Friday, December 23, 2011

iPads and the Embarrassment Factor

Well iPads are nifty devices for websurfing, reading, messaging, etc. They're also expensive devices hot commodities where people could just decide they want one bad enough to steal. In my case it's to the point where I'm trying to figure out what to do if I ever travel with one.

Anyway here's an article (via Instapundit) that discusses the potential application of the iPad in the classroom and how the students used them:
News that all the graduate students in my Future of Media seminar would receive iPads for the semester generated a flurry of excitement.

Some students replied with exclamation points in their email messages. Some stopped and asked when the iPads would be available. Others passed on word to classmates and seemed to enjoy the envious responses.

Then something odd happened: The students, all in their mid- to late 20s, became self-conscious about carrying iPads. They refused to use them in public. They felt elitist. In their eyes, the iPad represented snobbery, a technological tool that no one needed and whose utility was far from apparent. Used to a graduate student frugality, they didn’t want to be seen as profligate.

I was surprised about the students’ embarrassment. Part of the experiment of having the iPads was to consider how tablets might fit into the future of media. Were they a fad or a potential institution? Would they displace laptops? Become a favored companion to smartphones? How might journalists use them? Educators? Students?
Check this out:
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. Last year, a psychological profile of iPad owners described them as “selfish elites.” And earlier this year, a study found that those most likely to buy iPads had incomes of $100,000 or more.
I've been thinking about getting an iPhone and have the concern about becoming a "selfish elite". Having any Apple product doesn't necessarily cause me to think more of myself than others. Although I wish I could buy cases of iPads for students of my old elementary school (GO BADGERS) and my old high school (GO FALCONS). Let's leave aside the perception of "classism and think in terms of technology for everyone! Not necessarily for iPads but any tablet device include the Nook or the Kindle.

BTW, this article also shows what happens when you pull out the iPad. It may attract criminals but it also attracts people who are curious and honest people at that. People who may be OK with not using any paper or people who want to read more or even people who want an iPad themselves.

Hmmm a tablet device as a "social instigator"? Imagine that!

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