I spent much of last week in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my son.
I didn’t take my laptop. On purpose.
And, yes, I had some serious withdrawal symptoms. It had been a while since I had been anywhere without my computer so it took a bit getting used to not having it around.
But I wanted to try and live the entire week on the cloud – no laptop, just an iPad and a Droid smart phone. Could I access and answer email, text, take photographs, scribble out blog posts, create presentations and write documents with just the iPad and phone? More importantly, could I do such things easily?
At least for me, not so much.
I was able to do most of what I needed to get done. I did start several documents and presentations after purchasing the Pages and Keynote apps (at $10 apiece). Posting content on my blog was possible though I wasn’t able to easily edit content at my Social Studies Central Drupal site. And, of course, my phone allowed photographs and text.
The question of the week was ease of use. And I struggled with the keypad, internet access, email issues, web sites that Apple doesn’t like, Google Docs and sharing content with others. So . . . it was possible to live in the wild without my trusty laptop but there is a learning curve.
During our time in the Seattle / Portland area, we used a lot of public mass transit. And for the most part, it works. But everything you do – schedule, location of stops, comfort level – is dependent on the public system. Having your own car is just too handy.
Living on the cloud is a bit like that. You can do it, there are workarounds and tools exist that help but right now, it’s just a bit uncomfortable. If I had my choice, I’ll take my laptop anytime.
The iPad is a remarkable media consumption tool and in a closed school environment, living on the cloud would be much easier. And given the price and interface, an iPad does make a lot of sense. Especially for K-8. But I’m not yet entirely convinced.
I need to play some more. I’ll keep you posted.