Some Brief iPad Comments

A very simple comment: the iPad is a step forward to larger computers becoming more like mobile phones. Many people will like that, given that there is nostalgia for land-line phones because of their simplicity and durability. (The black rotary in my parents home has been working about as long as I’ve been alive.)

If we move into a realm where more of our users (faculty and students) use their own computer hardware for school work, then the more reliable it is the better. Even the lack of multitasking could be a benefit, since it prevents users from overloading system resources with a pile of background widgets.

Maybe the biggest lost is a definite shift from laptops being creative tools to iPads being information access tools. I’ve already seen that with iPhones– why carry a laptop when you can do email, calendars, contacts with the phone. It’s not that iPads can’t create content, but…

I think we’re going to lose a lot of related to computing becomes a sealed environment, and you toss it if it stops working (like a mobile phone). At the same time, it will make computers boring in a technical way, which Clay Shirky believes is the key for them becoming socially interesting (and trans-formative).

So it goes.

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