As I walk around campus, I’m seeing more and more tablet computers in students’ and teachers’ hands. Whether they’re carrying iPads or another tablet computer, there is no doubt that mobile computing is becoming more popular. It’s really not surprising, either. In the same amount of space that a traditional magazine would occupy, a tablet computer can provide access to a multitude of books, songs and movies. And that doesn’t even begin to factor in the outstanding apps that users can install or all of the content that is accessible on the Internet. Whether they’re being used in a personal setting or a more educational arena, tablets are amazing tools.
One of my complaints about tablet computers is that the multi-touch interface that I use in most of the applications on my iPad does not alter how I can access information on the Internet. Sure, I can use a finger to scroll up and down a web page or use two fingers to magnify the screen, but that’s about it. Compare that to most applications on tablet computers and it’s a huge step backwards in technological development. With all of the creative interfacing going on with tablets, surely there has to be some new way to access the content online, right? Surfboard has taken on the challenge. Simply enter the URL of a website and Surfboard converts the site into a flippable magazine that fits comfortably into a tablet’s screen. Although Surfboard changes the way a website is viewed, the website’s content is still the focus. For an example, check out the 8 Blog as it is displayed on Surfboard. Surfboard has changed how the blog is displayed but the content is the same.
Since the site allows people to access content in a more user-friendly manner, Surfboard would be a great site to use with students . The site seems to have modeled it’s reading interface after the book apps (Kindle, iBooks, etc) that are popular on tablet computers. If you have an iPad, definitely check out Surfboard as you surf online.