Is anyone using iPads in the classroom or planning to next school year?  Input would be welcome as far as how are you using them or planning to, positve outcomes and drawbacks. 

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My husband is a high school music teacher and his school is planning to buy iPads next year (we don't have them in Australia yet). He is pretty enthusiastic and is already "lobbying" to get a few for his classroom. I'll write again when he has tried them out... until then all we aussies can do is dream :P
I have been checking one out these past couple of weeks as a possible tool for a grade 5 class. The interface is so intuitive, the display is beautiful, and there are useful apps, but I still can't get past not having Flash. It seems to really limit access to educational content on the web and web 2.0 apps. Our younger students do not have email accounts so file management seems like an issue too. I'd like to be convinced that this is the tool for our class. Anyone out there that can sway me?

You can get around not having flash by downloading the cloudbrowser.  It allows flash videos to play. 

Rover is another app, a little slow, that will allow you to open flash content on the iPads.  Just download the app and use it as a web browser on the iPad. 

I had an iPad delivered on April 3rd, the release date. I was really excited about getting it considering I seldom would buy something like that without first trying it out at a store.... None-the-less, love at first touch. I am a regional consultant for pretty much the southwest corner of Iowa. I mostly do science these days but have mainly been tech in the past with some math (MS/HS Level). Anyway, the first APP anyone should get is 'STAR WALK'.... wow, just go outside or stay inside, hold it up and tilt the top back a little to tell the digital compass to kick in... The software shows the most beautiful night sky in any direction you turn... you are able to zoom in, turn 360 etc... a wonder for finding stuff in the sky. And that is just one educational program to start with... many more and the iPad's bigger screen is so sharp and crisp. I think any educator would be thrilled to have one of these. Yes, Apple has some work to do to address the FLASH problem (but most sites are scrambling to get stuff to HTML 5 which is even better). Also it needs a camera and multi-tasking (I think that may be coming this summer or maybe Fall). Everyone I've shown mine to immediately wants one and starts planning how to get one... Dave, Creston, Iowa USA
Wow, don't know what to say. I guess I'll just start with the fact that when I got mine, I turned it on and it worked... no computer to activate. I linked onto my wireless and started downloading APPs, books and lots of need educational stuff. I don't see how Apple controls the market place anymore than one like Microsoft who has been sued countless times for such monopolistic tactics. In fact their fund from such a loss is providing some needed education dollars to schools in this area right now. As I said in my post the multitasking thing is coming soon, but I'm sure not seeing it as a current drawback... I kind of like the idea of concentrating on one APP at a time, esp educationally focused APPs. You can cut and paste from one APP to another even now. I really think it is a stretch to hint that APPLE may not let schools have the APPS they want... They do control some of the R-Rated stuff in their store, but most would want that. To think that Apple is only selling iPads because of marketing hype does not do justice to this device. I have indirectly marketed a lot of them just by showing mine and showing the kinds of things it can do... Try holding a netbook up to the sky and get it to indicate what stars are in a given direction. I think just like the iPod Touch/Phone, the number of amazing new things that will be developed for such a portable, long battery life device will astound you. I do a lot of science and Pasco already has their probeware able to link into the iPad for remote data collection... that is the tip of the iceberg. BTW, when I take my iPad to the typical long winded meetings that educators are often allowed(I say tongue in cheek) to attend, I have barely seen my battery even hint it is being used long after all the laptop people are scrambling for AC power adapters, etc... I mean no disrespect, but I must strongly disagree with your post...
Personally I think that Apple has a pretty good thing going by controlling the Operating System and the hardware. Things just plain work better. I have seen far too many problems on the PC/Microsoft side of things for the last several years and it seems they just continue. I think educators are savvy enough to know that Apple gives them a high quality product, both hardware and software, for the most part. Microsoft has little control of the hardware and there have been some hardware sold to schools over the years. The virus thing alone is enough to give most schools pause I think...
But the Apple/Microsoft Wars have gone on for years and will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
We've looked at some netbooks and have not been impressed. Most schools here prefer to go with a MacBook that gives much more usability in terms of things like iMovie, Garageband, iDVD, iPhoto, etc.... All of these are TIGHTLY integrated which is something most non-Apple solutions lack. I've taught enough application, programming classes, etc. over the years to appreciate XCode and the UNIX underpinnings of the Mac OS X.... This has descended from Jobs with his NEXT Company and that computer and has given those of us programming for Macintosh some beautiful tools to work with. I can't describe how efficient the Project Builder in the Apple Developer tools works...
I do try to remain as unbiased as possible but I've been around a long time from doing MS-DOS work on a doctorate years ago to, at one time, being a partner in a computer store that sold all these other computers you are mentioning. HP and DELL are probably two of the better for using quality parts...can't say the same for Gateway and some others... But Apple is really tops in the industry and receives a lot of industry awards in that regard.
I think that the Apple one stop solution helps some schools. There is only ONE company to call when you have trouble... that is worth a lot to many schools. I think Apple avoids a lot of problems by not letting just anyone load on an APP of their making as probably a fair number are defective.
I guess I am not bothered by Apple's Store... with, what(?), 180,000 plus APPs up there ... good grief...!!! And many good free ones or ones that give usable samples for education... it is a wealth of stuff to schools IMHO.
Kindle doesn't really enter in here as it is only a book reader... That is about the least of what an iPad can do and, for that matter, do it better and in color. I think Amazon got the message as they had their color Kindle APP on the iPad fairly quickly.
I guess we'll see how it all plays out, but my gut feeling is that Apple has a winner with the iPad and derivations to come. I think you will see textbook publishers totally rethink how they publish and will bring much new and exciting to the iPad. Also with scientific data collections abilities from Pasco and maybe eventually Vernier along with the compass and GPS capability and a ton of stuff I can only close my eyes and dream about for schools... WOW. Microsoft was a big deal when the world was WP, SS, DB, but I think we are moving beyond that in education. Not that is gone, but just relegated to lower threshold. At any rate, I'm excited about technology in education and the new thrust toward 21st Century Learning Skills that becoming part of our educational system... Dave
I think of apples rules being a MAJOR advantage.... There IS method to their madness... There are soooo many garbage apps out there... I'm glad they are taking the bull by the horns with the app store... and i think the we should all be thanking them for trying to keep malicious content to a minimum...
I would love to know more about the tablet functions and if you can load software. I'm looking to use a tablet (which I know the iPad is) for math along with Camtasia Studio software for screencasting. I then want to easily upload videos to my webpage. Is this possible with the iPad? I love my iPod touch in the classroom, but need to go further. I'm definitely going to wait for them to get some of the advances, like a webcam and microphone, but hope that will be done in the next build. Would love your thoughts!
Hi Amy,

