I don't how much of what Mr. Stager writes he truly believes and how much says just to stir the pot. In his latest post, Big, Little Paradox, Stager argues that younger students are being shortchanged by being give lower powered computers, especially iPads. He writes:
Sure, the iPad is light, easy to use and has a good battery life, but of all the students in a school or district, younger children need the most computing power for speech, graphics and video.
While Gary often states that kids need full-powered computers to do real learning tasks, I don't remember reading exactly what those tasks are. An iPad won't run CAD/CAM programs, heavy-duty video or photo editing software or crunch masses of numbers. But I am not sure how many third graders are doing or ought to be doing 3-D graphics rendering anyway.
iPads are just fine for word processing, spreadsheet building, photo editing, and video/audio composition. You can use them to draw pictures and created mindmaps and timelines. They can be used for collaborative work and communication. They work with most online tools.
And the real advantage that Gary admits - that they are "light, easy-to-use and have good battery life" - makes them powerful indeed since they will actually BE USED more often and in more places and for longer periods of time. (See Apple as at right.)
Gary, spell out specifically what tablets and similar devices won't do that you feel are so essential. You may change my mind.
But for now you're sounding like a shill for computer manufacturers, I'm afraid.