I strongly believe that tablets will change the way our students learn. On the other end, I also believe that when the publishing market starts to offer really helpful, usable, all in one apps for learning, the sales on the tablet market will sky rocket.
Imagine being a student and the only piece of equipment you’ll need to attend classes is a tablet. I’m betting lots of parents will look at this as win-win solution, even more if the book prices in digital format are smaller than their paper counterpart.
Another very strong advantage for this solution is the way we will be able to produce clever interactive content that can explain in a much clear way some subjects.
A simple example comes in mind, how do you think a high school kid will better understand the simple physics principles of acceleration? On one hand we have traditional school books with its’ diagrams and text, on the other we can have a simple narrated video animation, with slow motion, instant replay, etc.
Another example could be this (please excuse all non reading Spanish users), a effective interactive infographics made by 90º Grados on the Berlin Wall. A simple, linear timeline where, with each touch, you are presented with a very focused information about the story of the wall, from its’ building to its’ fall.
Of course that I still believe our students need to be able to read text, memorize it, ‘sweat’ if you like, to learn something. There is no really easy way to learn something new. I just believe that with new tools we can do it much better.
And then we have all the fabulous social tools of todays’ Internet. By reading the enlighten article The Best Social Media Tool For the Classroom, by Richard Kassissich, one can better understand that our education really needs integrated tools that provide our students with the best learning experience. I strongly advise you to read his article. Richard comes to the conclusion that the best social media tool for teaching and learning is the discussion forum. He goes into great detail to explain why.
Imagine that each of our student tablets has integrated on the college application a powerful tool to discuss matters, not only with his colleagues, but also with the teachers. The technology to do so is here, we have this right now. We just need for someone to start working on it. Publishers around the world, with the help of teachers, designers and developers, should begin to experiment with this solutions. I believe a very strong market will arise, with benefits for both ends.