I've been researching the iPad since before it was announced (talk about faith or blind hope). I've read all the speculation that came out prior to the announcement. I've read all the analysis and commentary that came out after the announcement but before the release on 4/3/2010. I'm still pedaling as fast as I can. Version 3.3 of the iPhone OS, the one the iPad uses, is downloading as I type this. That will provide me with the iPad simulator. Yeah, that's right, I don't yet have one in my hands.
When I do get my hands on one I'll be like the fellow who jumped on his horse and rode off in all directions. WaaaaHoooooo !
I suspect that the iPad will be pointed to by future historians as a watershed event in educational computing. How this will play out is less clear. A few of the things I'll be looking closely at are:
o The replacement of physical textbooks with eTexts. If the commercial interests have their way which seems likely. we'll have old wine in new bottles (yawn). On the other hand, there will be the opportunity to radically change the cost, content and logistics of textbooks in K-12 and higher education. That would be exciting.
o The challenge to institutionalized education where the proposition that one could learn all they need to know in grades K-(some number less that 12) in order to become a fully independent learner. Will higher education become irrelevant as David Wiley recently predicted or will it rise to the occasion and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? HINT: Credentialing won't save higher education, Microsoft and Cisco are already doing that quite well, thank you very much.
Stay tuned for future thoughts on these themes.