British MPs Experimenting With The iPad

British MPs Experimenting With The iPad

Photo courtesy of Yagan Kiely

The use of gadgets has traditionally been discouraged during debates in the British House of Commons, but that could change with a new experiment underway with iPads in the U.K. parliament, according to a Sunday report in The Guardian.


Sixteen members of the Commons administration committee will begin using iPads in private meetings, and in public evidence-gathering sessions, reports The Guardian‘s Andrew Sparrow.

Sparrow says that the experiment “could ultimately lead to MPs routinely using them in the Commons chamber, although there are concerns that if they become over-reliant on technology when they  were sitting on the green benches, the cut and thrust of the debate could suffer.”

In the United States, lawmakers have already started using the devices during committee hearings.

Darrell Issa, a Republican House member from California, has even gone so far as create an iPhone and iPad app called “GovWatch.”

It aggregates congressional members’ Twitter feeds and solicits ideas from the public on how to cut government spending.

Do any of you readers out there know of any creative uses of the iPad in government?

If so, please share.

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About the author

Sarah Lai Stirland

Sarah Lai Stirland is from the gadget and status-crazed island of Hong Kong, where even sampan drivers enjoy showing off their latest gizmos. Sarah's work has appeared in Congress Daily, National Journal, POLITICO, Portfolio.com, Red Herring, The Village Voice, and Wired.com, among other places. She now lives with her husband, cat and her young gadget-obsessed, button-pushing daughter in San Francisco. Follow Sarah on Twitter at @LaiStirland

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