In Part One of this entry, we discussed some of the differences between the iPad and the Courier. We said that we believed that both products will certainly find their way into schools and schooling. The main point for their success is how well can teachers be trained, not on their usage, but on their potential.
Because the Courier uses a stylus, it might be more favorable to teachers who believe in the importance of handwriting. The iPad only uses a keyboard. Both machines can hold full textbooks. The crucial point here is the publishers’ agreements with Microsoft and Apple. Will the same book from McGraw Hill be available for use on both machines? or will it have exclusivity with one only?
If a student can have all of his or her textbooks on one machine rather than several, that will certainly have an effect. They can have all their reading books on there too. The homework the need to produce. And send. Can be done from anywhere. True or false questions can be send to a server, the results would be sent immediately back to the student and registered in the teacher’s grade book. Students can monitor their performance with the same enthusiasm they follow their stats on Twitter or Facebook or their blogs. They can check how they are doing against National benchmarks.
Term papers will be a joy to do. This is where the Courier’s double screen and multitasking ability might be more in favor than the iPad’s single (larger) screen and single task capability.
The two determining factors will remain, the teacher’s capability to live up to the machine’s potential and the available applications. The students will have no problem milking out the potential of either machine. Long before the teachers will know which is which.