Different strokes for different folks

Last year, I was walking behind two students who happen to be passing underneath a large banner that proclaimed the University of Leicester as University of the Year, 2008/9. The brief conversation was thus:

Student A: “Yes, we were University of the Year.”

Student B: “What, for the whole year?”

I’ve absolutely no idea whether Student B was being funny, ironic or genuine, but the comment stuck with me. It made me laugh.

Yesterday, as I was filming a workshop hosted by  CAIPE (Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education) at which TIGER was present, I noticed a participant using an iPad placed firmly in a keyboard dock.

ipad in a keyboard

iPad in a keyboard dock

I asked her after the meeting why she used the keyboard and whether it was because it helped her type faster.

She said it did, but her main reason – as with the comment of the student above –  made me do a mental double-take. It was that using a keyboard prevented her iPad screen from becoming ‘dirty and smudged with fingerprints’.

I find this fascinating, as for me this is equivalent to strapping a team of horses to the front of a car because it prevents the exhaust pipe from getting sooty.

However, for this person, the system clearly works. So perhaps for her the touch screen capabilities of the iPad are not the most important features, as they clearly are for me.  Perhaps the lightness, portability and quick launch features of the device are more important.

I think my preconceptions were challenged in both cases, which is never a bad thing, and particularly so when it comes to technology.

Simon Kear

Keeper of the Media Zoo

Picture courtesy of colecamp

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