Apple’s initiative and what it represents

In light of Apple’s recent announcement, this week on the Rukuku blog, I’d like to turn the focus to the implications, issues, and promise of recent tech innovations as they pertain to education. This will be the first post in a series aimed at provoking discussion on the topic.

As often happens when Cupertino executives in black turtlenecks unveil a new creation, the world of tech and education is abuzz over Apple’s new electronic textbook initiative. In case you haven’t heard of it because you live in a hole underground (I do, and trust me, it’s not worth it without internet access), the basic idea is this: Apple, partnering with major publishers, will offer interactive, searchable textbooks that students can purchase cheaply for a yearly subscription.  That’s right, students: no more shelling out $500 every semester for a backache. Instead, all your books will now be neatly and compactly stored on your iPad. Oh, right: you have to buy an iPad. And when you break it (and you will, since you’re a rambunctious college student), you’re gonna have to buy another one. Well played, Apple.

Regardless of the benefits and pitfalls of this particular project, it demonstrates something that is becoming remarkably apparent: technology is changing education permanently and at a rate never seen before. Gone are the days of wasting hours away searching for information in libraries, confining oneself exclusively to reading words on a page in order to learn something, being bored or unmotivated by educators, and other archaic 20th century problems.  Traditional methods of learning are being challenged, questioned, revolutionized, and improved.

If it’s not too immodest to say, that’s where our little company comes in. The world is careening into the future on the bullet train of innovation, and Rukuku is definitely onboard.
Leave us your thoughts on the issue, and stay tuned this week for more on this topic!


So, Rukuku readers: winter break is long over and we’re back in the grind. For many of us, that means battling a familiar, but destructive, temptation.

You have a major paper due this week. Are you writing it?

Admit it. You’re on the 50th page of Reddit watching a video of kittens dancing flamenco. The Facebook profile on the next tab is that of an individual related to you so loosely that it might legally be considered stalking. Meanwhile, your phone is causing enough desk vibration to register on the Richter scale.

But the Word icon on your taskbar, if clicked, would reveal a solitary cursor flickering away cheerlessly into the whiteness of its space.

In short, you’re procrastinating. And who can blame you? Kicking the can down the road is way more fun than doing work. It’s a cruel paradox of life that a thing so damaging to productivity is just so darn satisfying in the short term. In the long term, though, it’s a cruel and fleeting mistress.

We all know about setting goals, making deadlines, and sticking to schedules. To supplement those, here are a few innovative tips for warding off the habit in the modern age:

1. Your phone is a major distraction. Keep the call ringer on to be reached in case of emergency; turn all other notifications off. That’s right – no more Twitter updates from Justin Bieber.

2. Close all unrelated social media. Unless it’s directly related to what you’re studying, it’s a major distraction. If you really lack discipline, you can even adjust your browser settings to prevent yourself from accessing certain sites for a set period of time. Remember: your Facebook’s news feed is not the most important thing in the world. In fact (and this is the real shocker) it’s not very important at all.

3. Use a procrastination clock. This is an interesting new way to nudge oneself to better time management skills. It tells you when to work and when to play based on your own pre-selected settings. An example can be found here.

4. Reward yourself. As with dessert after a hearty meal, give yourself a little break every now and then. Just make sure the break isn’t the main course.

What are some strategies you use to combat procrastination? Please leave us your input in the comment section.

Nah, who are we kidding? You’re probably just going to put it off.