Tablet computers: another reason for education to go online

Tablets, slates, pads, whatever else you want to call them, it does not matter. What does matter is the rapid adoption that not only techies, but everyone is taking part in. Daily Finance predicts Apple iPad sales alone to reach 28 million devices in 2011, and that’s just one manufacturer. Samsung will launch the Samsung Galaxy S, an Android-powered device on November 10th and Blackberry will launch the Blackberry Playbook in early 2011. Hewlett-Packard also recently announced the HP Slate with Windows 7, which is going to be aimed at business users.

What does all this mean? It means that 50 million Americans, or more, could have their hands on a tablet computer by the end of 2011. And students, in particular, are digging the idea of these ultra-portable and ultra-powerful devices. Teens, and even younger children, are heavy mobile device and Internet users. The technology industry is sure to see remarkable tablet sales this holiday season because the tablet combines everyone’s two favorite gadgets: laptops and smartphones.  With the web access, front- and rear-facing cameras, applications, exceptional battery life, WiFi and cellular data access, we will be able to access from ANYWHERE.

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These tablets do not have to just be devices for work or play. School can easily be integrated. Technology is integrating it all and school is bound to be next. Textbooks can be downloaded onto them for easy reading and annotation. You can take notes – typed OR written. Classes can be broadcast. Instructors and classmates can be video called. Quick e-mails can be sent. Peer group discussions can be conducted. And all this can take place without lugging around a 15-inch laptop and a 10-foot charger. I see the future and I see flexibility with learning to-go.

Do you see tablet computers being utilized to reach students? What ways do you envision these devices being used to educate youth?

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