The iPad mini a month on….
So I have now been using my iPad mini in earnest for a month. It has already become an essential tool that goes everywhere with me! I use it for most things, browsing the Internet, reading blog posts, and of course answering emails. The SpringPad App is fantastic as a way of curating and organizing materials. I am finding that I am reading more blog posts as a result and have categorised things for different purposes (blog posts, videos and audio, teaching materials, etc.) I can’t imagine now how I coped without it! It is funny how we integrate technologies into our practice and how this sometimes takes time, before one has that ‘Ah hah’ moment. I think iPad minis have fantastic potential in a learning context; enabling learners to learn anywhere, anytime, as well as for use in fieldwork, etc. The range of Apps available is simply staggering and the interface is good, very easy to read from. The big advantage over the iPad is the size and weight; the iPad is just too heavy to my mind. Also it has great battery power, another plus.
For me this is truly a disruptive technology (Christensen 1997), a game changer, something that fundamentally changes things. It will be interesting to see what emergent research work on the used of these types of devices shows. Terese Bird in our team has just completed a JISC-funded project PLACES evaluating the use of iPads in our Criminology Masters. The evaluation was very positive and showed the benefits of these types of devices, in particular enabling the students (who are often working in dangerous parts of the world, with little or no Internet access) to have access to all their course materials. I think iPads/iPad minis also have hugh potential for professionally based courses, for example Medicine.
Here are some useful links on using the iPad for learning:
- EDUCAUSE report on 7 things you should know about iPads
- Learning with iPads
- The iPad as a tool for education – a case study
- Educational use cases from a shared exploration of e-books and iPads