This was an impassioned plea presented in an article over at Schooltechnology.org on August 10, 2010, by Brad Flickinger. Brad is obviously enjoying the use of iPads in the classroom but struggling with certain assumptions made by people about what he can do with them. This is a great reminder to all about showing people how technology can be used for the benefits of our students. Enjoy!
I am sick of people saying that the iPad is for consuming and not creating online digital content. There is no doubt that the iPad is a great device to browse the web, read an eBook and check email (consuming) but it can do so much more than that. You will see from my list below that the iPad is far superior to the laptop in a lot of different areas of digital content creation.
Email: We’ll start simple, the iPad is great for composing email messages, grant it, you wouldn’t want to write a novella, but short, quick and simple emails work great. By the way, that is 100% of the emails that I write.
Draw and Paint: My students love to draw and paint on the iPad. They mix colors, change brushes, etc. It is so much easier to draw and paint on an iPad with your finger than to do it on a computer with a mouse. In fact if you don’t believe me, try to draw a big circle with a mouse and then draw one with your finger, you’ll see what I mean.
Photo Editing: There are literally hundreds of incredible photo editing apps for the iPad. I sync my photos to my iPad so that I can edit them in one of the four great apps that I have. I would much rather edit them on my iPad than my MacBook. No only are the photo editing apps easy to use, but they are cheap. Compare $1.99 for an app to $80 for a photo editing program for my laptop.
Documents and Presentations: With Apple adding Keynote and Pages to the list of great apps, you can now create beautiful documents and presentations on your iPad. For longer documents I would certainly use a Bluetooth keyboard, but for everything else the on screen keyboard works great.
Music: On the iPad you can play great music and create great music — on nearly any instrument you could think of. I have students playing piano, guitar and even the drums. And don’t get me started on the DJ-type software that is available — so many things that are impossible to do on a laptop. Really, can you play a guitar on a laptop?
Listen, this list could go on and on, the reality is that I now look at my laptop and see all the limitations it has for creating content compared to the amazing and easy things that my iPad can do. So get over it world! The iPad is a digital content creator!