iPad 2 for student/teacher

Discussion in 'iPad' started by datapolitical, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. datapolitical macrumors member

    datapolitical

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    #1
    I'm a soon to be grad student (Master of Arts in Teaching) with a penchant for Apple products. I've got a MacBook and an iPhone 4. I've wanted an iPad since the first one came out, and given the amount of reading (Google News, twitter, tech blogs) I do on my iPhone, it seems like a worthwhile investment.

    That said, it's expensive (64+3G), so I'm weighing the pros and cons. Thus, any suggestions regarding use cases for college/grad students and for teachers (social studies) would be welcome. I'm not a gamer, so for lack of a better way to put it, the iPad, for me, seems like the best possible way to consume and interact with the Internet.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #2
    Been waiting for months for the iPad 2 to come out. Primary reason for me buying it was to load my eTextbooks and for taking notes in class and even writing papers on it with Pages and stuff like that. I'm on Spring Break right now, but once I'm back in class I'm sure it will be extremely useful. I'm actually looking forward for class to resume! haha
     
  3. shen macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Depends on the system you will be working in as well as your own style. I teach philosophy as well as doing grad work, and if the iPad (actually blackboard grading system) had two issues fixed, I could use it rather than the Macbook I use now. Those 2 issues are deal breakers though.

    Even then the few times I have pried it out of my wife's hands, presenting lectures with the iPad, or just using it for my own notes, is far easier than the couple extra pounds the laptop adds. And since most of my reading is in pdf form anyway, i can reduce my entire daily bag for classes down to the iPad and a single cable.

    Still, you might want to spend a week "going through the motions" and sort of plan your entire day as if you already had it. See where the catches might come into play.

    Lastly, why the 64? We have a 32, and it has a lot of stuff on it, and only 14 gigs used. Might be worth thinking about as well.
     
  4. mdlooker macrumors 65816

    mdlooker

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    #4
    I found that the IPad is beneficial; especially over the IPhone. I tried to make a couple of posts in my online courses but found it to be sort of nerve-racking. So I just used my laptop to scroll through the mini windows within the classroom but to answer your question, I believe you would find it a breath of fresh air in comparison to your phone.
     
  5. datapolitical thread starter macrumors member

    datapolitical

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    #5
    What are the two issues you have with blackboard use?

    Your right, waiting until I'm there is the *smart* decision. Determining if I can do so is another entirely...

    In terms of the 64, I have a 32 gig iPhone 4 and I can't sync all the music and movies I want. I have a lot of media I'd put on the iPad, as well as a ton of apps. (As a potential teacher, I'm really excited about using Star Walk with it; on the iPhone, despite the high resolution, you just don't get the same feel. I'm sure all kinds of neat augmented reality apps will come along in the next few months)
     
  6. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

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    #6
    Please learn the difference between "your" and "you're", before you start "teaching".
     
  7. datapolitical thread starter macrumors member

    datapolitical

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    #7
    That's what I get for not double checking my posts. I know the difference between your anal retentive attention to grammar, and my ability to say that you're the same as me in that regard.
     
  8. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

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    #8
    :)
     
  9. grawk macrumors 6502

    grawk

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    #9
    I think the biggest drawback to the ipad at this point for most people is the software is just beginning to catch up. Given the huge influx of users, I expect that to change fairly rapidly.

    As to the 32 vs 64 issue, the real trick is media management. 4.3 and the new itunes software have added more streaming capabilities, reducing the need to keep the media on the ipad itself. I believe that apple has plans to allow even more of this, and that's what the NC server farm is all about. I'd be willing to bet that in the next year or so the need to keep media on the ipad at all will be a thing of the past for most situations.

    That said, always buy the device you need today, don't buy what you'll need in a year. If spending the extra $100 makes the device more usable for you today, then great. Perhaps tho, an ipad 1 with 64gb would be a better choice than an ipad 2, if it gets you what you need cheaper? In a year or 2, there will certainly be another device that will either be a better fit, or that pushes the ipad 2 closer to a comfortable price point for you.
     
  10. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

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    #10
    I am defiantly hoping for the cloud, and home sharing is great for being at home, but I have a 32GB iPhone and it's full all the time. I am constantly having to find things to remove from it. I did not have iP1 and, obviously, I've only had iP2 for a few days, but I can easily see the 64GB filling up. I want to take it with me wherever I go, and thus, I want to have music, movies, books, documents, and a ton of apps on it. IMO, the extra 32GB is worth $100.
     
  11. grawk macrumors 6502

    grawk

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    #11
    I'd rather have a 64gb iphone and 32gb ipad, personally. I don't keep as much media on the ipad as I do my phone, and apps take up much less space. The only reason I got the 64gb ipad was because they didn't have a 3g AT&T 32 by the time I got to the front of the line. As soon as my preorder arrives, I'm returning the 64. But if local media is your desire, then go for it.
     
