More on the iPad as the iDeal Classroom Tool

Since I posted my reasons for thinking an iPad makes the ideal classroom tool (that’s classroom tool; ideally, all students ought to have a smartphone, the ideal out-of-classroom tool, too) back in February, developers have been working at a good clip to come up ways to exploit the tablet’s features. This app, called CourseNotesApp, is a good early indication of what can be done on an iPad. It will make note-taking as writing on a laptop and, because it has built-in sharing over e-mail and Bluetooth/WiFi, it will let students do those important 6 collaborative classroom jobs out of the box.

Now, this little app might not be the perfect tool–the developers are still working on adding image and voice support–but I think it is proof of concept.

What I’d love to see is a mix of CourseNotesApp and something like this new magazine experience from WIRED magazine and Adobe:

I really like the dual axis navigation of this WIRED e-magazine. I’d love to see a developer put together a content creation tool that I, as a teacher, could seed with essential course material along the horizontal axis. Students could then and notes, rich media and connections to other subjects at any point along the vertical axis.

Interestingly, this is starting to look like a fantasy app I described a year ago almost to the day. That app would let me capture content, like delicious I said, and more importantly, let me show visually how those are related (unlike tagging). Maybe my fantasy will come true this year?


  1. Reply
    jay May 2, 2010

    Nice post -But the video from Adobe TV must be from before Apple’s recent announcement disallowing apps created with non-Apple development tools. I think the iPad has tons of potential in the classroom, but ruling out Flash in the browser and Air for app development is a real negative in the short-term.Apple is betting on developers making the switch to HTML5 for web stuff, and their tools for app development. I hope they are right.

  2. Reply
    Braddo May 2, 2010

    I agree. No Flash is no fun. There are a number of other shortcomings, too: it won’t let me edit Google Docs, not directly anyway. But it’s early yet.Thanks for the comment.

Leave a Reply