Monday, November 21, 2005

Emerging Pedagogy Tools: Tablet PC

The Student Tablet
In this Channel Nine Video Blog Conversation [Link] Microsoft Evangelist Robert Scoble [Link] talks to Bill Gates about a number of technologies including Tablet computing. What makes this conversation special? You have likely heard plenty about Tablet PC's from both Scoble and I in our blogs. What makes the Gates and Scoble conversation special is that here they talk about the "Student Tablet." The student tablet is a $500 Tablet PC that has been talked about as being available very early next year.

The utility of Tablet PCs has been discussed in many places. There is a blog called StudentTabletPC [Link]. The benefits of Tablets, in education and otherwise, are many and are also discussed here in this Tablet PC blog [Link]. Malu Roldan has led a a Tablet PC project here at SJSU. Here are links to the video that SJSU Media Producer Bob Reynolds produced on SJSU's Tablet PC usage.

The links (you will need real media player:)
Broadband | Medium | Small (dial-up)

Tablet PC's have been available awhile. For some reason they still haven't taken off. In my opinion that is partly because it seems neither Microsoft nor their OEMs seem able to decide who should market them. Unlike Apple's Mac computers you cannot find Tablet PC products in our University Bookstore (where student focused products and student focused financing available for Macs.) The Internet also was slow to take off and existed for a long time before being discovered thanks to enabling technologies like the Web and email. Hopefully, Microsoft will come out with a reasonably priced Student Tablet PC and this will be the gas on the fire the platform needs in education. To me this is the point the Gates and Scoble conversation seems to make.

This may be what it takes to unleash the potential of this technology. Meanwhile, I am test driving an HP Compaq tc4200. This Tablet rocks!

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