No, not a "hokey" requirement; it’s wonderful that schools are embracing Tablet PCs. Mandating them appears to be a different story however. Want to study at the Virginia Tech College of Engineering as a Hokie? Get your credit card and your digital pen ready because you’ll need a Tablet PC. While the school is trying to negotiate better pricing for the students, not all of the collegians are happy with the rule. One student indicated that the technology isn’t even used that much:
"The average engineer willuse that laptop for the two intro courses and that’s it. As in anymajor, they will take it to class and sit in the back and chat on AIM.That’s the most use it gets after those intro courses."
What a tragedy, as a Tablet PC strikes me as almost perfect for a visual discipline such as Engineering. Instead of an enabling device, the Tablet PC appears to the students as an unjustified expense for an underused laptop. C’mon profs! If your school is going to force a Tablet PC purchase, "get your ink on" and draft some designs with Microsoft OneNote or brainstorm your syllabus with Mind Manager!