Much hype, fanfare, articles, videos and an enormous amount of rumors leading up to the launch of Apple's tablet computer, the iPad, were abound. So the last thing you probably want to hear about is another article regarding the device. However, one thing that was touched upon by Mark Cuban in his blog, was the fact that this device will change the way kids grow up just like video games did with the last couple of generations. I can personally attest to this fact and as an expecting parent, I'll explain how.
When I grew up, the VCR was the device to have. It provided hours upon hours of entertainment. My living room was filled with cabinets full of VCR tapes with various movies. My parents loved it, not only for their own use, but because it kept us kids entertained. Then along came Nintendo. Nintendo did in fact change how I grew up. While not exactly the same quality or experience as video arcade games, it was convenient since you didn't have to go to the arcade and you didn't need tons of quarters to play. While there were other video gaming systems before Nintendo like Atari, they were not as affordable or widely adopted. Friends and I would gather around to play Nintendo together which created a new kind of social atmosphere. Combined we had tons of games, controllers and accessories. Between the VCR tapes and Nintendo accessories, we could fill our parents' cars with all that stuff lugging it back and forth to friends' houses.
A few years after Nintendo was widely available, the Gameboy was released. This made gaming even more convenient and portable. Now we just had to have little pouches to lug our games around with. However, it didn't quite provide the same level of gaming as the handheld gaming device was nearly as powerful and didn't have color as with the console game. Shortly thereafter, I had my first personal computer at home. Nintendo was a thing of the past as computer games became more popular and you could store a lot more games in less space with the proliferation of hard drives.
Not too longer after I got my first computer, I moved on to a better machine that had support for dial-up modems and AOL. AOL was my first experience with the Internet and I couldn't get enough of it. I graduated from AOL when I received a direct internet account on a college computer and rigged it up to provide my home computer full Internet access. The rest of course, fast forwards us to today. While the generations after me are growing up with advanced gaming consoles, faster computers, DVD movies and highly portable devices, a couple of common threads still remain. Not all kids can afford their own laptops. They still carry backpacks with books to and from school. They still lug around physical media - DVDs for movies, console game media (more DVDs) and large laptops for the ones that can afford it. While some small devices provide basic Internet access and advanced portable gaming, nothing beats the good 'ol full blown computer for browsing the Web, watching movies and playing games.
So where does the iPad come into play? I've already made the decision to make the iPad the first electronic device that my expected daughter will use. She will grow up with it. It plays movies, plays games, connects to the Internet with a full blown web experience, contains full books that act just like real books, is highly portable and is affordable. It will be the only device she needs throughout school. No longer will she need to carry a backbreaking load of books since they can simply be downloaded, physical media will dissapear since movies too can be downloaded and there's not much need to use a desktop computer since the full web and email are available on this device. It will truly change the way kids learn. Kids now have a single device that does everything they need from entertainment to learning.
Aside from all the criticism from people who wonder why they may need an iPad when they have a PS3, tons of DVD movies, an awesome laptop and wireless Internet access don't realize that this isn't their device. This is the kids of the future's device! This is how they will grow up. This is the device upon which they will learn. Unfortunately, parents who don't make this connection will leave their kids at a disadvantage.
Starfleet, here come your new recruits with iPad in hand!
|About the author
Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.
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