With all the talk this week of Apple's iPad and what role it will play in K-12, I felt it appropriate to offer my two cents on what I think the next generation device(s) will look like for students and teachers.
We all thought the iPad had the potential to be the "game changer" in K-12. (It still may get to that point with future releases, but it isn't there yet.) With no camera, somewhat large/bulky size and mid-high cost - it isn't ready to be "the device" that changes education. (Keep working on it Apple...you are getting closer and might still get there before anyone else does.)
I believe the game changing device in education has to be a hybrid between a cell phone (both size, function and cost) and a laptop. Students need a device that is portable, durable, cost favorable and provides them all the features / functionality there current mobile device / laptop does. A portion of K-12 is ready for that device...now. They were really hoping the iPad was that device.
Students want a single device that they can take with them 24/7, provide them access to school resources/applications during the school day and be a functional tool for social networking and sharing/collaborating/communicating with friends outside of school. Once one of the vendors figure this out and finds a way to manufacture the device at a low cost - K-12 will eat it up. I promise.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Is the next gen device too far away or are we getting closer? Is this really what students / need want? What about school districts / ed tech leaders?
JDS | CIO