WebOs Tablets in Education

WebOs Tablets in Education
In this presentation, a representative from Hewlett Packard introduced their pre-production model tablet (their answer to Apple’s iPad) – due to come out in early July.

Pros:
What immediately stands out about this device is that the operating system (the software behind the applications that run on it) is almost entirely cloud based.  To put that into simpler terms, if you were to lose your tablet or drop it into the bathtub, none of your data, settings, files, or applications would be lost.  EVERYTHING is saved to the Internet.

One distinct advantage of this approach to computing is that user can access “their” computer from any device with Internet access.  This introduces new possibilities with regard to device implementation in schools.  Districts wouldn’t necessarily be binded into multi-year contracts since the device itself is almost irrelevant.

Cons:
Without getting overly technical, this seems like the right direction for educational tools.  However, this particular device is far too new for widespread implementation.  Here’s where I see this device’s shortcomings:

  • No one has piloted this thing in a classroom yet.
  • It has NO VIDEO OUT capabilities.
  • At the time of the presentation there were only 7,000 “Apps” compared to Android and Apple’s hundreds of thousands (this number is expected to increase over time).
  • There is no classroom management software (think iTalc or LAN School) for this device yet.