If you haven’t heard by now, the title of this post is a direct quote from Steve Jobs to a college journalism student from Long Island. She was assigned a story by her journalism professor to cover the iPad initiative at Long Island University. Long story short, after trying repeatedly to get some sort of statement from Apple on the use of iPads in academia, Jobs finally told her “Please leave us alone“.
The obvious angle on this story is Jobs’ attitude toward a customer; being rude, condescending, etc. However, there is an allegory here with respect to academia.
There’s a rather large push to get the iPad into the classroom, but no one really seems to know why.
The iPad is much more suitable as a student’s tool, not an instructor’s tool. So why would you try to incorporate the iPad into the classroom [except maybe as a note taking device or a huge clicker]? There are very few iPad-only apps that lend themselves to a classroom environment and for similar amounts of money, you could have a touch screen tablet that is much more powerful, loaded with the software you already use and just as portable [not to mention you can already use Google Apps on them].
So, instead of continually trying to force the iPad into the classroom (where it obviously does not belong, nor was it designed for), how about taking a cue from Steve Jobs himself and just leave it alone? We’ve been toying with these devices as an instructor’s tool for a long time in academia with no huge successes, when will we learn?