  12. datapolitical thread starter macrumors member

    datapolitical

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    #12
    Price point isn't a huge concern. If I'm going to buy a piece of hardware that I'm going to use a whole hell of a lot, a $100 or even $200 difference isn't huge when you amortize it out over two years (my expected life cycle for the device).

    In terms of streaming, I expect to have connection some of the time, but I'm going to school in Alaska. I fully expect to not always have access to a solid connection, either over 3G or wifi. That said, when I do have a cell connection, I'm going to want to be able to use it, thus 64GB+3G.
     
  13. grawk macrumors 6502

    grawk

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    #13
    UAF or UAA? I worked at UAF for a few years, and they're pretty ahead of the curve as far as on campus networks go. I definitely like the 3g option, tho. If you're going to be in anchorage, you'll have 3g coverage most of the time. If you're going to be in fairbanks, coverage is more problematic because of the terrain, but if you stay in town and on campus you should be ok.
     
  14. thesmoth macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #14
    I borrowed my friends iPad for a month and the conclusion I came to was it is NOT good for school use YET. Here are a few tips and comments from my experiences.

    1) Get dropbox. You create a folder on your computer desktop, load the program on the iPad, and then everything in that folder is synced to the cloud and automatically updated onto both devices. This gives your iPad a 'file system'. I believe you have to be online to access these files, since they are connected to the cloud, so if you are on the bus you're out of luck (come on iOS get a file system already!!!).

    2) NotetakerHD is the best note taking add. It's a bit cumbersome and messy to write in, and for taking SHORT notes I think it would be great (for full lectures not so good). As a grad student myself it would be great for group meetings, visiting lectures, conferences, etc... where you just take a few short notes here and there.

    3) Good reader is quite good for loading PDF files, organizing them, reading them, highlighting and annotating them, etc... I think it would be quite a good alternative to the massive stacks of scientific papers I have sitting on my desk. If only the iPad had a retina display, i could easily use it as my full time reader (PDFs are very readable, but full screen they are a bit blurry due to the low resolution of the iPad's screen). Personally i'm going to wait for the iPad 3 with a retina display and hopefully a file system with iOS 5.

    4) I tried pages and keynote, as well as docs to go, and both of them were totally useless. If you are like anyone else in the world, you use ms word and powerpoint. The idea of being able to put my doc/ppt files into dropbox, and then edit/proof read them on the go was VERY enticing, but alas it doesn't work so well. I found that every doc and ppt file I loaded in BOTH programs was un-usable. The formatting was lost, pictures were lost, etc... Totally useless. Unless you natively create all of your presentations/word documents in pages/keynote on your mac, this will NOT work for you.

    5) No flash is kind of a big deal. A lot of education websites like blackboard, etc... needs flash. My friend who knows nothing about computers tried my other friends iPad, and his only comment was "I wanted to watch a sports game but it doesn't have flash so i couldn't, it sucks". Also one of my collaborators is doing her MBA and they need flash for their online course work. It's a really common format that a lot of people need, and even simple things like filling out online forms cannot currently be done with the iPad. I know apple is very stubborn on this issue and will never get flash, which makes it a bigger reason not to get an iPad.
     
  15. datapolitical thread starter macrumors member

    datapolitical

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    #15
    UAA. They have a solid network on campus, but once you get outside of Anchorage their isn't much wifi access. I'm planning on applying to teach in the bush where the wifi networks are very localized.
     
  16. grawk macrumors 6502

    grawk

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    #16
    Good luck on 3g in the bush :) Wifi is way more likely. It's a shame about the anchorage thing. You're so close to alaska there, but so far...
     
  17. datapolitical thread starter macrumors member

    datapolitical

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    #17
    I don't exactly take notes (never have been able to, so using the iPad to record lectures is an option there). I've never thought of the iPad as anything beyond a consumption device, except in very special cases. I certainly couldn't see writing a paper on it, but possibly doing up a lesson plan in Pages wouldn't be so hard.

    I just did some poking around and Blackboard has an iPad app. It's not perfect, but I have not doubt it will improve.

    No flash is a big deal, but it's not one I'm going to solve in terms of tablet choice. Whether it's enough to make an iPad not worth getting, period, is a different question. So far I think the answer is that while it will be a pain, browsers like Skyfire are designed to access Flash video. It's not perfect, but it beats lugging around a laptop with a 2.5 hr battery life if it works.
     
  18. datapolitical thread starter macrumors member

    datapolitical

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    #18
    That's why I'm gonna buy a car. And you've clearly lived in Alaska; nobody ever said that to me until I visited.
     
  19. sfhdweb3 macrumors newbie

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