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kevin_edu
kevin_edu asks:
Q:

What do you think of the educational potential for Apple's iPad?

Can a single device transform educational content, bridge the digital divide and save the newspaper industry (all for $499)? Will the iPad have a functional use in classrooms? Will publishers support the product with rich-media textbooks that cost a fraction of the price of their paper-bound counterparts? Or will it be business-as-usual as the incumbents fumble along?

iPad info:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/live-b...
In Topics: School and Academics, Children and the internet, Technology and my child
> 60 days ago

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Expert

PatrickL
Jul 5, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Here's a review of the iPad from my blog post:

The iPad is an important step in improving 1:1 computing for students. By converting the interface and quick access of a phone operating system to a tablet, combined with a larger screen and long battery life, the iPad allows almost instant access to the applications (apps), which increases the device’s functionality and convenience as a media and personal digital assistant device for students over laptops and older tablets.

A wide variety of productivity and education apps, ranging from writing tools, informational resources, and subject specific tools and games, provide both teachers and students many apps for classroom, school, and home use. A review of many of these educational resources can be found on the I Education Apps Review.

The iPad does have some shortcomings. Educators may by challenged by the difficulty of printing and transferring saved work from the iPad to other computers. The screen keyboard is best used for light work only. The lack of Flash support limits its’ use with many educational resources on the Internet.  The Safari browser may also not be compatible with school district developed software and information systems.

Despite these drawbacks, the iPad has many uses in education and raises the bar in the continuing development of student 1:1 computing technologies.
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greenprof2
Feb 3, 2010
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Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Hi -
This device could store all the student's textbooks and relieve the backbreaking strain of all those books (plus save a few forests in the process). Yes, I think the iPad has great potential as an educational device, particularly if Apple can move it from being primarily a consumption device to also a strong production device. It is already capable of being docked and used with a keyboard and other peripherials. Apple will need to make it able to operate more than one app simultaneously. The size is excellent and the price is likely to come down as production ramps up (at least that was the case with the iPod Touch).
Michael Bentley, Expert Panel Member

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Additional Answers (9)

rkaiulani
rkaiulani writes:
There's an interesting post on this topic from Wired magazine's "GeekDad" blog: How Will the Apple iPad Change Our Kidsâ Lives? Check it out:

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dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Great question!

Here are a few additional related discussions on this topic....

Apple iPad and Education: Teacherâs Aid or Student Learning Tool?
http://www.isteconnects.org/2010/01/28/apple-ipad-and-education-teachers-aid-or-student-learning-tool/

iPad in the Classroom
http://www.ededco.com/ipad-in-the-classroom

Apple's Announcement of the New iPad. How Will It Affect Education?
http://www.edutopia.org/apple-ipad-education?page=999

I also shared your question on Twitter (via @JustAskEdu and @Education_com), and here is a response that @ededco shared on 1/27/10:

"It will be awhile until it is affordable enough to make a difference for educators."

Thanks for asking!
> 60 days ago

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ededco
ededco writes:
I think that it is a indication of things to come, but explain why I don't think this is a viable option for teachers in this iteration:

http://www.ededco.com/ipad-in-the-classroom

Come check us out and let the firestorm begin!

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
We currently homeschool, and we plan on getting the ipad. The ipad has just mae "browsing" easier to my understanding . Of course, it is light weight and compact which always helps. Overall, we can't wait to get one.
> 60 days ago

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Louiseasl
Louiseasl , Child Professional writes:
I am so glad that you asked this question.  My son is entering college next fall and I am thinking that this device would be so useful for him.  Download textbooks (saving on back injury from carrying heavy backpacks), resources can be at our finger tip, etc.  In my opinion, this is a GREAT tool!

And just think of the applications it can have for children who have learning challenges, too!

My only complaint about the iPad- it wasn't invented when I went to college!


Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
> 60 days ago

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smartflashcards
smartflashc... writes:
I think the potential is huge.  It's not just about iBooks.  There are a lot of educational apps already available on the app store.  

I'm an iPhone developer and I wrote the iPhone app Smart Cards.  It's a program that helps students memorize the multiplication table.  

The iPhone and iPod touch are great mobile devices, but there is not very much screen space to work with.  So, I wrote a web based version of Smart Cards, http://www.smartflashcards.net.  

Since iPad has a larger screen, more memory and faster processor, I've started working on an iPad version that will be even better than the web based version.
> 60 days ago

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dfellars
dfellars writes:
Would a student or school really spend $600 plus on a oversized ipod touch when a $300 netbook could do so much more. I also forsee publishers having a difficult time breaking away from their current text-book pricing structure.  Printing and shipping generally only account 12.5% of a book's cost (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/weekinreview/17rich.html).  On average a new textbook costs $57 (http://www.nacs.org/public/research/higher_ed_retail.asp) meaning that one would have to purchase 84 textbooks over the lifespan of the device to break even. Of course there are additional advantages to the iPad or iPad like device that don't factor into this analysis, but from a pure eReader perspective, a device in the $200 - $300 range would be much more reasonable.
> 60 days ago

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MimiR
MimiR writes:
Fraction of the cost?  You're kidding yourself!  The cost isn't from the glossy paper.

The iPad is a poor device for reading because of flicker.  A full-color, affordable, large-sized version of flicker-free readers (like Kindle) will go much further in that direction.

What I'm waiting for is for them to have all the above features and come in the size of the iPad for $100, so that I can buy three or four for looking at different documents simultaneously and then take notes on another, all networked wirelessly together.  Now, if there was google-quality ultra-fast scanning technology, too--THAT would change my life!
> 60 days ago

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DeviousDevin
DeviousDevin , Teacher writes:
As a teacher, I integrate quite a bit of technology into my classroom to differentiate instruction for students at different levels.  A couple nice things about the iPad (and iPod Touch) is that they are portable (for use on field trips or to take home), have interactive touch screens for tactile-kinesthetic learners, and there are loads of free apps.  I've posted my favorite free apps (without ads) on my blog:

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