More news on the education front: Cisco Cheng of PC Magazine has picked up on the Virginia Tech / Tablet PC story and has posted his own opinion on why so many schools are starting to require students to purchase tablet pcs:
Virginia Tech’s School of Engineering is now requiring new students to buy Tablet PCs. This is important, surprising news and could signal a change in fortunes for the often-scoffed-at Tablet PC. In fact, a quick search online reveals a number of schools—primarily engineering and medical—across the country doing the same. I’m not talking about slate tablets, mind you. I’m referring to convertible tablets—those laptops that look like typical notebooks but have screens that can be flipped around and written on.
I can see many reasons why institutions are pushing for tablets. For one, listening to a hundred keyboards clacking away during a classroom lecture can be quite a nuisance. Writing notes is much quieter. Tablets are great for classes where diagrams play an essential part of the lecture. As the teacher draws an arrow to a graphical element, you can mimic the actions as you take notes. You can cut and paste digital pictures into notes, too. Why not get a laptop that lets you also annotate papers and sketch diagrams?
He ends his article with this great line:
When Tablet PCs came out, I was a nonbeliever. You can count me now as a believer. I guarantee that one day you’ll be one, too.
That is great, Cisco. Can you start featuring more tablet pcs in your back to school editions now?