I’ve been thinking about writing about the iPad since I saw this image a few months back:
Today I commented on a great post by Ira Socol ‘Welcome iPad and Web 1.5‘ and I said,
“I’m a huge Mac fan, but I have no interest in a bigger version of my iPhone that isn’t a phone, isn’t a camera, doesn’t like to multitask, requires me to have a laptop on the side and then doesn’t fit in my pocket.”
The simple fact is when I look at Ira’s thoughtful post (and comments) and I think of my recent ‘Product You‘ post, I start to see a very disturbing trend.
For a long time we have perceived ‘progress’ as driven by ingenuity, far more than just consumerism, but in fact that’s not always the case. Cars could have been far smaller, more efficient and more environmentally friendly by now if ingenuity trumped consumerism.
So what does this have to do with the iPad? Well, to me, if the iPad were a car, it would be a car that is overpriced and only lets you fill up at certain gas stations. If it had a GPS it would either only let you select pre-programmed destinations or it would decide the best route to take based on Apple’s placement on the route.
It is a product that not only invites consumerism but is designed to promote it… this at a time when so many educators are trying to get students to be prosumers… and to be creators of content.
So, if you want to buy a new toy for yourself, go ahead and have fun with the iPad! But if you want to buy a new educational tool for a school, please think about the purpose you really want that tool for, and spend your money wisely!