iOS Tablet aka iPad

by Maurie Stockford

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The iOS tablet, aka the iPad, is Apple’s contribution to the tablet market. Apple is known for its slick design and user-friendly features. Tablets were designed to be used primarily to consume media rather than create it. Despite this, Apple has marketed the iPad aggressively to schools for classroom use. The lower cost of a tablet (compared to a laptop) and the availability of free or low cost apps has swayed schools to adopt iPads for student use as their primary tech device.

Use in K-12 Education

Teachers have a million+ apps to choose from to customize learning for their students. They may use one app for the whole class or select different apps for individual students based on their learning styles. They can utilize iTunes U to deliver lessons, especially useful in a “flipped” classroom. iTunes U works similarly to Blackboard, class materials may be posted there as well. Teachers are able to create their own textbooks and other class materials with iBooks Author. Students may also use Author to produce portfolios and yearbooks with video or audio features. The iPad comes with iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers and Keynote preloaded on each device. Students can use iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand to create multimedia projects. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are Apple’s version of an Office Suite. iPad also contains features that make it useful to students with disabilities such as a screen reader and closed-caption support.

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How To Use

Apple claims:

“From the moment you pick up iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you know how to use it. That’s because iOS was designed to be easy to understand. The simple-yet-beautiful Home screen invites you to discover each of the built-in apps. So right away, you’re browsing your favorite websites, capturing a few candids, or texting your friends. And no matter what you’re doing or what app you’re using, everything feels easy, intuitive, and even fun.”

My school adopted iPads a year ago and I have to say it wasn’t quite that easy! If you’re familiar with the iPhone, iPad is a snap because the iOS is the same, but if you’re not there is a bit of a learning curve with the screen gestures. Also navigating between screens is very different from a Windows based OS. Apple does make it easier by having a simple and easy to follow Setup Assistant that guides you through your initial setup and tutorial.

Resource Links

The mothership of all things Apple

The Apple education resource

Free Technology for Teachers (Richard Byrne)

Hundreds of articles concerning the iPad

TeachHUB magazine and -- ipad apps for teachers and iPads in the classroom.

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: A Resource of Educational Web Tools and Mobile Apps for Teachers and Educators

My 35 Favorite Free Apps for Teaching