I really liked Tom Scheinfeldt’s post “iPads and irResponsibility” because it points out the worst kind of conspicuous consumption to garner both attention and students. I mean the freaking homepage of the university redirects to the iPad project page—shameless, even by the bava’s standards. Add to the $1.1 million spent on an iPad for all students and faculty, an additional $3 million for everyone’s Mac Book—and what you have is the funding for a group like UMW’s DTLT to be funded for more than 15 years. That how you measure the difference with these gimmicks, they feed millions to corporations and stuff rather than investing in people and possibilities. It is a sham, and the press surrounding it just reinforces the fact that good work is not of value, rather a good headline that ties into some kind of shiny product.
And to be clear, I’m not nearly as upset with the fact that there is such a thing as the iPad, I am not necessarily an iPad hater, rather my contempt is preserved for all the folks who are claiming that the iPad is the second coming of educational technology. As CogDog says when discussing the tablet and Wired’s new online edition for the iPad:
I have to say, the demo on the video does look interesting, yet I see marginal “newness” in this “new media”.. it stil feels like a magazine on a “reader” is still pretty much the vestigal print archetype, with some media and navigation thrown in. I see little newness in the idea of what a magazine could/should/might be.