My iPad finally arrived and I couldn't be more excited. Sure it is cool and new, but what really gets me is what it could mean for education. Let me explain...
Digital Books: This past January when I was flying to Florida to speak at FETC I sat next to a man who had a Kindle. We started to talk about technology and he showed me the 112 books that he had loaded on his digital book reader. He let me hold it and I was amazed. 112 books in something so light. I couldn't help but think how heavy the six books were in my carry-on that was shoved above my head. "Yeah, but I love to highlight, scribble in the margin and dog-ear my pages (a librarian's worst nightmare)." I explained to him. He then showed me how he could do all that. But the most amazing part is what he said next. "The one thing you can't do with a paper book is search the text. I can search my whole library in seconds." He was right, imagine the day when our students have every library book pre-loaded onto their iPads! No waiting to check out a book, no two weeks to return it, it is just there for the student to use any time they want.
Educational Apps: Although I have only had my iPad for less than 24-hours, my 13-year old son has already taken it over and has filled it with great apps: graphing calculator, spelling test, math prompts, a periodic table that really cool. There are thousands and thousands of great edu-apps.
No More Back Packs: Have you seen the size of the back packs that students take to school? They are huge and heavy, full of text books, notebooks, and library books. In a few years they will just have an iPad, no need for a locker or a back pack, everything will be in their iPad.
What an exciting time to be involved with school technology!