iPad Party

This evening, it was pizza and iPads at Tiki’s place.  Mrs. Kile, a 4th grade teacher in my building, “won” a writing contest granting her the use of 5 District purchased iPads for the remainder of the school year.  (Check out her iPad blog.)  Lucky us!  We ordered pizza, downloaded apps, talked blogging, shared websites, and bemoaned the lack of Flash support in the iPad.

Although I love the ‘wow’ factor in the iPad- and there are some apps that really amaze me- the bottom line is that I think the iPod Touch has better educational application at the elementary level… at 1/3 of the cost.  It was very frustrating to see that many Web 2.0 tools- like Glogster, Scribblar, and may others- can’t be used on the iPad.  And compared to the iPod Touch App base, there were few Apps that took advantage of all that extra real estate.  I’m sure that will change over the coming months, but for now, I’m withholding judgment.

Wins:

  • Large screen viewing of websites
  • Drawing/notepad applications
  • Size/weight/portability

Fails:

  • Lack of Flash support
  • Keyboard remained hidden on some websites that need it
  • Lack of Flash support
  • Limited number of apps
  • Mac apps like iWork not bundled
  • Oh, did I mention the lack of Flash support?

(And by the way, my children loved the Labyrinth and RollerCoaster apps…. and were generally enthralled with the iPad.)

Huge thanks to Mrs. Kile for sharing with us!

3 thoughts on “iPad Party”

  1. I respectfully disagree with your premise that lack of Flash support is a detriment to the iPad. Flash, like other Adobe applications, does use a lot of the system resources of any device – computer, mobile device, etc. Any time you use more system resources, something else is compromised. In the case of Flash on the iPad, it would be battery life for one. The iPad was not designed to be a replacement for computers. It was designed to fit the gap between smart phones and computers. It will not do everything the computer will do. But it does so much more than smart phones.
    I would encourage you to research all of the articles on the web about Flash on the iPad, including the letter Steve Jobs wrote about Flash. Make sure you read some of the comments from the Flash developers that are included on several different web sites about Flash on the iPad. It seems several of them are agreeing with Apple on this one.
    As time goes on, Flash will be replaced by even better technology to provide animation and video support. Even Microsoft seems to agree with Steve Jobs on this one http://bit.ly/dkui8E

    1. I’m not advocating Flash, per say, but pointing out that it will be difficult for teachers to embrace iPads in the classroom when many of the current websites they utilize heavily are Flash based. I know that when we sat down to try these 5 iPads, we were all ecstatic. Giddiness pervaded the room. (Well, that could be Oreo induced…) But as we encountered site after site (like Glogster, Scribblar, Wall Wisher, even some Wiki things) that have Flash components, the energy began to wane. Although the iPad is not a computer replacement, many of us had hoped that it could be a less expensive, more portable, and more sturdy alternative tool that could be used for all but the production needs of a student. So far, I’m just as happy with my iPod Touch and MacBook…. but I’m open to seeing how apps develop in the future that ‘fix’ these things. I did learn through Twitter this week that there is an interactive whiteboard app called GroupBoard that works fabulously…. the only catch is that for 50 users (a typical classroom is more than the 15 users the first plan offers) the cost is $19/month. I can’t imagine an administrator or teacher paying $200 over the course of the year for access. So, show me some free collaboration tools on the iPad, and I’m a fairly happy camper in regards to the ed tech world. The e-book functionality is great, and the whole “hold the internet in your hands” thing is quite cool. Personally, I’d have to see the ability to read DRM e-books checked out from the library before I spend the $$ on one.

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