Kolowich, S. (2010) Minor bumps for iPad Inside Higher Education, April 23

A report on how some USA universities and colleges have reacted to the iPad. Two interesting things to note: a high proportion of students are not interested in buying any digital book devices; and can Apple continue to ignore compatibility with Adobe’s Flash?

One last comment: I’ve not seen any reports yet on how instructors plan to use iPads in their teaching in any unique ways, compared with a standard laptop. If you are doing something unique with an iPad in teaching, I’d love to hear from you.


  1. I live in Canada–non-iPad country–but brought one iPad back to my classroom on a recent trip to New York. My students and I have been kicking it’s tires and running round the block for a couple weeks now.

    The key thing many people miss is that there are really two iPads: iPad-the-thing, which as many fairly point out is coming up a bit short on capabilities; and iPad-the-idea. This, I believe, could be a game changer.

    The iPad-the-idea is a social tool, where smart phones and laptops are personal tools. I can already see how having several of these devices (I’m not sure yet I’d go 1:1) in my classroom would change my practice for the better. I’ve written more on my first impressions in a blog post, <http://www.ovenell-carter.com/2010/04/23/the-iPad-is-a-social-tool/>”The iPad is a social tool’. I’d be interested in your comments.

  2. Many thanks for this, Brad – and for your thoughts on the teaching implications of the iPad on your excellent blog

  3. Coming in a bit late to the conversation you started, but here’s what I see, and what some folks here are planning:

    Primarily, I see the iPad as a complement to my primary work activities. I don’t see it right now as an instructional device. In other words, the iPad will facilitate calendaring and task management, even project management. It will allow me to take notes in meetings, check schedules, access my university servers and integrated technology services (Blackboard, Sakai, etc.), and will let me access email, browse the web, etc. This is easier to do on the iPad, especially as I move around campus, than by carrying a laptop which is heavier and necessitates plugging in most of the time. Access to my files (student papers, journal articles, reports, etc.) and simple editing is the core functionality I need most of the time. A robust gradekeeper application with simple reporting will be useful — especially one that I can update on the go.

    I want to use it to keep a database of papers (PDF or other format), to compose notes for students, and to prep simple Keynote review presentations (to send to students). My administrative duties are mainly done via emailing, writing and reviewing docs, and reading spreadsheets (although these don’t require much if any calculation) — that is simple enough stuff — but… I don’t need a laptop for all that. Blogging, staying connected with students and colleagues through various social networks, or exploring cyberspace resources, and doing web-based research, is also a large part of what I do — and this device makes it simple enough.

    I don’t need to carry tons of files, or even super large files. As a photographer I expect to carry a portfolio — and I want to see student YouTube projects or other such efforts (but these I expect not to have to load on the iPad itself).

    In our tech-centered classrooms, the ability to create a Keynote presentation, sync it with the classroom desktop Mac, and have it project onto the large screen while I sit in the back with my students is great (freeing me from the front of the room).

    In short, the iPad can serve well as a device to manage an academic lifestream. We’ll see about its instructional possibilities — integrating it tightly to curriculum efforts.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here