For a little while, I was excited about the prospect of an Apple tablet. No matter how big a fan I am of Ubuntu, I can't deny that Apple has nailed a lot of usability and interface issues. From an educational perspective, if the price was right, it's not much of a stretch to see these as great 1:1 devices, assuming there was content to go with them.
Then time went by and the rumors would fly every month or so. In the meantime, Intel and its partners are developing all sorts of touch-enabled software on Windows and Linux for Classmates and upcoming MIDs, although educational content is still a bit scarce. Android is everywhere, e-readers are cropping up left and right, and even the JooJoo is making some waves, if not terribly good impressions.
My point? Touch is going to be evereywhere in 2010 and the latest predictions for a spring release of the fabled tablet do nothing to excite me. Not even my very geekiest core, let alone the educator in me. Even Dell has a touch screen option on their Latitude 2100 educational netbook. And a smartphone without touch just really isn't that smart anymore, is it?
The tablet, if it ever materializes, may end up being the coolest thing since sliced bread. However, there will be plenty of cool devices already on the market or coming to market in 2010 that will serve students (if not high end consumers) as well or better. If an Apple tablet had actually been released in the fall with aggressive educational pricing (and a publisher or two already bringing content optimized for the device), then it might have been a game changer. However, Android, Chrome OS, and even Windows 7 with its full touch support make the latest Apple tablet rumors one more thing that will just put this very tired new dad to sleep.