Got iPad?

Too bad we have to wait another month.
I watched Apple’s Keynote address showcasing their iPad. Then I read the reviews:

The 10 Reasons NOT to Buy an iPad was interesting, but the wiki exploring the “downside of Apple’s product ecosystem” was weird. and there’s more, every day.

It occurred to me these people have probably never even touched an iPad, much less seen one.
And they’re also probably not educators.

SO, 10 minutes and 2 x-acto blades later, I had a full scale model, complete with a glossy inkjet screen.

Here are a few observations that may help someone hang on till March 24? (Arrgh!)

  1. It FEELS nice. That curved back fits the hands well, vertically or horizontally.
  2. The “big black bezel” complaints are ridiculous; you need something to hold onto with one hand and hide those thumb prints (it’s glass, you’ll drop it!)
  3. Proportions are nice, exactly the same as my For Dummies series, just thinner. It’s gonna fit in 1,000s of back packs. And my Mom (92) is gonna have no problem finding her grandchildren.
  4. Discovery Education people are gonna love ‘em. Their videos are 8 times bigger, and brighter. They should simply GIVE one to all loyal staff. Maybe first we should get  jobs there.
  5. The battery goes 10 hours; that’s a full school day, including homework! No extra bulky battery warts or 4th period melt downs.
  6.  That rolling COW (Computer On Wheels – charging cart for laptops) becomes a calf, or just a shelf for books.
  7. There’s a mic so Dragon Dictation will work (highly accurate dictation software for the iPhone). And so will Dragon Search (also free). You should download these while they’re still free.
  8. There’s like 100,000 other Apps that work as well (GPS – finally a map I can read) many of them educational.
  9. It’s NOT a phone, that’s perfect for K-12 students.
  10. VoIP (Voice Over Internet) is allowed (it COULD BE a PHONE, who can keep up?). So it’s a phone without the charges, monthly contracts and extra 3G. Whoa!
  11. It’s wireless, like a NetBook. Head for Starbucks or the Public Library and use GoogleDocs or Zoho, or any of the 1,000 other cloud based WebApps (blogs, wikis, tweets even) for all your literacy needs.
  12. The price is dropping below the original $499 (we were smart to wait!) probably just below Kindle, with color and the Internet.
  13. Reading books! (should have been #2) I do it now on the iPhone, this is 8 times bigger, and easier to hold.
  14. Those pictures become links to YouTube movies (attention Discovery Education), text leads to audio files, lectures, and podcasts. What a boon for the magazine, newspaper, and gothic novel publishers. Watch the Sports Illustrated Tablet demo on YouTube.

So, there are things you’ll do that you haven’t even thought about, like TEXT to Speech or Speech to TEXT.  (Re-read #13 or have it read to you. Ooops, you’ll have to wait another month).

Comments

  1. Amberlea

    Thanks for the great summary and analysis! I was also doing some research on this new product, but is extremely helpful to read your first-hand review from an educator’s perspective. I appreciate the point that the absence of a phone is perfect for K-12 students. The price will be a difficult obstacle to overcome, but perhaps our patience will pay off, eventually. Thanks, again!

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