Yesterday my son came home from school with a shiny new iPad. He didn’t win it off a friend at a lunchroom game or cards or marbles. Rather, his new toy was school-provided. Every student in his high school (school size of 200) was issued one for learning purposes. It probably goes without saying that this school is very cutting-edge.
In an email correspondence that went to parents, the school’s educators said that in giving each student an iPad they “intend to prepare their students for the 21st century with a determination to be ahead of the curve in technology.” They go on to say that “the iPad is more than a tool, it is an idea with a world of opportunities for teachers and students to explore and elevate learning anywhere, anytime.”
Then I come to find out that this 8’x10’ gadget that is as thin as a stenographer’s pad is essentially replacing all of my son’s textbooks. “ iPad applications allow students to practice algebra to chemistry with real-time feedback, breaking down the steps to success. Geometry will come to life with 3-D imaging and art and science will explore cross-curricular applications.” Now that sounds like a lot more fun than any text book I ever had.
Whoa! If he doesn’t need textbooks, should I be returning his LL BEAN backpack? What’s next, high school without lockers?
Just like the fate of textbooks (and maybe lockers), our work life as we know it today will be something completely different by the time my son enters the business world. You probably have already seen the infiltration of mobility, and I bet we’re just scratching the surface. In my time at InterCall, I’ve seen the transition from operator assisted conference calls to reservationless conferencing to now being able to participate in a web conference from an iPad. Before you know it, we’ll all be using the camera features on the iPad2, and it will be like we saw on The Jetsons (back in the time when rabbit ears sat on top of your TV and you had to get up off the couch to change the channel).
I wonder what you think. Too far too fast?