Sunday Blog: Yes, even a Chicken can Use an IPad!

During what must be the worst “summer” (ha ha rofl) in living memory our three hens have been floundering about in the muddy quagmire that used to be our garden, but are still producing eggs at the rate of one per day. However, read on … I aim to improve on their egg-laying capabilities via a mobile device….

The story – as reported in the Telegraph – concerns a lonely hen called Maia, whose best mate was gobbled up by a fox. The hen, traumatised and bereft of companionship, stopped laying. Instead of consigning the chicken to the stock-pot of history, her charitable owner decided to try to re-train her, using an iPad and appropriate videos. And I don’t mean Chicken Run – movies of real chickens running around, laying eggs, doing normal chicken stuff. Clearly there are people who film such things.

The results were frankly astounding. After just a few days Maia was back to full capacity (five eggs a week) and is keeping up with her tablet TV. Won’t be long before she gets a comfy beanbag and a few cans of lager in….sorry, she’s a hen, not a cockerel.

So there you have it. We now have conclusive proof that even a chicken can use an iPad (so what are you waiting for?) and that tablets, when used for self-access, can dramatically improve learning outcomes. See the pictures for yourself here.

There is of course a very serious side to this. As the prices of tablets come down, we’re going to see them everywhere. They are light enough for a child to carry, and robust enough to withstand the odd knock. Sales are predicted to top 60m units this year – just for the iPad. Overall tablet sales should reach 120m units – and that’s just in 2012. They are starting to overtake laptop sales.  Leading universities and schools such as EF are experimenting with giving them to classes.  I’m putting together some stats and will post these in the next week or two.

Next week – back to the serious stuff. There’ll be more on Lulu and the start of a short how-to series on publishing yourself.

Byron