iPad, uPad- Why I, a Teacher, love my iPad

I got the best birthday gift ever this year.  My husband bought me a 32GB wireless Apple iPad!  I was floored when I opened the box. Just a few days earlier I had finally started to consider getting an e-reader.  (I love my paper books.  I was very anti-e-reader. Still prefer my paper books).  I had watched many of my students start using e-readers in school and I was attracted to the ease of carrying more than one book when I travel.  I read very quickly and when I travel I need to bring a huge pile of books.  The airlines are not a big fan of that. I had decided on a Nook (which I still highly recommend!) so I did not expect to get an iPad!

It’s been about two months now, and I know some people are interested in my thoughts.  I absolutely love, love, love my iPad. It’s been a life changer for me.  First, I use it a lot as an e-reader.  I still prefer to read paper and ink books, but the iPad is awfully convenient.  While I can’t add the books in my iPad to my classroom library (like I do with all my paper and ink books), it has been a great way to read more adult books.  I tend to buy all YA and middle grade books because I can use them in my classroom library.  Otherwise, I would have so many books that I would end up living in a house made of books, and that would probably be dangerous.  I can just see myself grabbing a book that catches my eye and just knocking everything down.  Bye bye kitchen!  Anyway, back on the subject- it’s great to have an e-reader because I can read adult books and not worry about what to do with them afterwards.

I can also carry lots of books around at once. When I finish one book I can immediately begin another one.  This is very convenient.  As I said before, I read quickly and I hate getting stuck without another book after I finish one.  I also love that I can carry books around everywhere I go.  I find myself reading at the dog park, at lunch, waiting to meet up with friends, at the beach, in the car, and in waiting rooms.  I am reading even more than I already was.

Now, the iPad isn’t perfect as an e-reader.  The biggest issue I have is the glare.  The screen has a big glare whenever I read outside.  I make sure I read in the shade, and I use the Apple iPad case (that protects the iPad) as a sort-of shield and that helps a lot.  I also changed the iPad’s settings so that the screen isn’t as bright and the background of the pages is a yellowish color instead of bright white.  I haven’t had a single situation where I haven’t been able to read due to glare.  It just takes some juggling sometimes.

I don’t just use the iPad as an e-reader, though.  That’s the beauty of the iPad- you can do so much with it!  I find myself downloading new apps everyday.  I have an amazing Astronomy app that helps me locate constellations and planets.  I love downloading the newspaper and my pictures.  Most recently I downloaded Flipboard after hearing an interview with the developer on NPR.  Flipboard is a personalized magazine using your social networking contacts.  It takes links, photos, and updates that your friends post on Twitter and Facebook and puts them into a magazine layout.  It’s clean, crisp, and looks just like an issue of your favorite magazine.  I can’t recommend it enough!

I have been doing some research into using the iPad in the classroom and I am brainstorming ways I might use it.  One idea I have is to use it during conferencing to take notes (with a stylus).  The iPad could serve as my notebook with notes uploaded every time I sync.  Do you have an iPad?  How do you use (or plan to use it) in the classroom?

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6 Responses

  1. I don’t have an iPad, but I had the same idea of how nice it would be to have one for anecdotal records for conferring. I experimented a little bit with using a Google Doc Form and an iTouch to do a quick check in with students for different reasons. I used a laptop for conferring documentation. However, at times I felt like the iTouch was too small and the laptop was too bulky. I think an iPad would be the best of both worlds. I look forward to seeing how you are able to incorporate it into your classroom.

    When I went to the Boothbay Literacy retreat one of the woman at my table worked at a school where they will be having 1:1 iPads, and she will be exploring a lot this year.

  2. I’ve had the iPad since … that first day of release, yep that was me standing in line at the Apple store with hundreds of others :) Here’s a post I wrote about classroom uses for the iPad that I composed when I submitted my school “tech request” for next year. I may not see a class set of iPads anytime soon, given the economy etc.

    http://rollercoasterteacher.blogspot.com/2010/04/spring-and-technology.html

    I’ve really loved iPad for personal use – apps are fabulous, as you know!

  3. One of these days I’ll have to get my hands on an iPad to test it out. My fear is that I’ll become hooked once I do.

  4. Great to read your post on the ipad — and the comments too. I’m considering getting one and want to make sure it will serve multiple functions that I need — books, appt book and organizer, easy web access and anywhere bogging source, writing, etc.
    Do you use yours as an organizer/planner for your classes? Is it easy enough to edit documents directly on the ipad?

  5. Here’s my question about the iPad and Nook and other e-readers: can you access e-ARCs… for example, from NetGalley? Or those electronic ARCs that HarperCollins gives out at conferences sometimes?

  6. ipad is a so nice device. i love my too….

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