The tablet prices have fallen like anything in the past few years. Be it because of the Indian tablet (Aakash) or because of the coming of oh-so-many cheap tablets in the market by Indian manufacturers, even the bigger companies like Samsung are nudging towards the lucrative Rs. 10K mark. Of course, the coveted spot is below Rs. 5000 and it will soon be there. There are some tablets already there but the choice is not much.
The specs of such tablets are not something to brag about. Honestly, they are just scraping by and I am personally impressed by any attempt to improve the tablets. And while, these tablets might not run the graphic intensive games, there is one use in particular that I believe should happen.
Recently, I had to shift some stuff in my house. Most of it was a huge mound of books that I have collected over the past year. Mind you, I am not saying years, just 2012. And the exercise was painful and hectic. I am a big fan of hardcopies as reading but with this activity, I realized that the transition of e-books will be one that will be very useful for many places where the number of books are huge.
One example is of course the people who love books but then these people probably have already shifted to tablets or ebook readers. My thought goes to a different place – Schools!
Every year as a child passes, he or she will have to purchase books for that year. These books are only useful for that year and then are sold at half prices. The whole year, the child carries the burden of the books and as the class increases, so does the size of these books.
Many schools provide these books to the children themselves. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to give the same child a tablet? The content can always be curated according to the needs of the school in particular and the burden of the child will be reduced to negligible. The price of a tablet is offset if any child studies in the school for a couple of years or more. Also, the books will always be present as there would not be any need to sell them. (Mostly books are not sold for money but because they occupy too much space). These ebooks can also be priced less than the hard copy as it has no external cost of paper and transport.
Right now, the idea is to support the teaching with tablets, to supplement the books maybe. I think it should be bigger than that and should be to completely change the way students study.
But the biggest question is – Will it happen? If yes, how soon and if not, why not?