Creating Content with iPads – #edtech #elearning #ipad

Posted by on Aug 10, 2010 in Edtech, educational technology, iPad | 4 comments

I am sick of people saying that the iPad is for consuming and not creating online digital content. There is no doubt that the iPad is a great device to browse the web, read an eBook and check email (consuming) but it can do so much more than that. You will see from my list below that the iPad is far superior to the laptop in a lot of different areas of digital content creation.

iPad with on display keyboard
Image via Wikipedia

iPad Creation:

Email: We’ll start simple, the iPad is great for composing email messages, grant it, you wouldn’t want to write a novella, but short, quick and simple emails work great. By the way, that is 100% of the emails that I write.

Draw and Paint: My students love to draw and paint on the iPad. They mix colors, change brushes, etc. It is so much easier to draw and paint on an iPad with your finger than to do it on a computer with a mouse. In fact if you don’t believe me, try to draw a big circle with a mouse and then draw one with your finger, you’ll see what I mean.

Photo Editing: There are literally hundreds of incredible photo editing apps for the iPad. I sync my photos to my iPad so that I can edit them in one of the four great apps that I have. I would much rather edit them on my iPad than my MacBook. No only are the photo editing apps easy to use, but they are cheap. Compare $1.99 for an app to $80 for a photo editing program for my laptop.

Documents and Presentations: With Apple adding Keynote and Pages to the list of great apps, you can now create beautiful documents and presentations on your iPad. For longer documents I would certainly use a Bluetooth keyboard, but for everything else the on screen keyboard works great.

Music: On the iPad you can play great music and create great music — on nearly any instrument you could think of. I have students playing piano, guitar and even the drums. And don’t get me started on the DJ-type software that is available — so many things that are impossible to do on a laptop. Really, can you play a guitar on a laptop?

Listen, this list could go on and on, the reality is that I now look at my laptop and see all the limitations it has for creating content compared to the amazing and easy things that my iPad can do. So get over it world! The iPad is a digital content creator!

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  1. I wish the iPad had an easy app for creating podcasts over voice overs on slideshows

  2. I guess it boils down to preference as well.

    In my eyes there’s no denying that the iPad is a superior device for content consumption. Which is why people probably label it as such all the time. That said, I’m sure it can create content just as well in some areas. The painting is a prime example (I have had some great results with SketchPad and a stylus – which is in my eyes still superior to a finger).

    However when it comes to photo editing, movie editing, typing and more, I cannot go outside of my desktop. Not even a laptop will do as it feels too cramped for me. I can type quite fast on an ipad no problem, but a keyboard and a mouse will blow the ipad out of the water for me any day for almost all applications.

    The difference is probably not even in the controls so much as it is in the user interface. The ipad, due to its touch control and relatively small screen, cannot afford a great many panels and windows. It must turn to other types of interface in order to save screen surface. Swiping, pinching, etc. In some applications this works great, in others it doesn’t. Personally I find I’m missing my keyboard + mouse + extensive windows interface in most cases.

    So, in short: A lot of this is down to preference, if you ask me.

  3. These are great suggestions for personal use, but not widespread school use. Let me bring up a few things we’ve learned by going 1:1 in my middle school with 650 iPad2′s:

    1. Bluetooth keyboards are great, unless there are 649 others. It’s a creepy (and later infuriating) thing when someone else starts typing on your screen.

    2. Paid apps are awesome, but they start to really add up – even with bulk purchasing. You can’t feasibly mandate that all kids BUY the apps themselves, because some simply won’t and they’ll have legitimate arguments as to why they shouldn’t have to. You can buy them as a school, but believe me, the process is messy.

    3. Content creation is limited… it exists, but it’s pretty poor if you really compare it to a PC. Have you used iMovie on the iPad? It’s pretty basic. Even Keynote and Pages are “no frills” compared to their Mac equivalents.

    If i had to sum it up, I’d say that iPads are fantastic secondary devices but sub-par primary devices for content creation.

  4. Two weeks ago we launched Scribble Press for iPad, a FREE, very flexible and open platform for creating and publishing books on the iPad, designed with grades k-5 in mind. There is no doubt in my mind that the iPad is an excellent tool for content creation, where the focus is on combining different formats – words, photos, images and drawings. Tablets are going to revolutionize how kids learn to express themselves. We would love to hear feedback on our 1.0 version from educators.


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