.    Then, select which day of each month you would like to receive your reports on. (i.e. To receive reports on the first day of each month, simply click “1”).
8.    Select which format you would like your reports to be in (text, CSV, or a PDF file)
9.    Finally, select your correct time zone.
10.    Click the green “Apply Settings” button to save your selections.

Look out for our next FAQ spotlight to learn how to use the reports function to review a list of websites that have been viewed and blocked.

Rocket Math by Dan Russell-Pinson – Making MATH fun!

Rocket Math has you thinking about physics while you answer math questions. First, is the building of a rocket ship by adding engines, fins, boosters, etc to the ship of your choice. Once the rocket is built it is launched into the air. The higher the rocket flies the more time there is to complete the math mission before it comes crashing to the ground. The catch is that you have to “pay” for rocket parts. You are given a $100 to start with, but there is a fee for each part added to the rocket ship. However, extra money can be earned by solving addition, subtraction, multiplication or division questions. This is a fun app that adds excitement to solving math problems in order to make your rocket ship better.
                                  
Math missions include time, money, numbers (even, odd, etc), shapes, patterns, multiplication and division ranging from easy to hard. Challenge students by having them play a difficult level or to try and increase their score on the same level. You can even encourage them to talk with each other about the altitude of their ships and which pieces they used to make it better. The free version has limited missions, but the full version has more to offer for only $0.99. Who can build the best rocket ship, complete the most math missions and earn the highest score? Download Rocket Math and challenge your classroom today!

Rocket Math app              Rocket Math App Review

This is a review from a series on educational apps by Kathy Burdick, an educator for over thirty years. Kathy is an experienced educator and former principal. She graciously agreed to let Mobicip republish and promote her reviews on the Mobicip blog. Kathy has been infatuated by the possibilities of technology and educational content for the K-6 students. Kathy writes about how education is changing due to new technologies and reviews the technologies that facilitate that change. Follow Kathy on Twitter @ iAppleLearner or get more information here: http://mobileieducator.com/
 

Windows 7 Update - v 1.1.2 -- alternate download method

 I wonder if you would be so kind as to provide a way to download the Windows 7 Mobicip update (v1.1.2) from the Mobicip website. The automatic update on my machine just spins -- that is, the file begins to download but never progresses. I finally have to kill the task -- after some 10 minutes or so. Thanks.