I just sent this email to the teachers in my school. I am feeling a little uncomfortable with it. What do you think?
Much hype has surrounded the iPad. Overpriced. Limited in what it can do. An iPod Touch Xtra Large. All true. We bought one for my eldest’s 18th to accompany him to Oxford. One happy boy, I mean, man. It is a lovely device to use.
Well, here’s a little bit of the deal that I know.
Apple keep the iPad limited (major limitations = view one app at a time, no phone, no file explorer) so they can keep their pricey devices segregated. In theory there is a reason for each person to have an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac (Macbook or iMac or mini mac). This is so they keep you buying, should you be bothered to spend your cash that way. All these devices do similar things but, as Mary Portas would put it, they are all clear about their point of difference. Steve Jobs is quite aware that this will change over time as the iPad gets more powerful.
Apple computer products are successful because they do fulfil the hype. They are easy to use. Pick one up and give it a go.
Anyway, should you happen to part with £429.00 of your precious pennies over the summer (that is the cheapest one) you might like to think about bringing it into your classroom. Teachers all over the world are blogging about iPad use in the classroom at the moment. [quiet aside: by the way, if any of you would like to set up a blog to reflect on and share your classroom practice, do let me know if you would like some help] Some UK schools have bought iPod Touch class sets and are having great fun discovering the educational advantages they afford. Felsted School are buying a class set of iPod touches instead of a virtual language lab. Bizarre but true (£4,000 vs £40,000). They will be sacrificing some core functionality but equally engaging all involved with creative uses.
In case you were wondering what I am going on about, have a look at this: http://www.universityreviewsonline.com/2005/10/20-amazing-ipad-apps-for-educators.html
Also, Apple are not the only player in the game. Many Primary Schools have seen the advantage of using Nintendo Wii in the classroom. If you would like to go and see class sets of Nintendo DS being used in a classroom, I am sure I could sort out a visit within the M25.
But the point Barnes, come on!
When you are googling over the summer, have a quick search for some exciting techie activity you might like to do with your pupils next year and Google it. See what comes back. If you like the look of it send me an email. You never know where it might lead.
Will I be buying an iPad? Maybe.
Is it over the top? Simply trying to spread a little summer curiosity. Let me know if you think I’ve been a bit foolish.