Saturday, April 17, 2010

iPad - Initial Thinking

So you'd have to have your head in the ground to not realize that the world is a-buzz over Apple's new iPad. When I see new tools like this come out, I usually wait a bit to let some others test out the possibilities for the tool. After all, real life is happening now and it is difficult as a teacher to have time to test out things when you have today to worry about. However, this tool is different. I've actually had my hands on an iPad for less than 48 hours and I already see the possibilities for students.

I find this video telling of the intuitive nature of the iPad.

I like the intuitive design of the iPad. This is much like the iPod Touch, only bigger. For me, a middle-aged digital immigrant, the bigger interface is a plus. I also see that bigger interface being a plus for younger students. Will Richardson has made available an interview that he did with a well-known evaluator of digital tools for young kids. I thought the interview gave some good insight into the potential the tool has for kids, young and old.

Part of the apps now available for the iPad include some of the iWork suite: Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Even though the apps are not full versions of the software, a person can put together a presentation in Keynote and present it all from the iPad. The VGA adapter for a projector will make it so that keynote presentations, photo slideshows, and videos can be seen on the projector. However, the adapter does not show the iPad environment. Why is that so hard for Apple to manage? When will Apple come up with a way for the iPad (as well as iPod Touch) environment to be projected?

Even though the iPad definitely has potential for K-12 education, I don't see the iPad as being able to replace a MacBook. The iPad is still limited in what can be created using that tool. It is, however, a very good "consumption" and "connection" tool.

I am curious as to what other educators think about the potential for the iPad in education. I enjoyed watching this video from wilsontech1, The School Tech Show.

Labels: , ,