Eyes wide shut. If you’re building a 1:1 laptop program you may already be behind the curve.

12% of iPad owners in the enterprise no longer use their laptop. So says IDG Connect. Another 54% say they have “partly” replaced their laptop.

If we think this trend to tablets of one kind or another will continue–and I for one do–then we need weigh this carefully as we look at how we deploy devices in K12 schools. The idea of a mono-platform is already under attack (Forrester Research is encouraging businesses to take “decisive action” and support Macs–or “get run over.” See AppleInsider and Cult of Mac). Now, it seems that the idea of a mono-device is too.

I continue to hear (it was a common refrain at #edcampdelta) that the reason schools won’t move forward with deploying tablets is that students need to be prepared for the workforce, generally meaning a PC and MS Office. That the purpose of school is to prepare young people for the workforce is a severely limited idea of education, but as far as that goes it seems the world we are preparing our students for is not the one that is materializing before our (closed?) eyes. 

Why, if we see the curriculum needs a rethink for the 21st C, do we not also think our picture of how we work with our devices also needs a rethink? 

Update: See a good parallel and a little contrary thought on Ryan Bretag’s blog, Metanoia.


  1. Reply
    nandito January 16, 2012

    Interesting idea. However, I feel tablets are still somewhat limited and not just because they lack MS Office. The most popular one lacks Flash support, and as far as I can tell all lack Java support. Many of the educational software platforms we use require either of these technologies. I believe tablets will replace laptops for many of our day to day tasks in the future, but I still feel they need to be further developed to support the whole range of educational software that schools currently use. It’s not a workforce preparation argument. If that were a good argument, we wouldn’t teach philosophy or Elizabethan Literature. It’s about supporting learning the best way possible and tablets are just not ready yet for that.

  2. Reply
    Brad Ovenell-Carter January 16, 2012

    Well, to be cheeky, no one has shown me that Flash is the best way possible to support student learning. so why do we hold onto that in particular?If we default to minutiae (e.g. does it run Flash?) to answer big questions we’ve missed the point of the tech revolution. There is a powerful argument to be made, as Alan kay and Martin Heidegger have made, that the tech is incidental.

  3. Reply
    Joe Campbell January 17, 2012
  4. Reply
    Joe Campbell January 17, 2012

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