There are a number of graphing calculator and related APPs that run on iPod as you probably know. I am, however, amazed at how well the pixel-doubling of the iPad makes them look as it enlarges them to fill the screen. I didn't mention in my previous post one thing that really ticked me off about the iPad to the point I filed a complaint with Apple... namely the VGA adapter for the iPad. I had presumed after watching the video of Steve Jobs doing his keynote with the iPad on his lap being projected for all to see that he was using this adapter which I later purchased. Well, not so. The VGA adapter only works when you are showing either a video or a slideshow on the iPad. The drivers do not produce a signal when just doing other stuff on the iPad. I felt the marketing for the adapter was a little misleading and let them know... However, that said, I'm sure they will fix it and in the meantime I will use something like an Elmo to project the iPad screen if needed....
I think you are very smart to wait for the webcam function...there is a microphone now however. As to the ability of the iPad to do more editing video stuff (I love this stuff as well and teach a number of graduate classes on Movie Making, etc.) I do foresee it coming as even the iPhone GS has some of this function now, As to whether a version of Camtasia Studio will ever run on the iPad, I can't say.... I've learned never to say NEVER when it comes to technology, ha. Obviously a full fledged laptop or desktop is likely always going to offer more functionality than a mobile device like an iPad or iPod touch, however that really isn't the point. I see the iPad because of it incredible portability with instant on, long battery, HD quality screen, built in digital compass and soon GPS, etc. as offering a new level of functionality for certain education application. Like HyperCard of old, I doubt we can imagine all the things people will dream up for the iPad. I was certainly amazed at the APPs that rolled out and continue to roll for the iPhone/iPod touch. LOL, I've been typing so long on this blurb now I'm not even sure I answered you question... sorry. I did look back and you can load software as you would for an iPod Touch from the Apple Online Store. It is nice to have your iPad synced to another computer primarily as this gives you backup for all that you have downloaded......Dave
My district does 1-1 with MacBooks (8-12). Next year is a re-fresh year for the equipment and there is talk that we will be getting iPads. My district has provided me with an iPad to pilot it and get an overall impression. Thus far, I have not integrated my iPad into my curriculum, but I am becoming more familiar with it and in doing so I am getting more and more ideas on how it could be integrated.

The first drawback that I have come across is that it is a pain to transfer documents from a MacBook to the iPad. There are various ways of doing this, but none of them are as simple as you would expect them to be. The other frustration I have encountered is that once the documents or files are shared, they won't necessarily be readable on the iPad--even Pages documents.

I am new to the iPad though. I am sure I will grow to love it more and more. I will keep the group updated.
I expect there are many such things that (hopefully) Apple will make easier in the future. As to moving files I think this link may be helpful unless you are already familiar with this method-->

I also am thinking of more and more ways to use this device. The long battery life and nice mobility entice one to think of ideas that play off those very features. I sure wish it had a camera and multi-tasking, but imagine that is not far away.....

I guess I need to try opening more Pages documents as I have not run into the problem opening documents. Any particular info on this to help me duplicate the problem?



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