Tag Archives | Apple iPad

Goodbye Textbooks, Hello iPad

A technology shift is underway. The PC’s promise to transform how learning happens in the classroom is being realized by Apple’s iPad. Students and teachers in grade school through higher education are using the iPad to augment their lessons or to replace textbooks.

The iPad is especially helpful for students with special needs. Its simplified touch interface and accessibility features help these children learn more independently; aftermarket accessories assist in making the iPad more classroom-friendly.

In March, I wrote about how my mother learned how to use her iPad for basic stuff–like checking e-mail and browsing the Web–without ever having used a PC in her life. Students at all grade levels are finding it just as easy to use.

Jennifer Kohn’s third grade class at Millstone Elementary School in Millstone, NJ, mastered the iPad with minimal training. For the most part, the students didn’t need to be taught how to use their apps, Kohn says.

Kohn uses the iPad when it’s meaningful to enrich, extend, or introduce what students are learning in the classroom. Her class has used their iPads to interact with storybooks, brainstorm ideas for creative writing, and to learn mathematics. Math Bingo, an app that teaches kids math through gaming, is one of the top selling iPad apps  for education.

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How the iPad 2 Became My Favorite Computer

My iPad 2 and ZaggFolio, in the press room at IFA in Berlin, September 2011.

Can the iPad replace a PC?

Ever since Apple announced its tablet nearly two years ago, the Internet has been awash in discussion of this question. Most of it has had a pretty theoretical feel and has gravitated towards conventional wisdom. A piece by Gotta Be Mobile’s Will Shanklin comes to the typical conclusions:

Whether you can replace your laptop with an iPad is going to depend on what your needs are. In early 2010, casual computer users could arguably replace a laptop with an iPad. Now it’s a no-brainer. When it comes to content consumption, a tablet is lighter, more portable, more comfortable, and more personal.

If part of your life involves creating professional-level content, tablets still have a long way to go before becoming your primary device. They don’t qualify now, and they won’t next year. Customers aren’t used to spending more than $10 for most tablet apps, so those consumer expectations could slow the march in this direction too.

The answer, therefore, hasn’t changed too much in a year. Tablets are moving in a “primary computing” direction, but they aren’t exactly sprinting. Maybe we’ll check back next year to see if the “tablets are for content consumption, notebooks are for content creation” cliche has changed. Right now it’s as true as ever.

I respectfully disagree with Shanklin. I think it’s possible to use an iPad as one’s primary device for professional-level content creation. Actually, scratch that. I’m positive it’s possible–because I’ve been doing it for the past three months, and I’ve been having a really good time.

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What Price Office for the iPad? Who Knows!

The Daily story by Matt Hickey on a possible iPad version of Microsoft Office which I mentioned yesterday is continuing to make news. And one part of the story that has folks excited is the notion that the Office apps might go for $10 apiece:

The thing is, The Daily’s story doesn’t claim to have any inside information that even hints at the $10 price point, let alone confirms it. The article is a gumbo of scuttlebutt and supposition–and downright incoherent in spots–but here are the relevant paragraphs:

In addition to an iPad-ready version, a new edition of Office is expected for OS X Lion sometime next year. The current version of the desktop package, Office 2011, officially supports iOS versions up to Snow Leopard. A Lion version, likely available via the Mac App Store, is widely expected. Windows, too, is due for an update, with Office 2012 currently in beta form.

It’s assumed that both of these would work with Office 365 as well as mobile versions, such as Windows Phone’s Office Hub. Because it would be compatible with these full suites rather than as stand-alone apps, the pricing will most likely be significantly lower than existing Office products. In fact, it’s likely the cost will be around the $10 price point that Apple has established for its Pages, Numbers and Keynote products.

If you fully understand these two paragraphs, you’re a lot smarter than I am. Putting aside the fact that it says Snow Leopard is a version of iOS rather than OS X, it makes reference to the next Mac and Windows versions of Office. Then it says “it’s assumed” (by whom?) that “both of these” will “work with” Office 365 and Windows Phone.

