Blackboard Email Fail

Tom Novak

no bbSome things never change.  When you send your entire class of students an email through Blackboard’s email system, Blackboard manages to both delete hard returns that you actually wanted, and insert blank lines where you didn’t want them.

Plus, the subject field is prefaced by an ugly long string of numbers as appealing as a USPS tracking code.

And, your name does not appear as you expect it would, but as Blackboard chooses it to appear (in my case “Thomas Paul Novak,” which is way too formal for this purpose).

Since there is no preview feature, the sender has no idea what a mess their email will be until they get a copy of it in their own inbox.

End result:  Professor who sent sloppy email looks like a stuffy techno newb with a drinking problem

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iPad Mini – Steve Jobs was Right

Tom Novak

After spending over two years with my iPad 2, I decided it was time to switch to something new.  Apple’s choices are the iPad 4 Retina and the iPad Mini.  The iPad Retina display is gorgeous, but it’s heaver and thicker than my old iPad 2.  I just can’t justify upgrading to a heavier tablet, so I had been thinking about the iPad Mini.  Yesterday I took the plunge and bought one.  Tomorrow it’s going back to the Apple Store.  Here’s why.

First, the pros.  The iPad mini is very light and supports LTE.ipad mini

Now the cons.

  1. The mini is small.  You might think that would be a pro, but for me it’s a con.  I’ve been using iPads since the original 2010 model and everything looks shrunk on the iPad mini, and not in a good way. Somehow, I feel cheated, like my experience is diminished compared to…

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