The iPad is the iDeal Classroom Tool

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Travis Allison at the OurKids blog asked me for my first impressions of the iPad. Here’s the interview.

But in short, I think it’s the ideal tool for the classroom working in the cloud (and everyone should be.) At Island Pacific School, where I work, I’ve divided web tools into five categories: research, production, publication, discussion and time and task management. I also try to use Alan November’s six jobs for students as much as possible, although as we’re not yet 1:1, this is a comes off more haphazardly than I’d like. The iPad would let me and my students handle most of these better than an iPhone/Touch (which, though a fabulous tool, is too small to share in a classroom) and at half the cost of a laptop.

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5 Comments

  1. Reply
    Travis J Allison February 19, 2010

    I interviewed Michael DuBroy from Trinity College School yesterday and he said something brilliant that hadn’t even crossed my mind:No multi-tasking is EXACTLY what you need for a classroom tool.Another benefit!

  2. Reply
    Braddo February 19, 2010

    But of course! (Doh! Wish there was a little smiley for bopping your forehead with the heal of your hand.)

  3. Reply
    More on the iPad as the iDeal Classroom Tool | Stick in the Sand April 2, 2010

    […] 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 […]

  4. Reply
    Andrew Forgrave May 19, 2010

    I concur 100% with the attention focus that comes from the iPad one-app-at-a-time “feature.” Granted, multi-tasking is supposedly coming with version 4.0 of the iPhone/iTouch/iPad OS, but the one-window nature of the iPad is a great benefit for students. With a notebook and external monitor, it can be so easy to get distracted/side-tracked by any one of a variety of things. With the iPad, you tend to be focused in that one app until you navigate out and make another selection.I also like the one-button design, too. (Forget the power, no-rotate, volume controls, they don’t count.) One button to take you home, then select your next task. Simplicity of design.

  5. Reply
    Ian H. May 20, 2010

    I think the laptop is a strawman. At the price of an iPad and given the portability factor, what you really want to be comparing it to is a netbook: price would be $250-$500, portability would be OK, and all the rest of the comparisons would stay the same.The point about single-use (at a time) devices is well-taken, but given the average student is already carrying an MP3 player and a cellphone, I think distraction is less of a hardware issue and more of a classroom management issue.

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