My iPad — Friend, innovation tool, and productivity guru

June 20, 2011

I love my iPad. At first, I was wary. I was “testing” it out. I wanted to see whether she would be viable. Believe me, I have used my share of devices like palm pilots and treos, all with little keyboards I carried around in my backpack to meetings. But I always slipped in my process at some point. Tired of the tool, and pulled out my little lined notebook. I have also owned a Kindle. That didn’t last long either, as the hardware seemed old school and the device so one-track minded.

Not so with my iPad. In fact, my love and respect for it has grown (probably along with the apps). I am beginning to believe that this little thin device may be well on the road to being a game changer for computing and for educational technology. Here are a few things that really work for me:

  1. So thin and light — I even got a special small timbuk2 bag (the Freestyle) to go with it. I spent all last week in L.A. at the Sakai Conference. I did both my presentations from the iPad and I left my laptop at home in Berkeley.
  2. Small apps that provide very focused functionality keep me focused. I am learning to jump quickly between them, and the good ones are starting to build more integration points.
  3. The cloud rocks. I use Evernote everyday for all my meeting notes. I can access them on my phone, my iPad, my laptop. I am never without my information and paper is printed rarely. iAnnotate also helps with this process.
  4. It is my friend. It helps me find my way, find good restaurants when and where I need them, access email on my way to the snowshoe trail in Tahoe… It is my personal assistant, connecting me to the information I need when I need it and my colleagues and more.

Also, Some apps are developing collaboration tools using bluetooth or the network to share screens and co-edit. This has many applications in the classroom. I am thinking we should buy a fleet for our new Active Learning Classroom Test Kitchen. What do you think? Can any of you share use cases for within the classroom? Love to hear from you.

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