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Bill Gates: tablets in the classroom have a 'terrible track record'

Bill Gates: tablets in the classroom have a 'terrible track record'


Bill Gates has said in an interview that tablets in the classroom have a 'terrible track record.'

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Among other things, Apple's iBooks 2 initiative is designed to put modern digital textbooks into schools, and some studies have found that the tablet can be a positive learning tool. However, not everyone's convinced — Bill Gates, for example. In an in-depth interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Microsoft co-founder said that the future of education requires a lot more than simply providing people with new ways to read.

"Just giving people devices, that has a really terrible track record. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher and those things, and it's never going to work on a device where you don't have keyboard-type input. I mean, students aren't there just to read things — they're supposed to actually be able to write and communicate, and so this is a lot more in the PC realm."

Rather than a tablet, Gates envisages "a low-cost PC that's going to let them be highly interactive" as more effective in education. He goes on to say that "the device is not the key limiting factor at this point," and that it makes sense for it to be something that you're "able to check out of the library." That said, with Microsoft's upcoming Surface tablets employing proprietary keyboard covers, we wonder if Gates would consider them a better fit.