When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad 2 today, he introduced a tablet that's faster and leaner than iPad 1, with two cameras, better graphics, and a better case to boot. So does that mean it will be better for education?
Bells and whistles aside, the iPad represents a pretty big change in the way people use tablets, computers, and other electronic devices. When Apple introduced iPad 1 last year, many, including myself, were skeptical. iPad? What kind of a name is that? Isn't that an awkward size—bigger than an iPod but smaller than a computer? Who will buy that?
As it turns out, pretty much everyone wanted to buy it.
In 2010, Apple sold more than 15 million iPads. Today, parents, kids, and schools across the country are using them as educational tools. Even my four-year-old niece uses her dad's iPad to play educational games. With access to the web and inexpensive apps like iMovie and GarageBand that seem almost custom-designed for a school environment, it's never been easier to differentiate instruction, create blended learning environments, and teach creative skills like video editing and music composition.
So what do you think? Will this new iPad be the beginning of more and better tablets in the classroom? And if kids are learning these new technologies at home, how long can we wait before bringing them into the classroom?