The pen is mightier than the sword.  The finger is mightier than the pen.
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the finger is mightier than the pen – and our voice will be mightiest of all.
The arrival of the touch screen iPhone made stylus based Windows Mobile phones seem antiquated.  History has been repeated with the iPad which is now easily outselling stylus based tablet pcs (http://touchreviews.net/hp-slate-sales-top-9000-units-ipad-rival/).  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 http://ipadineducation.co.uk/iPad_in_Education/iPads_in_Schools.html.   I believe that iPad-like devices will overtake notebooks and netbooks as students’ and teachers’ preferred digital tools within the next five years through sheer convenience.  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. I now compose my text messages and emails by voice.  I can’t wait for Google’s forthcoming tablet version of Android codenamed “Honeycomb” http://www.droidgamers.com/index.php/game-news/android-game-news/841-more-info-on-gingerbread-and-honeycomb.
Soon we may be able to carry around every book ever published in the palm of our hand.  Soon we will write by speaking.  It will be fascinating to see how this changes the way we communicate and the way we learn.
and now the ipad – has left pen based tablet pcs
Pen based computing has been around finger is mightier than the pen.  The first patent for online (not OCR) handwriting recognition was issued in 1914 and early tablet computers were already in existence in the 1950s (http://users.erols.com/rwservices/pens/penhist.html).

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.

2 Responses to “Which is mightier?”
  1. M H says:

    The biggest issue with voice recognition software is accent variation – just ask any foreigner who been subjected to multiple rounds of “Sorry I did not recognize your request” in a telephone automated system.

    I hope I never live to see the end of paper. I use technology daily, all day, but there is nothing like paper in your hands to browse a shopping catalog, a newspaper or a good book.

    And I am not nearly as up-to-date as my uncle as to have access to the latest gadgets – BUT ALL MY STUDENTS DO!

  2. John says:

    I’d always found voice recognition unreliable and sometimes had to talk like an American to be understood, but I’ve been amazed by my new Android phone. It even understands Australian!

    I’m sure you’re right and that many people will prefer non-digital books for a long time. It’s hard to beat a beautiful coffee table book.

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