Nothing like a “Stop The Presses!” moment to get those editorial juices flowing. Just as we were putting the finishing touches to this month’s issue—which extolled the virtues and potentials of tablet devices like the HP Touchpad in the classroom—came the news that HP was discontinuing the product and its newfangled webOS operating system after only a few months. This stunning announcement had me stop and ponder our longrunning assertion that tablet devices (a.k.a. iPads and all of the other ones) are the ultimate textbook killer. After all, it’s easy for us to say as much, but when a company pulls back on a multibillion dollar bet it’s good to go back and reevaluate.
After further review, our assertion stands. Many of our educator/ reporter/advisors have pointed to tablets as game changers over the past several months (see the latest in our product guide on page 38). We have watched students as they get their hands on these things. They become engaged, even enraptured, with mathematic twitch apps and fully animated curricula. They take the initiative to dig deeper into something they are reading with a Google search (if they have bandwidth anyway). And, for the record, no student seemed to be to thrown off by the touch screen keyboard, like adults are.
While we did have to pull the cover images and review of the HP Touchpad, they will be posted as an obituary online at www.techlearning.com. There you can read David Andrade’s initial review of the Touchpad as well as his thoughts now that he owns a piece of technology history. You can also watch our first-ever student review, which turns out to hold some prescient wisdom. Do you have students who want to review for us? Email me, and I’ll send you details.