The iPad for Education

It’s no exaggeration to say that we love our Apple iPad. I have to admit to a little bit of skepticism when it was first announced, but having tried one out and subsequently purchased one it’s combination of superb battery life, form factor and general ease of use make it a lovely tool. Whilst iPhone apps have had to make a number of compromises to cope with the form factor, the larger size of the iPad really open up so many more possibilities. The ease of use can easily be demonstrated by handing our iPad to Lucy, who has no trouble finding her way around to what she wants – usually a video of “Big Chris” – the video of the Children in Need 2009 song.

As such, it is with great interest that I’ve been watching Fraser Speirs (@fraserspeirs) – probably best known as the author of the excellent FlickrExport plugin for iPhoto and Aperture – as he has prepared for and successfully rolled out an Apple iPad to every child in the school where he teaches, through his excellent blog postings.

Admittedly, the school where he teaches is a small private school, so they have a good deal more flexibility in deployment, and much less in the way of costs and issues to deploy to an average state run comprehensive, however even taking that into account a big step like this hasn’t been without issues. However reading the postings has certainly left Beth (@tahbepet) wishing even more she’d had access to Apple iPad’s when teaching, not least as an English teacher some of the abilities in iBooks!

Fraser has already picked up a bit of coverage from both specialist Mac sites and more general sites – hopefully some more mainstream media will pick up the story and highlight what is a very interesting experiment in bringing technology into the classroom.

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