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759 - Mini Tablet Usability; Sleep and Memory Evidence

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - January 30, 2013.
#759 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
55,879 Readers - - twitter: emasie - The MASIE Center.
Host: Learning Directions Blended Seminars

1. Mini-Tablet Usability Soars.
2. Sleep and Memory Evidence.
3. Learning Directions Seminar.

1. Mini-Tablet Usability Soars: My full-sized tablets are getting very lonely! Over the past six months, I have migrated to the small, mini-sized form factor for my tablets. First, I fell in love with the Amazon Kindle Fire - shifting from the full-sized to a palm-ready version. Then, when the iPad Mini came out, it was “so long” to the full-sized tablet. In fact, although I have six different tablets at The MASIE Center Lab and at home, I have not put a finger on a full-sized device in 3 months!

Why? It is a clear case of Usability. In fact, as I travel around the country I am watching this size format shift in action. Here is what makes the smaller format a winner for me:

* Less Disruptive Visually: I can set it up at a restaurant while eating, at a meeting while using notes and viewing documents, and on my lap while watching TV or a movie - and it is less disruptive! It fits into the scene and into other activities easier and with fewer space and visual conflicts.

* Fits into Pockets, Purses and Lab Coats: The mini goes simply into the inner pocket of my winter coat. I have seen women place it in purses and a team of doctors/nurses slip it into the pockets of their white lab coats. The “wearability” adds to the use and acceptance.

* Fingers Fit Typing Naturally: My typing is easier, either using 2 thumbs from the side, or all fingers for traditional use. Add the voice recognition element and I have no trouble responding to emails or creating new documents.

* One-Handed Video: I am using the video camera for shoots with the great advantage of one-handed holding that’s not tiring. This makes it easier to use for even longer shoots.

* Hold While Speaking: At the TedX Broadway conference in New York City on Monday, the keynote host used his iPad Mini for all notes and introductions. It fit into his hand and was a digital set of note cards that made the day.

We think that the smaller sizes will rapidly challenge the larger tablet format. My one concern was that reading larger forms on the Mini would be impossible. But, almost all forms are either in PDF, eBook or Browser formats, which can be resized and shaped easily. It has not been a problem to access and use all size forms and documents.

What is next for the smaller tablets?

* I’d love my iPad Mini to also allow for telephone calling with a Bluetooth earpiece. It would replace much of the need for my phone.
* More inputs and outputs. I’d love to see all tablets have a USB input and easier HDMI and other media outputs.
* Better Lens. I would pay an extra fee to have a top-end camera lens to facilitate great photo and video capture.

Watch for this form factor ahead!

2. Sleep and Memory Evidence: Here is a great article to read about the role of Sleep and Memory from a summary in the New York Times:

“Scientists have known for decades that the ability to remember newly learned information declines with age, but it was not clear why. A new study may provide part of the answer. The report, posted online on Sunday by the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggests that structural brain changes occurring naturally over time interfere with sleep quality, which in turn blunts the ability to store memories for the long term.” Check it out at:

3. Learning Directions Seminar: There are seats available in our Learning Directions seminars, focused on what is up, down, hype and opportunity in our learning field. I will be leading this in six cities around the globe. Check it out at

Yours in learning,

Elliott Masie
twitter: @emasie

MASIE Center Seminars, Events and Services:
* Learning Directions Seminar: Blended and in 6 Cities Globally.
* Learning 2013 - November 2013 - Orlando, Florida.
* Membership in The Learning CONSORTIUM
Info and Registration: - twitter: emasie