Search this site
Other stuff

All banner artwork by Brady Johnson, college student and (semi-) starving artist.

My latest books:


        Available now

       Available Now

Available now 

My book Machines are the easy part; people are the hard part is now available as a free download at Lulu.

 The Blue Skunk Page on Facebook


EdTech Update




« What do I do with 5 Kindles? | Main | BFTP: A trick question »

iPads and ISTE

 Image source:

At last week's ISTE conference, iPads were once again being used in abundance. Chris Dawson observed:

... you couldn’t sneeze at ISTE without someone looking up from their iPad to say “Gazuntite!” [sic]* The sleek tablets were everywhere. Android tablets could only be found in the Dell and Viewsonic booths. ... Apple has somehow convinced every teacher and administrator in North America and western Europe that only the iPad is capable of transforming education.

The most clever use I saw of the iPad 2 at the conference was people using them to take photos of presenters' Powerpoint slides. Beats taking notes by hand, I guess. Is this something adults actually figured out or did they learn this trick from their students?

I'm not sure it's been Apple did that's done much in the way of convincing educators for the need, but I agree the iPad was again the tool du jour at ISTE. I keep hoping for a really good Android alternative (lower cost and better manageability). But I'm afraid the wait has been too long. These iPads are creeping into our district via grants, departmental and building funds at an amazing rate and soon the base will be too deep to replace with another OS.

According to Pew, only 8% of us living in the US own tablets:


It seemed like the rate was more like 75% at ISTE. But then people interested enough in technology to attend a national technology conference would be bringing the latest toys. 

I did. Well, my iPad is the old kind. It's a little embarrassing. 

What is it about these slick devices that has so caught the attention of educators? My guess is that the learning curve is so short that long-term benefit off-setting the short term cost of learning something new is immediately apparent.

Or maybe it's the Apple ads and the shininess?

* Gesundheit - Maybe you need to be of German heritage to know this one.

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (8)

Do I win some kind of prize for having at least one of every device repress bred in the graph?

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJean Tower

Cell phones, desktops, and lap tops are pretty common technology toys for most people, but the iPads are still so new! I think educators need to be intrigued and excited about them because so many of our students already have them! If we want to have yet another way to connect to our students, get an iPad !!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Rodgers

Hello Jean,

I don't have a DVR or I would have each of the products in the category as well. (I do have an Internet-ready TV, however.)

Your prize is a 5 1/4 floppy disk notcher and box of disks. Send me your mailing address ;-)


Hi Jennifer,

I wonder how long they will fell new? And what will happen when the newness wears off?


July 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Ah! Would that anything "beats taking notes by hand" for getting information into my head! Not a chance!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate W

I can't speak for everyone carrying an iPad at ISTE but I found it to be the best multipurpose learning tool I've ever had. Is it perfect? No, but neither was the first laptop computer I used, or the first desktop or smartphone for that matter. However, in the 15 months I've had this device (actually it's my second in that time), the number of creative apps has exploded and offered ways to use the iPad in all kinds of new ways. That growth will likely continue, both for the iPad and it's competitors.

If I had to speculate on why the iPad has become so popular in general, it's probably because it combines the primary functions that most people want and need on an everyday communications device, and does it in a way that's simple enough for anyone to quickly learn. Most of the complaints I hear come from my fellow geeks who always want just one more feature in anything they use, and would customize everything in the world to their special needs if they could.

BTW, I have everything in the chart but the eReader, unless you count the four apps on my iPad that fill the same function.

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim Stahmer

Hi Tim,

I agree the simplicity is a huge draw for this device. A person doesn't really need any training to use it.

Give me simplicity over customizability any day. Heck, I still use the default ringtone on my phone and default fonts in my documents!


July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

Doug, you cynic! : )

I agree with Tim, I'm in love with my 'Pad, and am VERY excited by iPads these days Blogged against adopting them for students at the beginning, because they were so consumption-driven; but with all the apps now, with books starting to take advantage of all they can do, I'm looking forward to the two we'll have in the library, and would love to see a classroom set. I did get a wireless keyboard with them, and allowed about $200 in the budget for apps.

July 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeri Hurd

Hi Jeri,

I am sure you will have great success with your school iPads. (It's all in the implementation.)

I find I am taking my iPad less for the portability and more for the 3G Internet access anymore. I am hoping the next generation of MacBook Air computers will have 3G built-in so I can retire the iPad actually.

Me, a cynic? Hey, I smell flowers - where's the funeral?


July 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>