Educators Evaluate Learning Benefits of iPad

Is the iPad the wave of the future?  What are your thoughts?  via Education Week’s Digital Directions:

Every day seems to offer another story about a district or school that’s buying iPads—a development that astonishes some ed-tech experts since the device is less than 15 months old, and K-12 educators are traditionally slow adopters of new technology. And they’ve adopted it for classroom use despite the fact that Apple is still revising its product, with the second version of perhaps several issued in March, while many other manufacturers had only released their tablet competitors at the beginning of this year. Further, Apple products are not compatible with Adobe Flash Player.

Excluding the fad factor, experts say there are legitimate reasons for educational interest. With a battery life of eight to 10 hours and a weight of just over a pound, the iPad offers more portability and less startup time during the full school day than laptops or netbooks, while its screen size facilitates more flexibility using the Web and easier input than smartphones.

The iPad “beat every specification schools thought was important,” Thomas Greaves, the chairman of the Greaves Group, an education consulting firm based in Encinitas, Calif., says of the device, which now retails for about $400 in its first version—similar to the cost of a netbook.

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