Posts Tagged ‘slate’
I call a spade a spade. This is not because I anal retentive (I am) or suffering from prematurely curmudgeonliness (I might be), but because I bother to find out what words mean.
When I read a perspective on Microsoft’s surface computing device, I agreed with the sentiment that “we march backwards into the future”. Often efforts at “change” are merely attempts to hold on to what is instead of letting go in order to get at what could be. It is baggage that we hang on to for comfort’s sake.
I also agreed with that blogger’s perspective that mobile learning is an opportunity to try new things instead of rehashing the efforts and mistakes of e-learning.
What I did not agree with might seem a trivial matter. The blogger called the Microsoft device a “tablet” instead of a “slate”.
Microsoft came up with the first modern tablet PC about 12 years ago and it came with a keyboard. Slates followed after and came with styli and software (onscreen) keyboards. So the iPad and other “tablets” that we have today are actually slates.
This may seem a trivial matter if the use of “tablet” becomes more popular than “slate”. But just because everyone uses the term does not make it right.
It is important to know what words mean because they might indicate what you believe in.
Take “curriculum” for example. If you dig into the Latin roots of the word, you learn that curriculum also means race or the act of running. If you know this, you might realize why teachers and students are always so breathless.
You might also choose not to use that word. I refuse to use it unless I am designing a race. I prefer to create maps for journeys or treasure hunts. No one wins, no one loses. Everyone discovers.
Likewise, “education” has several roots. One is “to draw out from” or “to bring out”. I prefer that definition to talking (down) to, filling up with, or even teaching. I definitely do not like lecturing.
For me, educating means drawing out what a learner already knows, building on that, and leading to greater discovery.
What is in a name? A lot, if you bother to find out.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for OLPC to hit the mark this time round.
Negroponte says that this low-cost tablet (more accurately a slate) is aimed at children in more developed countries.
This will be a great way of putting a powerful technology in the hands of learners so that they can learn more independently and in more relevant ways.
I was excited when I first learnt about the Courier.
[image source, used under CC licence]
Are they conceding victory to the Apple iPad? Or retreating so that they can come up with stronger competitors?