About a gazillion people have shared their thoughts online today about the iPad. Lots of emotion about this and I’m thinking about the reasons why…. to me the range of opinions is reflecting something pretty deep about Apple’s role. Somehow I doubt that these extreme reactions would exist if any other company brought out a larger modified “phone” or a smaller modified “laptop” (I’m not saying that the iPad is either of those, but those kinds of comments are out there). Interesting. And the issues of copyright/ownership of content etc. (do I own this downloaded book or is it rented to me?) are going to take some time to resolve.
But much more interesting is that this device (and those that will follow it) takes us to a next level for mobile learning opportunities. Will educators jump on board? Are we now at the time when the old “just in case” model of education really does get replaced by an understanding that truly portable devices are now pretty full-featured and (see the CBC Spark interview link below) easy to use and blazingly fast, so learning can become “just in time, just enough, just for me“. And the important skills will be how to find, filter and use information. Not a new idea at all but still one that doesn’t seem to have permeated as much as it should. Maybe an idea that finally cannot be ignored?
So what would the education/training world look like if this great access is within reach wherever we are?
Problem solving of all types, on-the-job assistance, sharing knowledge and skills (and/or demonstrating them for “assessment” purposes) — these are just a few things that leap to my mind as potentially transformed. With this next level of connection, the changes in how we do things involving information could really be quite profound.
Are we changing the paradigm of human-computer interaction?