I have utilized the iPad in a variety of ways in the classroom (I teach in a multihandicapped classroom). I use it for one on one work to strengthen and reinforce fine motor, math and reading skills. The students enjoying playing on the iPad for free time and figured out how to manipulate the apps quite quickly and easily. I have an augmentative communication program on it called Proloquotogo and utilize it daily. This program has many ins and outs that I need to figure out but I have figured out how to create my own pages and this has made utilizing it in group activities much easier. I agree with the items mentioned about things that do not work: 1. No USB capability 2. No ADOBE flash capability so unable to play certain videos 3. Not being able to multitask is inconvenient. Overall, I enjoy using it my classroom and it is a motivator for my students.
Having the IPad in the classroom was an awesome way for students to have the opportunity to learn about the Ipad. We explored many apps! However, still the most engaging one proved to be the ever stress relieving “Angry Birds.” The battery life is fantastic and its portability is unsurpassed. I find that not having a USB port is really inconvenient and makes printing or loading pictures more of a chore.
At this time, I would have to agree that a laptop would be a better choice for student use and be more versatile overall. Perhaps the next generation of IPad will include the USB port.
Advantages for Learning:
Kids love it and get excited about using it. There are many apps that can be used in the classroom. It has excellent battery life. It has quick access to the internet and apps. It is convenient to carry and use in many environments. It is nice to have a screen that can be used vertical or horizontal. Great for consumption.
Disadvantages for Learning:
No CD/DVD. No USB. No Flash video. No Multitasking or file management. Fingerprints on screen. Not great for producing papers or presentations in the classroom.
I was glad we had an opportunity like this. While I loved having this for my own personal use to read papers, books, magazines, listen to music and check email and use the internet . . . I struggled to find ways to have it make an impact on student learning that makes it cost effective. In my opinion, at this time, a laptop or Netbook for each student still seems to be a better choice for students and their learning needs. Vince Collopy