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Dimitris Tzouris

Diagnosing the Tablet Fever in Higher Education - 10 views

  • So it's worth taking a careful look at whether the company will once again create a new category of device that make waves in education -- as it did with personal computers, digital music players, and smartphones -- or whether the iPad and other tabletss might be doomed to remain a niche offering.
  • Mr. Jobs did mention iTunesU twice when listing the kinds of content that could be viewed on the iPad, referring to the company's partnership with many colleges to offer them free space for multimedia content like lecture recordings. But he otherwise focused on consumer uses -- watching movies, viewing photos, sending e-mail messages, and reading novels published by five trade publishers mentioned at the event. That does not mean that the company won't later promote the iPad's use on campuses, though, since it waited until after iPods and iPhones were established before beginning to work more heavily with colleges to promote those in education.
  • the biggest impact of the iPad would be in the textbook market.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • only 2 percent of students said they bought an e-textbook this past fall semester.
  • The City University of New York, for instance, is looking closely at encouraging e-textbooks as part of an effort to lower student costs. "At end of the day, it's how do you drive savings for our students, who are feeling a great economic impact," said Brian Cohen, CUNY's chief information officer.
  • If students do buy them and begin to carry them around campus, they could be a more powerful educational tool than laptop computers.
  • Jim Groom, an instructional technologist at the University of Mary Washington, expressed weariness with all the hype around the Apple announcement. He said he is concerned about Apple's policies of requiring all applications to be approved by the company before being allowed in its store, just as it does with the iPhone. And he said that Apple's strategy is to make the Web more commercial, rather than an open frontier. "It offers a real threat to the Web," he said.
  • He also pointed out that several PC manufacturers have sold tablet computers before, which have been tried enthusiastically in classrooms. Their promise is that they make it easy for professors to walk around classrooms while holding the computer, while allowing them to wirelessly project information to a screen at the front of the room. But despite initial hype, very few PC tablets are being used in college classrooms, he said. Now that Apple's long-awaited secret is out, the harder questions might be whether the iPad is the long-awaited education computer.
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