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Apple introduced the world to its long-awaited tablet today and named it the iPad. The device will be available sometime in March and the starting price is $499. In this article I will begin exploring the possibilities for this innovative tablet for teachers, students, and everyone involved in education. I will attempt to highlight the great uses, critique the omissions, and begin generating questions for the device as more analysts get their hands on it.
Editor’s Note: Yes, I am aware that all of my positives and negatives are gleaned without having used the device.
HIGHLIGHTS: So much to talk about here, but I’l try to move through it quickly. What a great price for education! So many rumors were out there that the device would be near $1000. A price tag of $499 makes it more than competitive with the netbooks.
The iPad Keyboard Dock will be available for $69 and this will be a great accessory for education. I am sure Apple has tweaked the touch typing quite a bit, but a physical keyboard addition is a great plus.
The greatest feature in my opinion for education is the ability to have the iWork Suite available on the iPad. That is what the iTouch was missing. Now students can do word processing, slide show presentations, and create spreadsheets, and so much more for only $10 for each iWork app. Adding iWork is AWESOME! The speed of the operating system and the ease of use appears to be a marvel!
Making the iPad an eBook reader combined with all of the other great features is a treasure. I know several schools that just spent thousands of dollars on Kindles. What do they have? A nice eBook reader. The iPad is a Kindle Killer, and adds so, so, so much more to the package. ”Out, out, brief Kindle.”
Students will be excited to have this device in their hands, and it will be easy for them to use.
The iPad will certainly add excitement to the classroom, and will become a powerful tool in education. Imagine the possibilities of the iPad.
No Camera: There is no camera on the iPad, however, you will be able to import pictures and video through an accessory called the iPad Camera Connection Kit. (No idea on the cost at this time.) This camera connection kit will allow you to use the iPad’s USB port or from an SD card reader. Hopefully there will be some some sort of video editing program like iMovie available. I will want my students to be able to create podcasts and video projects. I really want to believe Apple will add a camera to this device!
No Multitasking: Having a difficult time seeing my students working on Safari doing a webquest without being able to use their word processor at the same time, or completing an online math assignment without being able to use the built in calculator. I really want to believe Apple will add multitasking soon.
• How do you print? If you have iWork app how do you print your creations?
• How many iPads can you sync to a computer? Is there a limit? If a school wanted to go one to one with these iPads, how would that work? If you purchased iWork for $9.99 and all 150 iPads were synced with one computer, couldn’t you use it on all of them?
• Can you access servers? Can you hook up external storage devices?
Wired Educator’s overall first impression? We are very excited! Can’t wait to try this out in the classroom. A few years back I started the iPod in Every Classroom initiative. Well, it just got the mother of all upgrades. This is what I was looking for in a classroom handheld device.
Don’t take my word for it yet. Let’s hear from someone who has actually used it: