Remember your back-to-school lists? Whether you're in grade school or college, it's always smart to make an organized list of the things you need to succeed in the coming year. Pencils, Pens, Notebooks, Binders, Folders, newest-gen tablet device...
One Chinese teacher has used social media to broadcast this message: Find a way to obtain an iPad or don't bother taking his class.
A professor at Shanghai Maritime University has created quite the controversy after he posted a message on his Weibo account directed at students in his finance course. Weibo, if you don't know, is a micro-blogging service similar to Twitter.
In this post he explains that all lessons, exams and other materials will require an iPad to access and that his students should find a way to acquire one over the summer otherwise they aren't suited to study under his tutelage. Here's the translated Weibo post, courtesy of MIC Gadget -
Started from the next semester, I will be using an iPad to teach the Financial lesson, all the lectures, exams, information will only given out in iPad compatibility mode. I hope every students would go and purchase an iPad, because iPad represents the most modern thinking, and my students must like that. If you don’t have money to buy one, then you go to earn money. If you cannot earn merely $4000 Yuan (around $615) within the holiday, then you are not suit in this course, and you are not necessary to be my student. Poverty or rich doesn’t reflect on your family background, but reflected on your ability.
Well, this exercise is a pretty quick introduction into the field of business and finance...I guess.
But the later Weibo posts paint the professor as a little bit of an Apple fanboy. Posting to the site in English, he said that the iPad is "not an innovation, it's revolution." He then argues that without the Apple tablet, "teaching process will be paralyzed."
As part of his posts about requiring iPads in his classroom, the professor also demanded that male students dress in suits and female students wear "simple make-up" in class. These small steps are ways to "further success" in financial learning.
If this requirement is upheld, these Chinese college students will need to brainstorm. For those without jobs or parental support, how will they find the 4000 Yuan to purchase the tablet? Some of their fellow countrymen and women have already provided some options.
First, they can turn to the black market. In June it was reported that a high-school freshman from China's Huaishan, Anhui Province had sold one of his kidneys so that he could afford an iPad 2. That transaction was left incomplete when the teen's mother found the surgery scar on her son, whose health was inexplicably declining before her eyes.
For those weary of a sketchy operation, there is always the world's oldest profession. Just weeks after the iPad 2/Kidney story, reports emerged that a young girl in China offered her virginity for an iPhone 4. She made the proposal via Weibo.
Although many feel that tablets like the iPad could be harnessed for educational purposes, should a teacher be able to require a student to purchase one? Probably not. But when you think about the high cost of education, remember that college kids can easily drop $1,000 or more on textbooks for one single semester.
Do you think the classroom of the future will be populated with tablets? Let us know in the comments.[Image Courtesy Wolfram Alpha App]