Educational Institutions: The Next Technological Battleground?
The advancement of technology has immensely impacted, and in some cases completely revamped, several industries. Because of the opportunities that technology created, previously secure industries suddenly became an open battleground for new players to infiltrate and succeed. In the past ten years alone companies like Netflix and Amazon have greatly challenged rooted companies such as Blockbuster and Borders to the point of bankruptcy in some cases.
One very lucrative and extremely important industry is in education. From Pre-K to PhD’s there are several public and private institutions that provide higher learning for those seeking academic prowess. Because educational institutions by and large still have not systematically integrated technological advances in their industry, there is still phenomenal room for growth. For example, in the Department of Education (DOE) in New York City, companies such as Dell and Hewlett Packard have made millions in contracts to provide various computer products (desktops, laptops, printers, etc…) to educational institutions at a cheap price. Apple has been well known to give great educational discounts to students going back to school. These deals benefit both educational institutions as well as private industry, but with the new wave of mobile technology headed by innovative products such as the iPad and the Chromebook, Apple and Google are looking at new ways to transform the education market.
The iPad began their venture into the education sector in 2010 and recently Google is following suit with its own Chromebook this year. The introduction to these hyper-mobile internet-driven devices is still a work in progress: although there are a lot of benefits to having these new products in schools, there are still some very real issues to contend with. From cost and battery life to theft and ease of repair, new products must be compelling in several education specific characteristics in order to truly supplant the dominant suppliers of technology for schools. However, it seems that the Post-PC era is upon us: tablets and ultrabooks may soon replace desktops in even a slow changing sector like Education.
Do you believe that tablet computers are the new wave of the ffuture Do you feel that tablets will help or prevent learning?
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