iPad Initiative Summaries

The blogosphere has brought a few summaries of educational iPad initiatives to light, and I would expect to see several more before the end of the academic year.

The first summary, coinciding with the end of the first semester of college was from Reed College. Reed College had previously used Kindle DX models for a similar pilot study, and as expected, the students found the iPad to be more multi-functional than the Kindle. The biggest complaint was a lack of a good program with which to manage and edit PDF files. Personally, I would recommend either of my favorite PDF Music Readers, which are centered around the concept of PDF annotation and management (UnrealBook and ForScore). I would also suggest another app I’ve recently purchased entitled, “PDF Expert.” The music readers are $4.99 each, PDF Expert is $9.99.

The blog called “iPads in Schools” recently posted an article about multiple iPad initiatives. This is a great summary of recent initiatives, and I recommend reading the article.

Sam Gliksman recently wrote a summary of his iPad experience. One of my favorite parts about Gliksman’s post is the comments on the post–a few alternative views are represented.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Brandt Schneider’s Blog, where he recently presented a summary of his iPad project for the CMEA. And although the iPad in the Schools Blog mentions this blog, I always need to point to Fraser Speirs’ blog about the iPad initiative at Cedars School of Excellence in Scotland.

If I were to try to summarize all of the initiatives, I would have these six major points:

  • The iPad (1 or 2) isn’t perfect. Something better may come along–
  • The iPad works best in 1-to-1 initiatives, rather than as part of a “classroom set.”
  • Device management is still an issue.
  • Apps are dreadfully important. Thankfully there are over 75,000 iPad-specific apps (or apps formatted for the iPad along with other iOS devices), and more apps to come. With apps such as iMovie, Garage Band, and Photoshop either available or coming to the device, the future is clear.
  • Publishers need to figure out how to handle e-Textbooks before open-textbooks such as CK12 kill the industry (Not that I’m against CK12).
  • iPads can be used incredibly well for content consumption AND creation. If typing on glass is an issue, external keyboards can be used.

And in all cases, I still think Apple’s video about the iPad and its impact in 2010 (shown at the iPad 2 media event) summarizes what the iPad can do, and how no one expected such a device to make such an impact in the world.


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