I returned the iPad to its rightful owner.  Actually, I returned it so that he could loan it out to another tester.  It it getting a lot of mileage as well as a lot of buzz.

Good points:

  1. Plays great games with more natural, finger-driven controls (a big plus for children!)
  2. Wonderful color and resolution, which makes it ….
  3. Great to read on
  4. Portable but doesn’t feel fragile – the big brother to my trusty iPhone, which I do not treat like a hot house flower

The challenging points (from a potential teacher’s view):

  1. Doesn’t run Flash or Java, which means that some educational games won’t work — and some content management systems will also lose functionality
  2. Hard to type on
  3. Hard (impossible?) to multi-task on – which makes it hard for me to read work and grade it or give feedback while using a single device
  4. Big shiny screen reflects light sources above it, making it hard to read even in many office settings (I didn’t try it outside)

A colleague will be attending some sessions on mobile computing in teaching, so we may have new information next week, but I’m still on the fence about whether I’d recommend the iPad for educational purposes.

Pilot testing?? Sure – I’d love to hear from other front-running pioneers out there, especially if you have a situation that has been crying out for a lower cost, small near-computer device.  The gadget girl in me wants to like it, really.  But I have reservations about recommending it to others right now.