Someone please help me consider the iPad more favorably. I tested some curricular integration ideas tonight.
- Use iPads to plan a virtual trip in Google Maps.
- Use iPads to research on the web.
- 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.