iPad for students?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Lakeland*won, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Lakeland*won macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2010
    Do you think iPad will be a usable tool for students?
  2. krnboy503 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    no question about it...YES.
    if you are a college student like me, you won't have to carry a heavy laptop...instead, you can bring a light iPad.
    colleges are slowly including eBooks instead of regular textbooks or have both copies.

    also, for class note taking and powerpoints/excel. great for surfing the web and getting information on the go.
  3. Bentron macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Hmm, it depends on the situation. I think it is the perfect supplementary tool for students with a main computer that is used for heavy loads of typing. The iPad can be taken out and about for 'light' work and then synced back to the main computer to be continued. That is what I intend to use mine for at least.
  4. yyy macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2007
    No. It has no handwriting recognition and it's difficult to type on, it is very limited considering the needs of some students (no option to install Windows, no CD support, no Word document editing support, no option to connect a printer or any USB device) and most students can't afford to own both a decent computer and an iPad.
  5. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    I'd have to agree with this. A college student isn't going to carry around the iPad and an external keyboard. That rather defeats the purpose of having a small, thin device. Handwriting recognition isn't exactly practical on any portable platform so it's not really a consideration.

    That is a valid point. What happens when your buddy has a flash drive with files to give to you and you're standing there with the iPad? It would all need to be done with email and that's not practical when dealing with large files. Sure, people will claim workarounds like iDisk or DropBox but that's just accommodating the device.

    Microsoft has already stated they intend to release Word for the iPad.

    This is only of my big complaints. How does someone print? I've seen fanboi comments here saying they were going to get rid of their notebook and use the iPad as their primary computer. That's ridiculous. You can't print and how do you ever back up your device if this is your primary computer?

    Good point. Most students are getting graduation presents of a laptop or it's bundled into their tuition. This is a luxury expense.

    What I have problems with is the textbook transition to ebooks. The ebooks are being sold at a reduced cost but textbook publishers are putting expiration dates on the books. You have to pay to renew the books if you want to continue using them. In the end, you're just renting the books from the publisher and they evaporate on the expiration date. In doing so, the publishers have eliminated the secondary book market where the student could sell their books to recover some money. That's not possible anymore. It's more money in the pockets of the publisher for a non-tangible item. They get to force the next student to rent the book as well.

    I'm sure someone is going to say they still have the option of buying the book but a local college forces nursing students to purchase an iPod Touch or an iPhone and then buy reference ebooks such as drug references. There is no choice. Because they expire they don't even have access to the drug references once they graduate unless they want to continue renting them. They'd have to switch to epocrates.
  6. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    If your textbooks are available for it, then yes. I don't think it will replace a laptop, however.
  7. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    really depends on your major and what else you have at your disposal. If you live in the dorms and have computer lab access to print from, and most of your use is simply typing up papers and using non-flash websites for homework, then yes.

    For me, i would've bought one anyways, but my major required tons of coding (and it wasn't even computer science!), as well as doing stuff that definitely required a regular mac, but there were definitely some places an iPad would've helped me, like make presentations, surf the web, email, but then again, I had my iPhone that could do those things too (presentations through the export to photo trick), albeit not nearly as well as an iPad.

    i think a great place for an ipad would be high school, especially the 3G models. With their own 3G connections, students can bypass the school's ridiculous network filters, read books on it for class (assuming the teacher is okay with it, most of mine didn't give a rat's tail what you used as long as it didn't disturb others...), work on papers in school, i really wish ipads and iphones were around when i was in HS, heck we didn't even have the iPod when i started HS...

    it seems like all these tech things come on the market just a bit late for me, i could've used the 3GS' video cam features while still in college and not have to borrow other people's camcorders, push notifications could've been a bit earlier to communicate with classmates on aim, iphone 2.0 would've been really useful for the class i finished about 2 weeks before it launched, intel macs came on the market 6 months after i had to buy a laptop for college (no way i was going to buy a lame duck powerpc mac), iphone gps apps came on the market 6 months after i moved back home (had some really clunky gps setup while on campus), and now the ipad, i could've really used it for my distance course this semester (pdf textbook) but i'm almost done with the course already...maybe i really should've taken a year off between HS and college, heh heh...
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Thats kind of a broad question. Which students? In what use scenario? The iPad is a usable tool yes, but only for certain purposes in the same way a drill is useful, but not for hammering nails.
  9. RobBookPro macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2009
    Does anyone know if you can print on network printers? That is the only way I actually print now so if it has the ability to find, connect to and print to a network printer then that is a big win. Especially in a classroom which is set up for network printing already.

