A few months ago our Administration, quite out of the blue, announced that every teacher would be getting a New iPad before the end of the school year. Teachers were charged with exploring the device and considering ways that they could use the iPads in their teaching. At the same time, it was announced that students would be getting 1:1 devices of some kind (maybe an iPad, maybe something else) during the 2013-2014 school year.
I have to say, even as a longtime iPhone lover, the overwhelming feeling about the iPad that I’m wrestling with right now is one of being completely underwhelmed. I’ve been dutifully carrying my school iPad home and back everyday, but I’ve come to realize that when doing the work that I need to do in the library, the iPad is very much a laptop with a handicap. My colleague’s reactions seem to be based on their content area and their pedagogical orientation. As a teacher so a course in debating for eighth graders and a technology and research course for seventh graders, I don’t have a lot of set content that I need to push out to students. I tend, therefore, to look at how devices will be used for production. Friends that teach history and science, however, seem extremely excited about the content available to them via apps on their iPads. People keep making the case that apps like Cloudon let you work with Microsoft Office on the iPad, or that Google Docs makes the need for MS Office obsolete, but for my work flow only being able to have one app open on the iPad is a productivity killer and it’s driving me nuts.
Whatever, the device that ends up being chosen, my job is to make it work for our teachers and students in the best way possible. I’m hoping, however, that we’ll end up going with a MacBook of some kind.