Are you a Betamax?
Now that we are all excited about integrating iPads into the classroom, what’s next? What are we all going to do in 18.. 24.. 36.. months when the next great device comes along? Are we all going to just start over? How do we, as educators, avoid being the next Betamax: that flash in the pan that couldn’t scale up and adjust to a rapidly changing market?
While Betamax may be gone, the idea behind it – that people wanted to easily access videos and then store them to watch later – lives on in every DVD player, and mobile device, that exists today. If you were someone who looked and saw the big picture idea of Beta as the sharing and storing of videos (or of information, images, video, and data), you may not have been upset by its demise and would probably not be surprised by the popularity of today’s technologies that perform the same functions. Similarly, you would neither be shocked by the popularity of the Blu-Ray format that delivers an ever higher quality product, nor by web sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.
However, the person who found comfort in the familiarity of the small cassettes and argued against VHS on principle, as well as out of loyalty, would have seen the demise of Betamax as a tragedy and their investment in it as a useless waste of time. So how does this apply to education?