iOS / iPad not 'better' but 'good different'?
Was provoked to dialog in a twitter exchange between Ben Grey, Jon Becker and Dean Shareski regarding Dean’s blog post: Why the iPad is Different
(this is a good blog to read- check it out!)
We lose a bit of perspective when we try and equate iOS devices to laptops and netbooks. iOS devices have taken novel technologies and have opened up one of the first genuinely new ways of interacting with a computer.
After reading various GUI Experts* critiques for years, I have been intrigued with the notion that people were tired of the Desktop/File System/Mouse/Icon ways of interacting with computers. REALLY? So what would this look like? What could be better? The iOS has answered that question for me (sometimes). Maybe not 'better' but at least "good different".
Although iOS doesn't completely change the way everything works (we still have icons and clipboard, etc.), it is a pretty radical departure that makes computing much lighter weight, generally lighter wait, and simpler. Furthermore, accelerometers, gyros, geolocation, multitouch surface, these are integrated and being integrated in ways that are refreshing, novel, and inspiring! Most of us would not have imagined the crazy things that could be done with these technologies if we were limited to a laptop or netbook form factor.
So I believe our students and educators deserve to have access to both experiences and I think that true technology literacy is developed by being aware of the strengths and appropriateness of a variety of tools.
*such as the late Jef Raskin, one of the creators of the original MacOS GUI says "shuttling between a keyboard and a mouse wastes too much time." http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2003/tc20030122_7027.htm