Monday, January 25, 2010

Will Apple’s Tablet Appeal More to Students than the Sony e-Reader or Kindle?

This Wednesday, Apple will make an announcement that many anticipate will be the unveiling of its newest device, the tablet computer. There has been a great deal of anticipation over this device, which is rumored to be able to perform a variety of functions, including act as a portable reading device.

A few universities across the country, including Princeton, have tried to get students to use Kindles for their classes, with mixed results. One of the students’ most common complaints is that the Kindle does not allow for easy note-taking, a problem many suspect the Apple tablet will be able to solve.

I have used both the Sony e-reader and the Kindle--and it’s great to have access to all your reading materials in one place. If Apple can do for e-books what it did for music and cell phones – create something that’s compact, user-friendly, and, for lack of a better word, cool – it won’t be long before I’m coveting one of these devices. And if the device is able to provide things like easier notation, wireless internet, and even word processing, this could be a huge benefit to students and teachers looking to integrate technology into the classroom.
But until Wednesday, the full functionality of the tablet (or whether or not such a device is even in the works) remains unknown. That’s why Nick Bilton at the New York Times has created this “Unofficial Apple Tablet Game,” which combines the suspense of Super Bowl betting with the excitement of new technology.

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