If the pen is mightier than the sword, is the finger mightier than the pen and the voice the mightiest of all?
The arrival of the touch screen iPhone made pen based Windows Mobile phones seem antiquated. History has been repeated with the iPad which is now easily outselling pen based tablet pcs. Who needs a stylus when you have a finger or two at hand?
Even though the iPad was only released this year there are already many groups and websites that support its use in education – sites like this one. I believe iPad-like devices will overtake notebooks and netbooks as students’ and teachers’ preferred digital tools within the next five years. They are inferior creative tools and will remain so for some time, but they are wonderfully convenient!
The lack of a physical keyboard will become less important as touchscreens and voice recognition software improve. I recently moved from an iphone to an Android phone and was amazed by the accuracy of Google’s voice recognition software. When I’m on the road I now compose my text messages and emails by voice. I can’t wait for Google’s forthcoming tablet version of Android codenamed Honeycomb!
Soon we may be able to carry around every book ever published in the palm of our hand and we will write using speech. It will be fascinating to see how this transforms the way we communicate and the way we learn.