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Office on the iPad?

Matt Hickey of The Daily is reporting that Microsoft is working on a version of Office for the iPad. His story isn’t the most compelling piece of writing and reporting I’ve ever read–he calls OS X “iOS” at one point and seems overly confident that some of his assumptions are likely true, such as the apps costing about $10 apiece.
 
I hope the rumor–which has existed as a bit of idle speculation for a long time–is true. It would be a smart, self-confident move on Microsoft’s part to reach out to all those iPad users rather than deny them a useful product in hopes of forcing them to buy Windows tablets. And even though there are scads of iPad productivity apps already, I haven’t found one I’d kill for: a word processor with an excellent user interface, a sophisticated word-count feature, support for hyperlinking, and built-in Dropbox capability. If Microsoft were to release a version of Word that did all that, I’d pay a lot more than ten bucks…


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iPad vs. Android: Fuzzy Math

How do current tablet sales break down into iPads and Androids? As GigaOm’s Kevin C. Tofel explains, it depends on how you account for them:

First is the definition of market share with respect to tablets sold vs tablets shipped. Apple’s figures are tablets sold, which don’t include tablets sitting on store shelves, tablets en route to stores or tablets sitting in a warehouse. By comparison, Android’s figures are the shipped number of tablets, so any devices sitting on a store shelf actually count, and they shouldn’t for market share purposes.


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Apple “iPad 3” Prototype May Be Circulating, But Don’t Look For It This Year

It sounds like prototypes (yes, plural) of Apple’s iPad 3 may be floating around the “supply chain” already, but don’t look for the next-gen tablet this year, because…why, right? If you were sitting on 68.3% of the tablet market (according to the latest 2Q 2011 IDC report) and your nearest competitor (that would be Google’s Android) fell from 34% to 26.8% market share during the same period, where’s the fire?

That’s J.P. morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz’s reasoning, anyway. He’s just told Apple Insider that—not really a surprise here—his “conversations with industry insiders” indicate Apple’s third-generation iPad won’t arrive until sometime, 2012.

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Remembering 9/11, on the iPad and on the Web

Steve Rosenbaum's The 9/11 Memorial: Past, Present, and Future

On September 11th, 2001, the Web basically consisted of words, images, murky RealAudio sound, and a smattering of video that was a hassle to deal with, especially if you were still on dial-up. And tablets, in their modern, iPad-era form, didn’t exist at all. But a lot has happened in the past decade–and the tenth-anniversary coverage of the attacks and subsequent events include some remarkable creations which make use of today’s technology to do things that TV, books, magazines, and newspapers can’t.

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Me, Elsewhere

I haven’t written as much here recently as I like to, but I have a good excuse: I’ve been hard at work writing for other sites. Three new stories are up today:

* At TIME.com, I reviewed two new Android phones from Motorola: the potent (and battery-hungry) Droid Bionic, and the basic (and thrifty) Triumph.

* TIME also asked me to try and make sense of the drama going on over at AOL and TechCrunch. I’m not even sure if that’s possible, but I tried.

* Over at AllBusiness.com, I wrote about a newish gadget that small businesses seem to be snapping up with the same zea they once adopted IBM PCs and PalmPilots. It’s called the iPad.

Whew! (And stay turned for another bit of related news in the not-too-distant future.)


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Logitech’s New Unfolding iPad Keyboard: Wider is Better

What do an iPad 2 and an IBM ThinkPad from 1995 have in common? Not a whole lot–unless the iPad is equipped with Logitech’s new Fold-Up Keyboard and the ThinkPad is the famous 701 “Butterfly” model. Like the Butterfly ThinkPad, Logitech’s new gadget, which snaps onto the bottom of the iPad, packs a keyboard that’s wider than the case. As you lift up the iPad, the keyboard swivels out in two pieces–as shown in the first image above–and then pieces together. It’s also reminiscent of the Stowaway folding keyboard, a gadget which would be a wonderful iPhone accessory but which appears to no longer be available.

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