[LINK] Apple iPads for Victorian School Students
stil at stilgherrian.com
Thu Jun 3 08:03:21 EST 2010
On 03/06/2010, at 7:42 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:
> The Apple iPad and
> similar tablet computers lack a physical keyboard, making it difficult
> to compose large amounts of text, which a student will need to do for
> many subjects.
> Students are not passive consumers of information, just looking at
> a screen: they are actively creating information and interacting with
> their fellow students.
Not to discount the accuracy of how you describe what students do currently, Tom, but is this necessarily how things will work in The Future[tm]?
"Large amounts of text" is what we create because the tools we have are optimised for large amounts of text. Printed books, libraries, the importance of readin'n'writin', keyboards, essays etc etc. I can't help but wondering whether ubiquitous video and audio will mean a return to oral communication for many things, and whether being able to type becomes an archaic mode of text input when text is required, thanks to voice recognition.
Yes, yes, I know this is all unlikely to unfold in the 3-year lifespan of the computers / netbooks / iPads currently being handed out, but we're also educating kids for their future lives and maybe stepping back for a bigger-picture look is appropriate.
All that said, a keyboard is $10, and I've had two journalists at media conferences tell me that -- against their original expectations -- the iPad's on-screen keyboard has turned out to be quite usable for text input. Both were using it to take notes and file stories from said media conference.
Did I mentioned that I can still remember how to un-jam an IBM model 26 card punch? Gee, thanks, University of Adelaide...
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