Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Samsung Focus Review: My iPhone Love Wasn’t Love

The Start screen of Windows Phone 7

Image via Wikipedia

Warning: While this review was written with the intent to be a review about the Samsung Focus smartphone, it also ends up being a little bit about the Mango OS, and the behavior it induces, as well as the meaning it creates.  I come from a school of thought that design teaches as it improves the user and the user’s expectation. It may also go so far, in really great mobile device and mobile software design, to eliminate the need for expectations by reducing difficulty and ensuring compatibility between user and phone.

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Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, Work, , , ,

#Hipster is an Instagram for Context Delivery and Meaningful Location Experience

People often search for places, things, or people with whom they can create a story.  Right? You go on vacation becuase you want an adventure and youw ant to bring something immaterial, but psychically valuable, back to the place you began your journey.

In a recent article about re-launched location-based app Hipster, I think Alexia Tsotsis missed the lede. She asked “Do we really need another location-based photo sharing app?”  I thought about that for a second, as I read her interview with Doug Ludlow, Hipster CEO, and I thought, “Forest. Trees.” That’s not what is going on with Hipster, in my consumer-centric point of view.

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Filed under: Tech, , , , , , ,

Foursquare: Advertising Reality

I have wondered for some time what Foursquare does, exactly.

It has performed a number of tasks for me in my daily life, ever since I have picked it up from the app store:

1. Discovering bars, restaurants, cafes, and once in a lifetime experiences in my East Village neighborhood and in Manhattan that are not advertised on TV, or on the radio.

2. Meeting new people in my neighborhood, who seem to have similar interests, or completely opposite interests as me (equally compelling)


I have noticed that it does another thing:

1. It has turned Foursquare into an advertising platform for advertising and marketing platforms. See Lucky Magazine’s follower update:

Lucky Magazine lets us know she is at a shop

And then, if you swipe through the listings, you will see that what you are really getting is a very very small slice of a magazine experience through the window of the iPhone. but more importantly, you are getting someone’s attempt at a curatorial marketing experience.

foursquare lucky magazine

Lucky Magazine has a shoe crush, and you get a picture of the love object

Whoever is operating the Lucky Magazine Foursquare check-in is also spending some time to select things in reality that she is encountering on a day to day basis. This is the direction marketing must go. IT’s a social experience, with objects out in the real world, in your own neighborhood.

It so happens that the Foursquare HQ is in my neighborhood. I even get a slight peek every once in a while at what they are doing in their top secret lair. Unfortunately, I can’t read what’s on the board or the iPad, so I am not able to break any news for you about their future plans.

foursquare HQ

Jam session at Foursquare HQ

I can only assume it’s great.

Filed under: Influence, , , ,

Mastery Connect Makes Common Core Easier for Teachers and Parents

Teachers may soon see a rush of new apps for the iPad and iPhone that will parse all the difficult language and standards of the Common Core appendices and provide it for them in an easy to use format.

And the popular Khan Academy videos, which are not linked to any standards at the moment, are being linked to standards through deliberations and conversations currently with Mastery Connect, according to Mick Hewitt, a team member at the company.

Hot on the heels of the 1,400 downloads for its Common Core concepts apps released over Memorial Day weekend, Mastery Connect is launching an app update at the iTunes platform that will make all of this easier for teachers and parents, says Mick Hewitt. I’ve asked Mr. Hewitt to list some of the compelling cases for this new app here.

Here is what he had to say.

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Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Video, , , , ,

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