iPads, iWonder?

Another week, more e-learning information… This week focused on different wireless, hand-held devices. Being a “Mac Girl,” I was more than happy to explore the world of the iPad.

Forget about using the iPad to just email others or play games and music, some upscale resorts are using the iPad to replace their menus. They can update the menu instantly and save paper at the same time. Several U.S. city councils are switching from paper to “Pad” as well, saving themselves a bundle on paper costs — what a green concept!

The iPad works as an e-reader, as well, so one can instantly download a new bestseller and begin reading it in minutes — without ever leaving one’s home — saving paper, time and gas. How convenient! And if Steve Jobs has his way, e-readers would be able to subscribe to newspapers through an iPad app.

Employees can easily stay connected to the office while traveling, create charts and graphs, and compose emails and presentations. The iPad is a veritable work horse!

Convenient to use, the iPad would easily fit into my purse — if I had an iPad. I’m still hesitating to buy one, and it’s not the cost that keeps me from making the iPlunge, even though it’s a bit pricey.

While it’s all very exciting about how this new technology is rapidly changing the way people work and play — and I applaud efforts to save trees and money — I also have some nagging worries about the switch from paper to “Pad.”

Some of it’s personal preference. I like the feel of a book in my hands and seeing the artwork the way it’s meant to be seen; there’s something about turning the pages and bookmarking passages to be savored again and again. It’s difficult getting the same tactile sensation from a hunk of plastic.

And is the trade-off of saving paper and trees the dumping of out-dated iPads and other iTechnologies into landfills? Which lasts longer in the trash — paper or plastic?

One last concern: If we continue on the path to “all electronics, all the time,” d0n’t we leave behind those who can’t afford or can’t learn how to use the new technologies? Just wondering…

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