Some things I really like about the I-pad – and one I don’t

I’ve had the I-pad for three days now… what a fun device!  It took me a little bit to get I-tunes upgraded and to remember my I-tunes password (I had to reset it since it’s been a few years since I used I-tunes), but after that the I-pad was up and running and I was downloading free apps like crazy.   Here are some things I love immediately:  no boot up.  I didn’t know how much I dislike waiting for computers to boot up until I had one that is instantly on.  Switching between apps is just as great and I love how, when I click on a link in an e-mail, the browser just pops up and on.  Amazing.  Here’s another think I love… discovering cool little tricks like when I let my finger rest on the screen and a magnifier appeared.  Or when I discovered how to use my thumb to anchor a page so I could scroll through text without moving the whole page around.  Oh, and I REALLY like how easy it is to enlarge text and move the image around the screen.  I love the Dragon speech to text converter… the free version is very simple, no punctuation or anything, but it works great.  I love 3-d molecules that rotate on the screen and can be zoomed in on.  And it’s hard not to love the battery life – I haven’t watched a movie yet, but this little tablet seems to go a long time on a charge.

But it’s not all perfect… I have some websites that I subscribe to that have PDF’s which require a plug-in to view.  Because Apple is fighting with Adobe I’m not sure I can make these sites work… they certainly don’t work on my first few tries.  But I have too much to look at to spend time on that now.  Oh, and I still miss a real keyboard (I’m typing this post on my PC.)

8 Responses

  1. I have definitely having fun playing with the ipad, but I am at a little bit of a loss as to how to take it to a more educational level. I immediately downloaded the Kindle app and linked it to my amazon account and it was great to see all the previously purchased books show up. Although, I am hesitant to use it as an ereader. I would just throw the kindle in my purse and not worry about it, but I feel that would be a bad idea with a $700 device.

    I plan on putting something out on my library list-serves to see what apps other libraries have purchased if they circulate the ipad.

    And, like David, I posted this by typing on my laptop. I think I will force myself to post my next comments from the pad.

  2. My understanding is that the Adobe feud is going to be settled soon. I agree that until that happens, there is a real limitation with how useful iPads would be as a tool every student had.

    As I said in a blog elsewhere, my old Palm had a real keyboard that folded up and plugged in. I could move pretty fast on it. The iPad really needs this sort of device. One simply can’t touch type on a completely smooth surface, and I’m amazed at how little I actually know about where letters are visually. I’ve been typing for close to 40 years and I type quickly. (My mother was so concerned about handwriting that she actually sent me to the Washington School for Secretaries, to which I had to wear a hat and gloves, but I digress down Memory Lane…) But when it comes to texting or using the iPad, I’m looking down wondering where is the “B”?

  3. Here is a link to pictures and descriptions of various keyboards that can be used with an iPad. (

  4. In addition to the PDF issue, the iPad also cannot support any Adobe Flash which is used on a lot of websites. I hope that gets resolved soon!

  5. Love it, love it, love it!

    Took me all of 10 minutes, OK maybe 15, to get it loaded and poof you’re ready to roll. To me the instant on is a huge plus. It can take a while for some kids to get the laptops going. Other thing that’s great: it’s size. It makes the games/educational apps so much more attractive and easier to use. The screen of an iphone is small after all.

    Checked out multiple apps and am in the process of putting together a list of useful ones.

    Winners so far:
    1) boggle: simple but effective wordgame great for 1-3 grade; you actually shake the ipad to shuffle the letter cubes. How cool is that.
    2) sentence builder: great app and illustrations are helpfull for visual learners
    3) word warp ditto
    4) letter tracing activities for K: well done and easy to use
    5) interactive alphabet
    6)ihomework: great organizing tool for those with executive functioning issues
    7) timed reading

  6. In terms of what I really like about the potential of the iPad (and there are a lot of options here!) I think the best part is having quick access to notes, websites, and other info I could use for class at an instant without resorting to paper print-outs. I usually have my hopper with me in class to keep track of the schedule and a copy of my day’s lesson plan, along with the class textbook. In creative writing, I also like to have access to, the Academy of American poets website, to pull up instructive examples right away– and before the iPad, I usually used my iPhone to do this– not nearly as easy to use “on the fly” as the iPad.

    Of all of these things, it was a little frustrating that, with the current iPad set-up, only the last was consistently usable (it was also great to be able to take attendance on FAWeb without migrating to a classroom computer…) I’d love to see an electronic copy of the hopper and an easy MW Word document viewer on this thing, not to mention a functioning clock and stopwatch. And an electronic copy of our European history textbook would put me right over the moon..To be fair, I think that drop-box could offer some of this functionality, but I found it a bit clunky to use, at least in this first go-around.

    In short, I’m blown away by how useful the iPad is for reading, prepping for lessons, and having a handy internet resource right at hand. I think with a bit of tweaking of apps– or practice on the part of this user!– it could become the perfect single item bring-along to class everyday: a lot lighter than a notebook computer (with a simpler to use-apparatus) and much more paper-less than my usual day’s load of materials. Put simply, I love it, and love its potential even more…

  7. I’ve had my IPad for a little over a week and this is an amazing device. The visual clarity is awesome! I use to think that it was suppose to take forever to boot up a computer, but instantly being on-line as been a real treat…I can quickly get to Internet resources and first class which has been nice. Using the keyboard has been a bit of a challenge…wish there was a regular one. I love magnifying the pages in text. I leared a lot from The Planet app and dissecting a frog in the Frog Dissection app were great…possibilities for science. The Math Tour app will help lower school students practice math while learning geography. What fun!

  8. Fabuloso! Increible! Muy moderno! Rapido! Awesome!
    My students were bursting with interest and enthusiasm when we used the IPADS during one week.
    I used with 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th classes applying all the different APPS that were available. They loved them! They learned vocabulary in a faster and dynamic way. Their listening ability developed and they were so into the language as well as the IPAD. It is such an individual process of learning!

    What I was astonished to find was the way they intensely focused on their tasks. I definitely will love to use them again. It is such a great Instructional gadget.

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