It is time to wake up to virtual reality. Pages don’t just exist in books but on the Web as well. E books, Web blogs and the nets resources are set to blow away traditional knowledge bit by bit and for good.
Don’t get me wrong here, people will still write books and knowledge will still have to be read through the pages written by wise men and their research but the era of going through books page by page sitting in a dingy library seem to be numbered. With an increasing number of tablets being sold everyday, the need for large libraries with huge stacks of books is reducing.
This article by Paige Johnson, the education strategist at Intel, highlights just why Tablets are the thing for the future. But that is an understood thing, something obvious for the people of the west where internet penetration is pretty high. But here are 3 reasons why Tablet PC’s are even more essential to developing nations like India, Bangladesh and countries in Africa. Countries that are still struggling with the basic questions of water, food and survival.
With so many children filling classrooms and only a handful of teachers to guide them, books are a tedious medium to get knowledge from. It becomes difficult for even the most skilled of instructors to inspire and guide children to read through tedious text on books. Here is where Tablets make all the difference. Companies like Micromax are everyday coming out with Apps and programs that are converting traditional text into animated diagrams and clips that capture interest much faster and form an essential tool for learning that is both easy to view and easy to learn from. More importantly, it seems fun and comes at an affordable price. Why explain about things in the book with limited 2D diagrams when 3D models of the same can be made to fly on the screen of the Tablet in front of you.
Last year Amazon reported for the first time that E books outsold ‘Real’ books on its online stores. Not only is this a change in the good direction that provides access to the world’s knowledge but is great news for the thousands of trees who lay down their lives for us every year.
Budget tablets are a boon to school going kids and the initiatives like the Aakash Tablets by the Govt of India are meant to promote this very purpose.
2. E commerce
Malls, big retail shops and even banks are still years away from being established in towns and villages that lack even basic sanitation in India (only 137 million out of 1.3 billion people have access to internet) and the rest of the 3rd world’s developing nations. It takes years for even the news of the latest products to reach such places. But give the people a mobile network and hand them a tablet/smartphone and the rest is nature’s work. Online retail stores and payment facilities combined with the reliable logistics allow the latest of technologies to penetrate the heart of poverty. If Muhammad cannot go to the mountain, the mountain must come to Muhammad. True.
3. Art, Entertainment and Work
Yes, Stylus pens, Microsoft office suite, split screens, Wifi, Apps, all that the tablets bring can be used to not only listen to music and watch videos but also to solve problems related to work where people can now simply make Ppts, make artwork, send messages and edit notes all on the go. Laptops and PC sales are declining. Most companies are arranging for Tablets to be used by employees and cutting down costs and time required to complete work. Makes sense, why Tablets are here to stay.
But like all great tools, Tablet PC’s are only as good as the one who is using them. Ultimately it is upto people to decide what they make of it and how they solve their problems. The Internet revolution has opened up a world of opportunities and has brought true democracy in the hands of the people. It is time, we all start finding innovative solutions to all our problems and Tablets are the perfect window for people in the large but poorer parts of India to finally wake up and be counted.