    I am not so sure if it will be great in classrooms since the game has changed a bit since I went to school however I do believe the ipad could be an extremely valuable tool for a student to have in the bag.

    All the cons of the iPad are really just the Pros of the alternatives which ignore the alternatives cons. I think the iPad ultimately will do well, with or without a physical keyboard.

    I can write for hours on the ipad and I have do it pretty fast. It is quite amazing actually how instead of using the feeling of the keys under your fingers you use the spatial layout to know where the keys should be.
  10. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Jul 8, 2008
    my house
    I see your point, but in the end, school bookstores do the same thing. Student pays $150 in the beginning of the semester and only gets back $50. I've always thought of it as paying $100 to rent the book.

    But yeah, sometimes you are able to find another student and maybe sell for $100 after some effort goes into finding and contacting sellers. I would gladly buy the same ebook for less (around $100-$120 maybe) to not have the burden of selling back all of my books. Essentially, I'm completing both transactions at once (buying the new/used book and reselling it).
  11. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002

    Do you know it's difficult to type on? How? Oh, right, you haven't used one and so actually you have no idea whether it is or isn't difficult (and no, 'hands on' reports from people whose hands we 'on' the device for < 4 minutes don't qualify). Try using it for an extended period and see how proficient you get. I bet you're better on the iPhone than you ever thought you'd be, right?

    If not, get a BT keyboard, or the keyboard-dock. Either way, they will provide the same typing experience as MBP or iMac...

    As for Windows, that's a red herring. The need for Windows is extremely limited and specific. If you need it, you know definitively (e.g. some obscure CAD program or some such). If not....

    Word (and all Office) docs can be edited, and saved out, by the iWork apps. So even if MSFT doesn't release an iPad-native version of Office, this is not at all an issue unless you have extremely complex files (e.g. macro-laden spreadsheets, or Word docs with preposterously complex formatting).

    As for printing... How do you know? I print from my iPhone all the time as it stands now using simple apps, and I'd be quite surprised if Apple didn't make bonjour/BT printing available natively in iOS 4 if not sooner.

    As for other devices, USB or otherwise, what would you like to connect? A camera? There's a kit for that. Video out for a projector? There's a kit for that.

    Memory cards and sticks? Well that you're on your own (until/unless there's a kit for that...)

    As for legitimate reasons why an iPad might not be well suited for a student (the hammering nails issue raised above), that's another matter. Things like coding/compiling/testing software, etc. The iPad clearly wouldn't do.

    Otherwise, please stop with the FUD. It's ridiculous.
  12. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    I can't see it being very useful, and I say that as a chemistry undergraduate.

    Making notes in lectures may be a possible for arts students, but I can't see it working for scientists. Even full-blown pages would be useless as you need dozens of mathematical symbols and the greek alphabet. Some lectures I have literally just written equations for the whole hour. Plus I'm guessing(!) it would be slower to use the one screen keyboard than to use a pen.

    Text books in ebook format wouldn't be great either. I just keep mine in my room, never needing to carry them. When doing tutorial work you need multiple text books open as well as lecture notes and a website (read wikipedia). People may overlook how important 'flicking through' a text book is. After using them a lot you can say "I think the Sn2 reactions are around page X" and simply flick through. Much quicker than going to the contents of an ebook.

    It won't run most of the software a science student would need. I often use ChemOffice, OriginPro, EndNote etc.

    I have a MacBook which sits at my desk and an iPod Touch that allows me to surf the web and check emails away from my house. I can't see how owning an iPad would make my life any easier.

    (As an entertainment device I think it might be ok, but just like the AppleTV the iPad is almost a great device, let down by a couple of shortcomings, that could be easily fixed by Apple!)
  13. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Chemistry student != all students, let alone all scientists!

    Get all your pdfs on the device. get your textbook in their too. What's hard about getting greek alphabet? Or making equations?

