Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Just Sat Through iPad Training.

I just sat through iPad training.

Nothing really new, because we have the device at home.  I really do like iPads for reading, Twitter, e-mail, calendar.

Here's what I am thinking about school use:

  • This isn't a full-blown computer (yet) and yes you do need a full-blown computer every once in a while.
    • If it is graphics or audio or video work you will be much happier with a computer.
    • Full versions of programs don't run here.
      • FileMaker Go and FileMaker are not the same deal for instance.
      • SmartMusic still needs a computer, but playback has moved to Android and iOS.  (Hey SmartMusic!  Next million dollar idea is a full version for the iPad!)
      • Those are just two of my favorite programs.
    • What if you wanted to do some programming?
      • For iOS that is done with a computer.
    • What if there ISN'T an app for that?
  • I'm glad I don't have to share one of these.
    • If you had to share with different settings for each user, you would go nuts.
    • I am guessing that kids will have a lot of fun moving the apps around and changing the wall paper.
    • A computer can have multiple users.
      • I love the fact that I can set things up my way and the rest of the family can have their settings on our computers at home.
  • I wish there was more room to store things.
    • I think that iPads are a great place to share pictures, but there are only so many gigs to the memory on these.
      • The cloud that is coming this fall will have restrictions on the amount of time you photos will be stored.  
    • I have been known to want to walk around with gigs of data.
      • Schools are fairly complex data-wise and I like to use our info.
  • I wish it were easier to lock down.
    • You MUST wander through and monitor what kids are doing with iPads.
      • The remote desktop is easier with computers.
    • I love web browsers with "White Lists" for my kids.
      • This Safari doesn't have that.
    • I wish the web history wasn't so easy to obscure on iPads
      • In fact, it is fairly easy.  Go to the pages icon and start hitting X's.
  • I think that schools will purchase these by the truck load.
    • The cost of these is at a tempting price point and yes it is a CPU.
      • But can't we do a little better for our students?
    • It is a nice transition from paper to digital.
      • The form factor is very much like paper and can sit on a desk like a worksheet.  Teachers have worked this way for at least a couple of centuries.
Maybe I am being a little persnickety and I don't mean to sound grumpy.  iPads will continue to improve.  I am guessing that the ability to secure these for classroom use will get better soon (or maybe I am behind on my apps and it has improved already!)  But right now, if you could only purchase one device, would this be the device? 

4 comments:

GML4 said...

The Special Ed community are loving the ipads, some really great tools for people with diabilities.

I'm not sure how useful these will be in the band room except to offer a handy way to find a tu.nes on itunes for listening. Microphones, and flash abilities will help soon on these things

pshimmons said...

I agree with your comment about you and I wanting access too more storage space than what is available. I too love to carry "it all" with me all the time. BUT I'm not so sure the kids need that capability.

One other thought - as for the web browsing history - actually what you described - clicking the little x's - is simply closing the different pages that Safari has opened. If you tap the little arrow icon up in the menu bar there is an entire list of the history up there - it is mixed in with the bookmarks menu. (I think it is an arrow - I don't have my iPad right next to me to double check) In order to actually clear the browsing history you have to go into the settings app, find the safari settings and then tap the clear history button.

I also agree that I could not do with JUST an iPad.

So by reading this I am assuming your school has bought a bunch? Is it a 1-1?

Mark Waxler said...

I want to get one, but my district will not allow them. I am not even allowed to show itunes to my kids at any time. Maybe they'll catch up someday.
I am glad for your comments because they help me not be so eager to get one until all the bugs are worked out with using them in the classroom.

Roger Whaley said...

pshimmons, we are not a 1:1 school yet. More like 2:1 if you count the iPad labs. I have one of these at home and I really do like it, but if I am going to get to use one device I would hope that it is enough to do the job.

You are right about the history still being there. That will be something to bring up with anyone that is using these in a class.

GML4, I think I saw a music stand for one of these at the store the other day. What a great way to carry a fake book or pass out the tunes for your next concert! Individual performances in class could be recorded with the right mic too.

Mark, Yikes! I hope things change soon with your district. We aren't doing kids any favors keeping the technology away from them. I can't think of one job that doesn't use some form of tech these days.

Thanks for writing in gang!