Video of the Week: iPad
Once again, Apple Inc. is trying to change the world. Recently they have released a brand new product called the iPad. Perhaps you have seen the following commercial:
This iPod/Macbook hybrid is supposed to be yet another game-changer from Apple. Just as the iPod revolutionized the music industry and just as the iPhone revolutionized the phone industry, now they are trying to revolutionize the mobile computing industry.
The iPad can do photos, music, web browsing, E-mail, and much, much more. Of course, thousands of Apps are available and will continue to be custom made for the iPad just as they were for the iPhone. Apple has even created its own App called iBooks so that you can use the iPad as a digital book, magazine, and newspaper reader!
It looks cool, and as always, the commercials are pretty exciting. But the question remains: Is this just another fun toy, or is there practical use for the iPad?
Christ the King believes there is not only practical use for the iPad, but that it will in fact become yet another game-changer. However, the iPad will not just change the way people read magazines and books, or how businesspersons travel and communicate. The iPad is going to change schools. Forever.
Check out Apple’s preview of iBooks and the iBookstore:
Imagine the possibilities for schools! Students no longer have stacks and stacks of textbooks, but instead they have just one iPad. The iPad would have all their textbooks on it. The iPad would have all of their educational resource books on it. The iPad would have all of their fun books on it. Any word the student doesn’t know can be instantly defined in the dictionary. Any word or topic can be quickly searched to make paper writing that much easier.
The higher the student goes in education, the more practical the iPad becomes. Think of the college student who spends $500 on an iPad and then maybe $100 on iBook textbooks instead of thousands of dollars on regular textbooks. Not to mention that all those books now fit inside a legal envelope! Do we even have to mention the savings to the school that no longer pays countless dollars for new textbooks every couple of years?
But it doesn’t stop with elementary, high school, and college students! The iPad will be a fantastic resource for Preschoolers. Imagine the Preschooler at a technology center independently using an iPad to learn in a whole new way. The student opens an iPad App for learning letters. The child can trace letters to practice writing, hear the sounds letters make, and even play fun games for letter identification. After some time in the letters App, the student switches to a very simple numbers and counting App that makes math simple and fun. Finally, the student switches to a neat little matching game that helps increase memory power and the ability to identify animals.
In just 15 minutes, this Preschool student exercised the memory, worked on hand-eye coordination, learned letters, and practiced counting!
There are other handy features of the iPad. You can watch videos and movies, which would occasionally be appropriate for students. Teachers can connect the iPad to a project and run Keynote presentations (Apple’s version of Power Point) right from the iPad. You can put the iPad on a stand and use a wireless keyboard for typing–maybe even typing classes in a school. Conveniently, the iPad also has a dock connector for which many iPod locks could be used to prevent iPad theft. The list can go on and on.
Of course, the iPad cannot and should not replace teachers. Nor should they become the only tool used in school. But used appropriately and in carefully planned ways, the iPad will be a brilliant addition to the classroom. Yes, even a game-changer.
The possibilities are absolutely endless with the iPad. That’s why Christ the King School will be testing the iPad in the classroom in the next few weeks. If it functions as the type of tool and learning device it looks to be, it will immediately become a staple of our classrooms and will change the way we educate our students.
Learning can be fun, exciting, and affordable. Thank you, iPad. Thank you, Apple.