iPads Not Matching Our Needs

Someone please help me consider the iPad more favorably. I tested some curricular integration ideas tonight.

  1. Use iPads to plan a virtual trip in Google Maps.
  2. Use iPads to research on the web.
  3. Use iPads for writing exercises.

The theory was promising. iPads would provide a simpler, more portable computing environment for students. They could research, write, and use websites at one-third the cost of websites and fewer potential distractions for kids.

After having used the iPad, I’m back to the drawing board. The trip planning project uses Google Maps. Visiting http://maps.google.com in Safari causes the iPad Maps application to automatically load. Needless to say, it doesn’t support the bookmarking, placemark notation, and flythrough features used in the project.

Google Docs does not supporting editing in Safari.

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote cost $10 each per device. I have heard that one can sync a single purchased copy to multiple devices. How long will Apple let that continue?

Safari views web pages pretty well, unless of course you want to view a Flash-based video. However, how would students bookmark sites or take notes on their research? You can’t view both browser and note taking application simultaneously, and Safari doesn’t integrate with Delicious. Would you need a second iPad for notetaking? ;^)

Add to that the lack of camera, no printing, and no network integration.

Do iPad apps make up the difference? Interactive CD-ROMs of the 90’s offered richer learning environments than the apps I’ve seen. Why hasn’t someone yet created a Shakespeare website or app that combines the text of plays with audio and video of stage productions and movies? We had it in the 90’s.

I’m not seeing it. For $500, give students a Linux netbook instead. Please tell me what I’m missing.

7 comments

  1. Stephen Rahn says:

    Hi Richard,
    I got a WiFi version for my parents, and a 3G version for myself. I am in the dissertation stage of obtaining my doctorate, and the iPad has already become a valuable tool for study. The apps I primarily use are Instapaper ($4.99), Goodreader ($.99), and Paper Desk Lite (free).

    I did purchase the Pages app also, and it works incredibly well for what I need it to do. I also use the Dropbox app (free) for a few things as well.

    It’s not as complete of a solution for K12 at this point, but the next OS update will supposedly support multi-tasking.

    I hope all is well in Portland.

    Stephen

  2. admin says:

    Fine for an individual, but we’re thinking of purchasing a 10-pack for the classroom.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Richard Kassissieh, Richard Kassissieh. Richard Kassissieh said: New blog post: iPad First Impressions http://www.kassblog.com/2010/05/ipad-first-impressions/ […]

  4. Stephen Rahn says:

    I’d say a 10-pack for the media center would make more sense at this point.

  5. We’re thinking five pack for the MS/HS Library, loaded primarily with newspaper and periodicals, and not loaned overnight but for in-library use. Could do videos in the future, but not 40 hour long audio books.

  6. Steve says:

    Hi Richard,
    I got a WiFi version for my parents, and a 3G version for myself. I am in the dissertation stage of obtaining my doctorate, and the iPad has already become a valuable tool for study. The apps I primarily use are Instapaper ($4.99), Goodreader ($.99), and Paper Desk Lite (free).

    I did purchase the Pages app also, and it works incredibly well for what I need it to do. I also use the Dropbox app (free) for a few things as well.

    It’s not as complete of a solution for K12 at this point, but the next OS update will supposedly support multi-tasking.

    I hope all is well in Portland.

    Stephen

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