Gates: PC still future of classroom technology
Tablet computer initiatives have been cropping up in schools across the country in recent years, as educators look to get the latest and greatest technology into the hands of students. However, Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft®, says tablets may not be the answer for schools even in this so-called "post-PC" era.
In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Gates asserts that the physical keyboard is still a crucial part of the learning experience. Tablet computers provide a new platform for students to read, but students still require a way to write and communicate. This is best handled with "keyboard-type input," he says.
Gates, who is also co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at reforming education, claims the future of classroom technology is not likely a tablet but something in the "PC realm," like a low-cost laptop or desktop computer.
This sentiment is curious given Microsoft's recent focus on tablet computers, particularly with the upcoming launch of the tablet-friendly Windows® 8. However, Gates, who stepped down as Microsoft's CEO in 2000, maintains that devices are not the "limiting factor" in education. Rather, struggles to advance curriculum for the modern era are the main obstacle.