E-book readers and tablet PCs to take the techworld by storm

One of the hottest device in the world today is the Apple iPad. In just 28 days, Apple’s iPad has hit the one million mark. Apple added that iPad users have downloaded more than 12 million apps from its App Store and more than 1.5 million e-books from the iBookstore, via Wi-Fi or wireless data connection.

With the success of the iPad, we can expect other computer manufacturers to follow suit. Companies like Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer, HP,. Gateway, Toshiba, Neo, RedFox, MSI and the rest will soon release their own eBook readers or Tablet PCs – the soonest time possible. SO is it just a fad or these devices are here to stay?

A recent survey conducated by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy showed E-readers and tablets are set to become wildly popular and successful consumer devices, according to a survey of nearly 13,000 consumers in 14 countries, including China, India, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Within the next year, 28 percent of all respondents and 51 percent of those familiar with the devices – plan to purchase an e-reader or tablet. Within three years, 49 percent of all respondents – 73 percent of those familiar with the devices – plan a purchase. If this happens, e-readers and tablets could become established consumer products, alongside TVs, PCs, and mobile handsets such as the BlackBerry and iPhone. They could also inject fresh hope into the publishing industry, which is struggling to generate online revenues.

The survey was conducted via the Web in March. A total of 12,717 respondents participated from 14 countries: Australia, Austria, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Now I am not surprised with this survey result from BCG, the people I know that owns an iPad (even if its not released yet here in the Philippines) has expressed their likeness with the device for various reasons: fashion statement, portability, lightness, comfortable, innovative, attention grabber just to name a few.

We have not seen the real potential of these devices, I myself is excited to see this technology to benefit the education section in particular. eBook readers and/or tablet PCs will definitely provide our learners the opportunity to read materials that are updated and world-class. Reading materials for subjects like English, Math, Science can easily be downloaded and be made available to our youngsters. And with quality content, can you just imagine what kind of graduates are we going to produce in the years to come?

Also, it would also benefit our educators in terms of managing their students. Tablet PCs will basically enable our educators to join the internet bandwagon easily. Coupled with cloud computing technology, software cost problems is just a thing of the past. Educators can setup their own blogs and social media accounts and start collaborating with their students. School work can be assigned using various applications available on the web for free. Feedbacks, questions, and discussions can be done online. Now who says teaching can also be done inside the classroom.

In as far as the device cost is concerned, I hope government can subsidized it and/or schools can offer an installment plan for their students. Of course I am not suggesting that every student should own an iPad or a tablet PC for that matter – an affordable but effect eBook reader will do. A friend of mine got his eBook reader for US$250.00 – roughly PhP 11,500.00 pesos. For a high school student, that would be PhP 2,875 per year. Not a bad deal I must say.

Lets cross our finger that this new government of ours will put more focus on education – not just increasing the compensation of our educators but to improve the equipment of our learners as well. Add more facilities and equip our learners so that we can produce quality graduates that will bring our nation to the future.

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