Monday, May 17, 2010

iPad Thoughts, part 4

Well, this is the first time I have turned on my laptop this week...that says something about how much I am using the iPad! It has become my constant tech companion along with the iPhone. This blog post is a series of disconnected iPad thoughts and experiences...

I have been experimenting with lots of apps-- loading them on the iPad and then removing them. It is so easy to install items, try them out, and then remove them.

I did have one major (almost total) meltdown this week. I installed a to-do app on the iPad that syncs with iCal and it immediately blanked out 3 of my 4 calendars; those on my home desktop, my iPhone, and the iPad. Luckily I noticed it and quickly chose to not sync my work desktop, exported the calendar data file with 470 items, and setup all my MobileMe accounts again. It worked, and life was good. I did uninstall the to-do app, even though it had a beautiful interface. I am not sure if I made the mistake or the app took over, but I did not keep it installed long enough to figure that out!

I watched another movie via Netflix, played Scrabble with family members with the use of iPhones and Touches, and created some Keynote presentations. I still love the fact that it is so easy to show the students things via the large screen, and I feel like the Pied Piper at times as the middle schoolers follow me down the hallway for their try with the iPad.

I recently had a Twitter discussion with an ed-tech trainer who asked me which model schools should purchase.  I gave it some thought, and have decided that, if the iPad purchases are to create a 1-1 program, with students having the devices 24x7, I think it behooves schools to purchase the 3G version. Within the current budget constraints, most schools cannot afford the data plan for students. However, if a student or student's family wanted to purchase that service for the iPad, they could easily do that through iTunes. It could be an easy way to get Internet into some homes that do not have it. In addition, since it is a pay-as-you go option with no long-term contract, families could opt-in and opt-out of the monthly fee as needed.

There are all types of new iPad in education sites showing up. Here are links to a few.

Cool find for the week: Macworld created the ebook "iPad Starter Guide" and is offering it at no cost on their site. Install it into iBooks and learn the finer points of this great device!