Is a Tablet Computer All You Need for Online Courses?
This week will go down in history for one very big reason. This was the week when Amazon.com's CEO Jeff Bezos introduced a game-changing tablet computer called the Kindle Fire that promises to do everything that an iPad can do, for less than half the price.
So this week seems like a good time to ask whether tablets perform well enough for students who want to take online courses.
I scoured the web, looking for answers to that question. The consensus seems to be that tablets will soon be the dominant tools for online study, but that there is going to be some lag time before they fulfill that promise.
That makes sense. After all, many of the older online courses that are still being offered were created for hulking big desktop computers. Most of the newer courses were designed to run equally well on laptops. But it will be a while before new courses will take full advantage of everything that tablets can do.
If you have a nifty tablet (or if you placed an order online for a new Kindle Fire, like I did today), here are some readings that provide a picture of how soon you can migrate all your online learning onto your new little machine . . .
- “6 Reasons Tablets Are Ready for the Classroom,” a post that appeared on the Mashable blog last May, is still the most exciting article out there about tablets and computer learning.
- “How Well Can Tablets be Used for Online Classes?”, a post on the Techie Buzz blog, was published back in May and is already a bit dated. But it makes some excellent points about the potential that tablets have to improve the online learning experience.
- “Faculty Use of Tablet Computers at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology,” an article in the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, sounds a bit dull. But don’t be deceived. It contains a lot of useful insights about how effectively tablets are being incorporated into the curriculum of a Canadian university.
So, is it time to toss your laptop and use your new tablet as your only learning tool? Maybe not yet. But be assured, that day is coming soon.