Apple iPad: A Good Match for Students?
Since Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, introduced the new Apple iPad tablet device, much has been written about it. Critics have commented on the unique name christened by Apple, while pundits have pronounced the features and functions useful; but some have already tried to banish it into obscurity. As a practitioner who has worked to bridge the gap between technology and teaching, I would like to focus on how this gadget will give support to university students.
The iPad, a roughly 9 ½ inch tall by 7 ½ inch wide touch tablet that measures ½ inch deep and weighs about 1 ½ pounds (Apple, Inc.), is bundled with features important to students of all ages. The highlights begin with the iPad’s robust connectivity options. With both 3G and Wireless connectivity, the iPad gives the student flexible access at home and on the road.
University students participating in online courses and project research will find the Safari® Web Browser crucial to completing any chore at hand. Likewise, students will find tools such as email, social networking and instant messaging essential when it comes to keeping in touch with classmates, colleagues, as well as faculty.
While smaller devices like a smart phone or Apple’s iPhone® offer applications similar to the iPad, the iPad’s extensive 9 ½ inch touch screen makes it a more pleasant choice for viewing web pages and accomplishing tasks that require clicking and typing on the on-screen keyboard.
In addition, the iWork® application suite is a set of applications you won’t find on other products. This bundle allows students to create documents, publish presentations and construct spreadsheets to meet the sophisticated demands placed upon them.
These features alone would make the iPad a strong choice for university students, however, the electronic book capabilities of the new iBook application round out the student-focused features of the iPad. The ability to directly download electronic textbooks and read them using the intuitive iPad form factor just might ultimately push the popular paper textbook into extinction.
It is clear that the iPad is surprisingly adapted to meet the unique capabilities of the university student.References
Apple, Inc. iPad Technical Specifications. Retrieved on February 2, 2010.
iPhone, iWork and Safari are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.