Jun 21 2013

Mobile Devices Are Growing Like Crazy, and Google Wants to Deliver Internet Access with Balloons

Here’s a roundup of the best higher ed stories this week.

This is part of our series of weekly roundups curating the best higher education technology news, articles and resources from around the web. Use the hashtag #higheredreads to suggest an article.

Google Internet Balloons Are Real

What an incredible idea! Google wants to use solar-powered balloons to deliver Internet access to remote areas. The project is one of several ideas to come from the ultrasecret Google X, producer of driverless cars and Google Glass. It’s a crazy idea, as even Google is willing to admit, according to Wired:

The idea does sound crazy, even for Google—so much so that the company has dubbed it Project Loon. But if all works according to the company’s grand vision, hundreds, even thousands, of high-pressure balloons circling the earth could provide Internet to a significant chunk of the world’s 5 billion unconnected souls, enriching their lives with vital news, precious educational materials, lifesaving health information, and images of grumpy cats.

Tablet Shipments Increased 103 Percent in 2012

Educators love tablets. It’s not surprising, considering the low cost and increasing value of tablets in the classroom. They serve many purposes, and their uses are evolving everyday. Campus Technology reports on the stunning growth of the devices:

The report, Tablets Changing the Education Sector in the United States, Major Momentum Underway, found that overall client device shipments to U.S. education institutions hit 8.5 million total units in calendar 2012, up 15.3 percent from the previous year. Those devices include notebooks, tablets, and desktops. But shipments of tablets were up much more — a full 103 percent year-over-year, representing about 3 million total units, or 35.4 percent of the total. In 2011, they represented 19.4 percent of the total.

Instagram Video Is Here . . . Is Vine Dead?

As soon as we posted an article about colleges using Vine, Instagram officially announced the addition of video to its popular photo-sharing app. TechCrunch did an excellent job of breaking down the differences between the apps. Here are a few key features in the Instagram updates:

  • 15-second video clips
  • 13 brand-new filters
  • Cover frames
  • Video stabilization, thanks to a feature called Cinema

You can bet we’ll be working on a post about colleges using Instagram video in the near future.

The Best of EdTech

We published some great stories this week. In case you missed them, here are a few of our favorites:

Send us a tweet at @EdTech_Highered to suggest stories for next week.