It’s not green and covered in a layer of cholorphyll so that it recharges in the presence of sunlight, and it’s not a infinite in saecula saeculorum kind of tool — I won’t be passing this device over to my great-great-great-grandchildren.
Do I want one anyway? Yes.
I’ve seen people complain that it’s not a multimedia tool. I agree that it may not be that. I agree that the lack of a camera is upsetting.
Is it future shock? Yes. Yes, it is.
I have a gradebook program on my iPhone. It’s clunky, it doesn’t handle enough students, and the interface is lousy. Will this change with a device this lovely? Yes. I’ll be unshackled from my desk in the classroom.
I can carry it through the halls and make notes on student behavior, and record their doings (this is why a camera would be so useful). I don’t have to carry books anywhere again; with that much memory, I could get rid of almost every paper book I own, and never have to worry about losing the card-catalog again. I would watch more movies and TV, maybe, but I wouldn’t worry about losing data with this, because I’d do most everything in Google Apps or iWork.
With a screen this big, my Brushes paintings will be much better. My painting kit may well go out the window, eventually, except that I like painting with actual brushes. I’ll do more on-the-fly diagrams with my students, especially if this computer will work with a projector, which I think it will. The BENQ projector has a similar input port. I hope it does work.
I can store my recipes by photographing cards, and building a related Bento database, and use the iPad as my recipe book. Then I can compile the family cookbook I’ve always dreamed of doing.
Apparently I still need a desktop machine for multimedia purposes. Oh, well. This will change in time; it looks like they broke through a couple of technical barriers to build this thing anyway.
Students still need a multimedia classroom, sure. But OK, that’s fine. They can still do things with network folders and cloud computing. In the meantime, let’s see… my students no longer carry a 20-pound World History book. My writing videos will be legible enough on this device for students to read them; they can switch back and forth easily between an e-mail or wiki program, and the videos.
The lack of Flash operability is still a problem.
The vast amounts of data you can store on this… you could give kids a plaintext archive of every single book from ancient history in English from Project Gutenberg on the first day of school, and it would barely make a dent. The library of Alexandria in an SD chip, and a tablet that is to all intents and purposes a scroll — all of classical literature in a single scroll, forever. You wouldn’t have to ask students to look up Biblical citations; they would have the Bible and the Quran and all of sacred literature on their machines, all the time. A dictionary of symbols, too. A periodic table of elements, too. A library of images of art history, categorized and tagged.
With this 10″ screen, you could create a Laboratory book program to keep a lab book for a science class in… design it to share with other students, so that data is automatically transferred… what happens in one experiment is trasmitted to all involved experimenters. They still have to learn to be good record-keepers, but they learn. Wikilabs, maybe. Similar programs for other subjects, too.
The price. $499 for the base machine, almost $900 for the top of the line. I want TotL, myself, but may have to settle for mid-range. We’ll see (Mom and Dad, what I’d like for Christmas is….) But the Kindle, it’s not. I’ve used a Kindle, and they’re clunky and awkward. Just what you’d expect from some slapdash engineering squadthat didn’t think big picture.
My one serious complaint? No chlorophyll. And no hover generators, so I can hang it in the air to follow me around school, and be solid in the air when I want to type with two hands.
Maybe next year.