Tablets, Tablets Everywhere! (updated 9/25/11)

So today was Family Day on campus, and my Dad and I visited the Instuctional Technology table, and got to see Dr. Z’s trusty iPad in action. And I gotta tell you, I was impressed.

Many of you may remember my post early this summer about the iPad, where I decided to return my iPad because I didn’t think it was worth the money at the moment… Now I feel like it might be worth the money for me. Visiting iTech on main after the open house, I got a chance to look at some of the education apps that are available. Holy cow, there are a TON! (Side note, Dr Z, could you take a screen shot of your apps, or at least let me know some of your favorite education ones you use?).

I’m starting to think I should start saving my money once again for an iPad, seeing that it can do minor word processing, etc, that I use in class off and on, as well as some awesome apps. Something that I really

believe in is using technology for special education, and using iPads and apps are a forefront in assistive technology. I’ve been in contact with some of the AEA in Cedar Rapids that use iPads, and we’ve found two great sites, http://natri.uky.edu/assoc_projects/qiat/index.html and http://a4cwsn.com/. These sites leave me yearning to try some of the AAC and apps that are reviewed, and actually trying them in classrooms.

What are your thoughts? What are your experiences with the iPad, both in the classroom and personal use?

 

Update:

After checking my RSS feed today, I found this: http://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/23/amazon-media-event-set-for-september-28th-tablet-announcement-expected/, I’ve heard the rumor for awhile that Amazon was planning on creating their own Android tablet, and with the announcement coming so soon, I am very excited to what this brings!


Image credit to leondel via flickr.com/creativecommons
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7 responses to “Tablets, Tablets Everywhere! (updated 9/25/11)

  1. Tina September 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Andrew, I think it must be a fabulous Family Day for you. I had never thought about getting an iPad (because I broke one ipod and one iphone by slipping them on the floor and I thought I might want something not that fragile) until I found almost everyone here had one. But it doesn’t mean that I just want to follow the trend but I found it might be useful in education, especially when I saw some cases that educators use iPad in their classes, stimulating students’ learning enthusiasm effectively. I am really curious about what Dr.Z showed to you with iPad.

    McLeod’s opening remarks at the Iowa Education Summit (http://tinyurl.com/3zj675y) mentioned that if we were really serious about educational technology, we would do things like: put a robust digital learning device into every student’s hands (or let them bring and use their own) instead of pretending that we live in a pencil, notebook paper, and ring binder world. I think maybe iPad is a good choice.

  2. Alison September 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Andrew,

    I have got to say that I have wanted an iPad for some time now, and your post has added to the appeal that the device offers. I am on the go ALL the time, and I feel as though an iPad would assist me in keeping myself more connected, organized, and would increase my productivity. I especially like that iPad is an ereader, because I am an English major and I read more books, articles, and other materials in a day than one would care to tackle in a week. I have been comparing ereaders for a while, and the iPad keeps sneaking its way to the top of my list, because it has so much more to offer than just supporting ebooks.

    As for the use of iPads as assistive technology, I believe they have immense potential in this area. I work with an autistic student in my literacy tutoring sessions, and he loves interacting on the iPad because it is more hands on, allowing him to interact with what he is learning about, rather than just sitting and being lectured at. Many children with autism are non-verbal, but that does not mean that their communication is limited. I think that using interactive tablets such as the iPad is going to change the face of education, both as assistive technology and in the general education classroom. I’ll have to start saving up for one of my own!

    • asmith1106 September 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      Alison, how do you use the iPad with the student with autism, and what apps in particular do you use?
      This is what I am extremely interested in, and don’t know many students who have used an iPad in this manner to share their experiences!

  3. Meghan W September 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I’m thinking about looking into a tablet as well! Why do you prefer the ipad over something like the Samsung Galaxy Tab? I really haven’t done much research, so I’d be interested in what you think. There are so many apps out there (some really cool ones!). You can even make your own: http://www.appmakr.com/ .

    • asmith1106 September 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Thanks for the reply Meghan!
      The thing for me with the iPad over a less expensive Android tablet is really the app quality. I have a Droid X, which I wouldn’t trade for any other smartphone, but sometimes, the app build quality is a little lacking. On the other hand, I really like the Google integration that Android offers. The “main” apps that I would use as a special educator (or for personal use) are available on both Android and iPad, so it really is a draw for me in that category, but the iPad always seems to offer *more*, be it apps, support, or battery life. It makes it a really tough decision for me.

      However, I’m very excited to see what Amazon is announcing this Wednesday. The rumor is that it will be their own sub-$300 tablet, which I may just have to grab up!

      Have you looked at any other tablets in particular?

  4. Chase P September 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I think using tablets in the classroom is a great idea! As to which tablet to use, either some sort of Android or Apple is beyond me. The main thing that turns me off from an iPad is that it doesn’t run flash, but as for any other details about which is better I haven’t got much background. At the end of last year I was visiting with my old kindergarten teacher about using tablets in her classroom, which they were planning to do. The new principal chose her class as an experiment. They wanted to see how beneficial they could be, if at all. I haven’t talk with her yet this year to see how they worked out, but I’m interested to know. I’m sure they found it to be a great experience for the students. Like you said, there are several good educational apps in the Apple market, which just might make the iPad a good buy. We’ll see who the competitors are and what they offer as time progresses.

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