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Tablets Take Their Place in the PC Market

1. Computers, using some AI techniques, can learn. In the classroom while a child is using a tablet PC to learn the basics of addition, how can software be developed to aid in the learning process? Does this mean that teachers are no longer needed for some subjects? Are teachers needed in earlier grades while computer-based training can take over in later grades? Why or why not?

2. End-user systems, like those that allow patrons to order meals on an iPad, must be "idiot proof." (We apologize for the crudeness of that term.) That is, systems must be usable without training and created in such a way, for example, that a patron at one table can't accidentally change the order of a patron at another table. What does this mean for systems development? Can complex and complicated end-user systems be developed and deployed on tablet PCs so that people can use the systems without training and without intervention by a knowledgeable person such as a waiter or waitress?

3. What security issues are involved in allowing people to pay with tablet PCs? Does this payment process make it easier for someone to steal your credit card information? Are you comfortable using a restaurant-supplied technology to enter your credit card information? Why or why not?

4. What will happen to offshore outsourcing for software development? Can outsourcing firms in India and China for example be expected to develop software systems for use in U.S. schools? Can those same firms be expected to develop systems that meet FAA rules and restrictions?

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Solution Preview

1. Software can be developed to aid in the learning process by ensuring that the software provides for non-sophisticated and incremental descriptions and explanations of academic material to students. Teachers will always be needed, due to the fact that only human beings can analyze the students and detect what approaches are best for reaching different students, who often learn in different ways from one another. Computer-based training would never be able to take over completely, due to the fact that teachers are necessary in order to effectively deal with the ...