Monday, December 13, 2010

iPad in Education: first impressions

iPadApple has certainly knocked one out-of-the-park with the creation of the iPad.  It is truly a new category of device that augments and begins to replace my traditional computers.  With instant on and a great battery life it is a go to device.

Using with students

The Computer Using Educators of BC have launched an ambitious program to put 11 iPads in the hands of teachers and students.  We look forward to sharing stories from this initiative as we start in January 2011.  My favourite iPad education blog is from Fraser Speirs.

Apps I can’t live without

Unfortunately I have to return my loaner iPad in January.  Here are the apps that I’ll miss the most.

Communication

  • Mail – slick interface for managing multiple email accounts
  • Safari – the multi-touch interface on the iPad makes surfing the web a dream
  • Google
  • TweetDeck – great twitter client
  • Flipboard – amazing interface for surfing twitter links
  • Facebook

Reference

  • Evernote – the free version lets you take notes with audio recordings that sync between multiple computers
  • SimpleMind X mindmapping
  • WordWeb – dictionary and thesaurus
  • Periodic Table of Elements
  • All Countries – stats on countries around the world
  • HistoryMaps – view historical events on a map
  • Wikipanion – wikipedia search engine

Science

  • NASA HD
  • Google Earth
  • Molecules
  • 3D Brain
  • Planets
  • Science VL – Glossary of terms
  • Periodic Table of elements

Math

  • Calculator
  • Fractions
  • Tables – multiplication

Early learning

  • Flashcards
  • Alphabet Car

Exploration

  • Geocaching app
  • The Weather Channel
  • AppShopper – a way to find apps that are popular and free
  • Netflix – app that lets me watch movies and TV shows

Games

  • Smurfs – my kids (age 10 and 8) love this game.  Seems similar to farmville
  • Angry Birds – very addictive

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Wishes for the next version

Some point next year, Apple will release an iPad2.  Here is my wish list:

  • A camera with flash.  There are endless possibilities for students to capture their learning and create digital presentations.
  • Audio application built in for capturing and basic editing of podcasts.
  • Performance.  There have been a few times that the iPad felt sluggish.  Faster processor, more RAM and storage will improve in the future.  Also, note to apple, please let me have an expandable memory card slot!

Comments?

I’d be interested in hearing from other educators and their initial experiences with the iPad.

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