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The tablet and education

January 25th, 2010 Jeremy Jeremy

First, a quick status update: because of school I haven’t had as much time as I had hoped so I’m delaying the launch of Grades to February. Okay, right now its a great app and something a lot of kids say they would buy right away. As I’ve said, though, I want it to be remarkable, something worth talking about. Its all about the details. Those little things that are oft ignored but, when taken together, contribute to a delightful experience, an experience worth sharing.

Now, the beef

Education. It’s the primary reason this blog has been so quiet lately. It also may be a good reason to start talking again.

Head over to TUAW and read their recent piece on the tablet and education. Its intriguing. Why would Jobs consider the tablet his most important thing he has ever done. Why would the tablet be more important than the Mac, the iPod, or the iPhone—devices that transformed industries? Is it because the tablet will converge all of these into one all-encompassing device? I doubt it. Is it because the tablet will make billions of dollars for apple? Not likely. Perhaps it is because it will transform yet another industry—the print industry—but Steve has transformed industries before—why would this one be more important than the others?

What about the Tablet excites Steve so much? The answer, as TUAW suggests, very well may be education. TUAW pulls out some great quotes, strongly suggesting that education is very close to Steve’s heart and that he really wants to do something about it.

This is exciting. I’ve always been interested in ways technology can facilitate education and feel that the power of technology and the internet is largely untapped and, at least, not efficiently harnessed to produce a remarkable education experience. If Jobs is taking this on… wow, it could be really big.

I, for one, have a feeling my next application is going to be all about education and, yeah, its gonna run on the tablet.

Its all about exploration

One thing we are pretty sure about is that the tablet will have a decent-sized multi-touch screen. This is crazy-awesome just in itself. Why? Educational exploration. Just think of the engaging interfaces we will be able to build for learning and exploring information. I’m just envisioning this delightful UI for zooming through information, getting instant definitions and related info and media and easily storing and retrieving bits and pieces of relevant information (with automatic source referencing). Maybe you don’t see it but as a college student I can just imagine lounging on the couch with this thing, exploring topics for class and having a lot of fun while I’m at it. If Apple can make information exploration and learning genuinely fun, I can see why Steve would be so excited about their “new creation.” Two. More. Days.

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