    If you want freehand -get a stylus and Evernote.

    Going - "i think the Sn2 reactions are somewhere here" is likely slower than hitting Search and typing "sn2".
  14. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009

    Way to read half a post!

    I'm a chemistry student, I put that in to add context. My point about writing anything that isn't simple prose is equally valid for physics, engineering, mathematics, biochemistry, medicine...

    Using a stylus to write sucks. You end up with notes that you may as well have put down on paper.

    Ok, so adding the greek alphabet may be possible. But that is another button you need to cycle through on the keyboard- Latin characters -> Punctuation/numbers -> Basic maths symbols -> Greek characters -> Advanced maths symbols (because the ones included on the standard OS Keyboard won't cut it). Imagine trying to type any of these equations in a lecture whilst trying to listen to the lecture and not get left behind...


    Having textbooks on a device is not going to be very useful when you need three open at the same time, and your lecture notes, and a website in order to do your work. That is an issue for almost all students, not just chemists!
  15. Lakeland*won thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2010
    Well, I am a criminal justice major with a minor in business admin. I own an iMac 24 and need something for note taking and online testing (if course requires). Nothing too technical. I am buying this not to BE a laptop but to bridge between my iMac and the rest of the wold outside of my house.
  16. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    The speed/responsiveness of stylus type input with a notepad sort of app will obviously play a huge part in determining whether the iPad is useful as a freehand note taking device.

    That said, based on the # of laptops you see in most lecture halls these days, absent paper notebooks, it seems that many students in many disciplines have little need for freehand note taking. i.e. they type.
  17. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I'm a graphic design, photography, and marketing student.

    My future iPad school use:

    1.) Taking notes in class (not REALLY fast paced lecture)
    2.) Making quick sketches
    3.) Writing email / web / blackboard, etc
    4.) Carrying books
    5.) Showing portfolio and rough drafts for in-progress critique instead of wasting paper

    Can't wait! This is only class stuff. It seems like there is more but I can't think of it because I'm going on a few hours of sleep the last few days getting ready for my portfolio review.
  18. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    Check out this thread: iPad good for college students?

    I think it would be a terrible idea.

    The weight is a non-issue since you'll be carrying about a backpack.

    You'd have to type with your hands hovering above the virtual keyboard while you hunt-and-peck for fifty minutes. You will have to lean over and look directly down at the desktop to see the screen in order to type, taking your attention away from the board/professor.

    The ePub format is terrible for textbooks.

    You can't open multiple apps, including multiple instances of the same app. That means that you can not compare different pages of notes and referencing multiple sources (web, PDF, notes) will be inefficient.

    If you try it, good luck to you, just don't be surprised when it doesn't work out.
  19. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. You can't touch type with a glass surface. You always need to see what you're typing. Very distracting and, as mentioned above, completely impractical for any form of sciences and engineer formulas. The speed of formula entry would be awful.
  20. laserfox macrumors 6502


    Jan 21, 2008
    new york
    This is a great media consumption device.

    Useful for a college student? No!

    No handwriting input, no usb ports, no real printing solution out the box, no multi tasking for working on more than one things at a time, no real disk support.
  21. harry*333 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    two advantages for note taking either use pages and you'll have a quiet keyboard or buy a third party stylus and handwrite digital notes (it won't be long before "there is an app for that" hehe)
  22. Fraaaa macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2010
    London, UK
    Are people really using computer to take notes?
    I still use paper, I find it more comfortable, but eventually tiding notes up on word processor later.

    I'm going to get an iPad for Uni next year, iWork is great.

    Still about the printing factor I 'm dwelling on it, but I saw iPhone apps to print documents, however, from the computer at home that has to be on.

    Still there's blutooth and WiFi(using uni/college network), can't these two be used to print?

    About USB, there's the Camera Kit eventually an app can be developed to use that to connect the iPad to a printer too.
  23. Aranince macrumors 65816

    Apr 18, 2007
    One of the primary reason why I bought an iPad is for school.
  24. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    It will be useful for students, but not anymore useful than a laptop.
  25. Maaz macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2010
    Iam buying it mainly for school. And that 12 hour* school day I have. I'll actually be looking forward to my long breaks now.

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