Wednesday, 8 September 2010

iPads in education?

iPads appear to be a hot item with many people these days. Selling at about a million units each month, it's a tool to watch out for. I've just got one to toy with. It's an awesome tool really. After the iPhone, the iPad makes more sense. The iPad screen is larger and friendlier to the eyes, provides a better interface and amazingly, there are over 200,000 applications to try out on the iPad. Note that the applications are not all free.

Compared with my trusty notebook computer, it's lighter and the battery lasts at least twice longer - enough charge for almost a whole day of use. With more improvements to come, as reported by the iPad Insider, I believe the iPads will offer more to students.

As a personal computing device, it's great for surfing the internet, checking the email, doing online banking, going into facebook, viewing online videos or listening to audio podcasts. It's not intrusive, works pretty much like having a book open in front of you except that it's a multi-media device that's connected to the entire world of resources and information. Beats the time when I was using a modem and a terminal to connect to the university mainframe to run my SPSS jobs or to print my doctoral dissertation in the 80s. Technology has gone very far, indeed.

Hence, it's not surprising that universities are adopting the iPads or experimenting with iPads as a tool. I envisage that once we can have college textbooks as ebooks that can be read and annotated on the iPads, the entire education landscape will change. For some of the latest news on what campuses are doing, read the two articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education below:

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