iPads for every Congress member? A good start but not enough by itself

imageGive iPads to all members of Congress? That’s the recommendation of Melissa Bluey, the Atlantic’s assistant art director, who correctly notes the general cluelessness of our solons on technological matters. It would be a good start, but we really should go beyond that with the iPad Stimulus Plan discussed here and earlier in the Atlantic blog of James Fallows, a former presidential speechwriter. Let’s use tax credits and other means to get iPad-style machines into the hands of the nonelite so they can  use the machines for purposes ranging from library e-books to healthcare forms.

imageIn detail I’ve told of the paperwork hassles that an iPad  and the right healthcare systems at the other end could have reduced for me when I suffered a heart attack. The more purposes we use iPads-type machines for, the more we’ll cost-justify the tax credits and other expenditures. Among other things, the devices could distribute multimedia training materials to keep the U.S. workforce up to date and more productive—and more employed. The tablets alone can’t work miracles, however, and we’ll  also need careful integration of the machine with schools, libraries and other institutions. A coordinated approach like the iPad Stimulus Plan could help.

Meanwhile I was pleased to see iPad Stimulus mentions from eBookNewser and TeleRead (my old site) as well as from the Web site of Federal News Radio. What’s more, I remain grateful to Steve Rubel, a prominent PR blogger from the tech realm, for grasping the plan’s potential and spreading word. A number of Web sites repeated his item. Let’s hope that, with or without iPads, people on the Hill and in the White House will take notice and give the plan a chance.

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David Rothman

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