The Real Tablet Revolution

This is the slate I used growing up as a school kid. There was sibling rivalry over whose was shinier or had a larger “screen size”.


They are still used by some school children in India. Millions of them go to school today like this (image credit):

School Bags

With heavy burdens on their back, no wonder they hate going to school.

When Steve Jobs unveils the Apple Tablet in a few hours from now, I will be part of the thousands who will witness this revolutionary device remotely. But the real revolution in my mind will happen when such devices become mainstays in educational institutions worldwide.


No doubt the tablet will be great for entertainment, gaming, reading, and news consumption. But no other application has a greater, lasting impact, than that which revolutionizes learning.

As Joe Wilcox describes it, a “unified content platform, mixing different media types and live information” holds tremendous potential during the formative young years of our lives.

Imagine a classroom where students had access to live information about any topic under the sun. That is the world I want my kid to grow up in. When that happens, it will be the real tablet revolution.

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  • As far as education goes, netbooks are cheaper and iPod's fit into kid's pockets, are more durable, and cheaper. I don't think the iPad fit's better into education than existing devices.

  • I agree Mark. This post was written before the iPad was unveiled.

    iPod's may be smaller and durable but don't offer the kind of media/reading experience required for classrooms. Netbooks are currently being used by college students, but my expectations from a tablet about larger screen, touch-based, multimedia reading friendly, etc. were more geared for a classroom.

  • Well, as one data point, I've read 5-6 full length books almost all on the iPhone. I write all my blog posts on the smart phone, and do most of my blog reading, and commenting on it. At the moment I'm home on my desktop though 😀

  • Having access to the tablet is one thing, and having access to the bandwidth is another thing altogether! Our Government should really work on subsidizing bandwidth atleast to educational institutions… And yeah, we need faster access to information and it should still be cheaper!

    Destination Infinity

  • DI, Very true! At least, our telecom sector is opened up to private players and is no longer a monopoly of the state-owned BSNL. Bureaucratic inefficiencies are delaying auction spectrum, but they'll eventually get there.

    However, the educational sector has been neglected for too many decades and has become like a stagnant backwater swamp. I'm hoping that Govt priorities change and much needed reform happens in the coming years!