Is the ipad Ready for prime time?

Gizmodo had an interesting article about ipads in the classroon, or rather how lacking they are in many respects to be considered stand-alone devices. He advised that schools and districts should hold off before they go out and buy ipads all around.

ZapaTECHISTA believes the ipad, or devices like the ipad have a great potential, but in agreement to the author, Brian Barret, the device, the apps, the content, and the innovation just isn’t there yet. This is not to say that we don’t think it will ever be. As teachers we see how incredibly engaged students become when allowed to do research, or read a book on it as a treat. Our school has not purchased these, nor is it in the immediate future.
But I think it is naive to assert that tablets will never be as good as laptops, or that they will never catch on, nor fulfill every need. Any educator would agree with this last point. The ipad, or any other tablet device that comes around in the years to come will come with a limitation–a limitation inherent in all forms to technology which at its core serve to isolate the user–which is that they will never be able to match, much less surpass the human factor, the interpersonal dynamics that forms the backbone of learning.
If the ipad, or any form of technology is going to serve the needs of students and learners in any field, it is going to have to involver a collaborative learning approach where solutions are arrived as teams, and problems and research can be parceled out and later synthesized into larger projects, or where many minds work together in synthesis to master standards, not for the sake of mastering them, but to improve the very nature of learning, and to reach the ultimate outcome, which is the expansion of knowledge and reason, and the liberation of the mind.
In this sense the ipad is mearly a more intuitive, sleeker, and more portable vehicle that if used collaboratively, whether between classmates, or as a classroom set of responders, or as a textbook that can also serve as a social media environment, or as a space to jot down and share notes, the ipad has a better future, which is what I think many people are realizing, even if they recognize the goose isn’t quite cooked yet, although I’ve never eaten goose.


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