Friday, January 29, 2010

Does The iPad Come With That Surfing Dog?

Behold the the future of computing:

Why anyone thought that single-purpose devices (i.e. Kindle, Nook) would survive after Apple got it's shiny, highly marketable, ultramodern, silvery-whiteness on the tablet market is beyond me.

I'm super bummed that it does not have a full operating system and all apps go through the app store unlike Windows or Mac OS. I fear that this closed, proprietary model will also be the future of computing, creating a single gate-keeping entity that the tech world has thus far been able to avoid.

However, I can definitely see some highly attractive instructional uses with this device, and with a $500 price point, it's actually more affordable and WAY more awesome than most full computer systems. It's a field device, a presentation tool, a multimedia hub for e-books, pdf documents, magazines, newspapers, games, video, (no camera? Not a multimedia production tool...yet), a Web browser, a notebook, a research center, and a portable communications device all with a brand new, soul-yearning, multi-touch interface. Don't fight it-- you all want to touch that thing. Finally, we have a device that truly bridges the gap between paper and multimedia. This throwback to papyrus, the most enduring of all technologies, is why it represents a whole new era for the computer.

However, if the iPad does enter the educational market without tactile feedback built in, what will the institutional response be after the debacle with Kindle, Arizona State University, and vision-impaired students? Can people without sight even use this device at all?? Can it be modified to accommodate all learners?

I'm sure people are going to hack the crap out of it (hopefully including a stylus at some point?) and we will definitely see some pretty interesting uses and mods for this thing. I can't wait.

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