Fire has been started with Kindle
I have not hidden the fact that we plan on moving our computer laptop program toward more of a computer NetBook program by 2010. I immediately clarify that I anticipate replacing the MacBooks that we give to our undergrads with Apple’s version of a NetBook, which I believe will evolve out of the Apple’s mobile Touch technology. It is interesting the feedback I get from many faculty about this based on their perception of the sole purpose of a laptop for a student, which would be to write papers. How could students write papers without a traditional keyboard and monitor? I assure them that we will explore all options and that I will offer enhanced computer upgrades to students with greater technical needs. But you know what, I don’t think typical students will care. They don’t even care what writing application they use.
So am I just identifying another example of how the traditional academic process struggles to keep up with societal trends? That just because young people are extremely comfortable and happy with mobile computing does not mean higher education would actually adapt our teaching & learning to accommodate it. Sure we will introduce some cool mobile applications such as enhanced clickers and increase the amount of information we push out in condensed format. But can it not be greater then that. Should we not embrace the fact that our students should and will have access to all information anytime anywhere? What does that really change?
It changes our libraries, bookstores, classrooms; it changes tradition. Do you realize how significant today’s release of Amazon’s Kindle application for the iPhone is?