Apple tablet: No, wait, it's the iDon'tCare

ZDNet's Joel Evans "can't wait" to see what Apple has in store on January 27th. Neither can the countless Apple-lovers who hang out in Apple stores and read MacRumors.

ZDNet's Joel Evans "can't wait" to see what Apple has in store on January 27th. Neither can the countless Apple-lovers who hang out in Apple stores and read MacRumors. I don't share their enthusiasm.

You want to know what gets me excited? Content management systems that enable students, parents, and teachers to interact quickly and easily. Social learning environments that flatten the earth in ways that even Thomas Friedman didn't expect. Software that can tell me exactly where my 7-year old is struggling with literacy skills. The fact that he reads at 173 words per minute with outstanding comprehension and recall and therefore, is not struggling at all. The fact that my daughter will hit kindergarten in 5 years and have access to tools that we haven't even conceived of yet.

Or that she is, most likely, the cutest little girl on the planet.

HarperCollins in talks with Apple over content? Not so much. Guess what HarperCollins publishes? Who cares? It's not textbooks! The 10- or 11-inch AMOLED screen that will invariably grace this pretty new device (I'm assuming it will be pretty)? Woopty-do! Will that be affordable enough for me to use it as a 1:1 device? Probably not, but if CES taught us anything it's that a bevy of affordable tablets is just around the corner.

If students get themselves an iCouldn'tCareLess for their birthdays, I'll be happy to help them hunt for relevant content and make sure that they can access the wireless networks at school so they can browse the web. I'll do the same for the kids with netbooks, laptops, and iPods. Whatever.

I'm still a big geek at heart. I love cool hardware as much as the next guy. I'm drooling over a new laptop that I'm saving for and I can't wait to trade in my BlackBerry for a Droid that I will promptly root. Gadget lust is strong in my heart. But the hype over this bloody Apple tablet has to end. Give it a rest. CES made it abundantly clear that Apple will simply be a big fish in a bigger pond of MIDs and tablet devices that my students, kids, and I can actually afford.