The iPad

I’ve had an iPad for a couple of months now and thought it was about time to make a few observations.

Every now and again some new technology appears that creates a new ‘genre’.  Interactive Whiteboards did this, and iPods did it, I think that the iPad has done it again.

The iPhone was a really good phone and the ‘apps’ idea was inspired.  The interface was excellent but I never felt that I was missing out by not having one – I could do most of what the iphone did on my smartphone, in some cases I could do it better.  I have tried different mp3 players however and have to say that the ipod range is best (shame about iTunes though).

The iPad is different.  The size makes it much more suitable for me to use it as a ‘multimedia reader’.  I can read blogs, music, video, books, website, maps, games etc with total ease.  The speed of ‘instant on’ make this quick and easy and you can do almost everything in seconds (no training, configuration etc).

I find myself using the iPad for all my day to day ‘stuff’ – checking my diary, email etc (from Exchange), for reading blogs (presented in a beautiful ‘magazine’ format).  I can type on it fairly well but I’m not a huge fan of the keyboard.  It’s great, really great.  Would I pay £400 for one?  possibly not (thought I’d like one for Christmas).

How about use in school?  Well ….

I’m not convinced that this is THE tool for schools yet.  Sure Apple have some excellent devices for schools to keep them all charged and synchronised and there are masses of powerful apps and excellent ways of using the iPad – really good but probably in moderation at the moment.  For a teacher however I can see this as being a really powerful tool and I could quite see teachers using iPads all the time.

This is a move towards the school providing the infrastructure for personal devices though and this box of tricks definitely furthers the argument.  Schools are going to have to be right up to date with their policy on personal devices and have their wifi networks up to scratch.

I will post a few of my favourite apps over the next few weeks to give you an idea of what I’m using at the moment.  I’ve added a new ‘category’ to help you filter these in or out …..  As usual please let me know what you think.

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