I have been researching various digital tablets and what some refer to as “competitors to the iPad” although so far I haven’t seen anything that I would run out and buy in place of my own iPad. With over 25 digital tablets out there (or those in development) it is easy to see that tablets will be outselling netbooks by 2012. Well, especially considering what was announced a few days ago….
India has developed a tablet prototype that has solar power capability for only $35. Even more amazing is that the developer hopes to get the price down to $10. Since the iPad seems to have issues in the heat, it will be interesting to see how solar powered tablets have an impact on the development of other tablets such as the iPad. I am not sure how apps would work on the $35 tablet or what videoconferencing capability it has, but after visiting India a few years ago and seeing many outdoor schools for the poor, I can clearly see how this device will revolutionize education and increase global competition.
Considering the One Laptop Per Child Project, tablets such as the $35 Indian version could be considered priceless tools in decreasing digital inequity and global digital divides. Of course we have a long way to go in the U.S. as far as addressing the other first-order and second-order barriers to technology integration (such as schools blocking the internet/sites, lack of broadband, lack of training, lack of support, lack of time, etc.) along with the other 123 barriers that Ertmer has identified.