Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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The best thing about the New iPad for education may be the $100 off the iPad 2.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Well, after spending a day with the New iPad,  I am finding some pro's and con's to Apples latest offering.  The step from the original iPad to the iPad 2 was huge in my mind, but the step from the iPad 2 to the "New iPad" (What's up with that name!) is much less...especially for education. There are some nice new features, and depending on your needs may be critical but I don't see it for educational needs.

The better rear camera is great, and for a consumer will be a welcome update, but for education do we really need a better camera with larger files? Is HD video necessary for class projects given the extra problems associated with larger files? My conclusion is no.

The display is nice, but so was the iPad 2's display.  I can see a few differences, but to be honest... they are slight for what I am doing with my iPad.  I even have a few apps updated for the new Retina display, and still no wow factor for me. I really do not see the need for our classroom uses at the current time.  Yes, it will stream video at 1080p, but most of our videos we use in school are not high quality and very few will have the new Apple TV to accommodate the 1080p let alone a big flat screen TV with 1080p.

The faster processor may be needed in a few years, but right now each app I used side-by-side with my "old" iPad2" showed no speed difference. By the time any of us need the speed, there will be another new iPad on the market. (Not to mention the extra heat given off by this increase in processor speed.)

The hot spot sharing and  4G LTE could be a killer feature for the consumer or mobile warrior, but for most of our educational needs we are just ordering wifi only models.

It was a welcome surprise that Apple kept it's same pricing structure for the New iPad including it's similar battery life. (That's especially impressive with the 4G LTE models.)

What do I think is the best thing about the New iPad for education?  It's that the price on the iPad 2 16 gig units were rolled back $100 to $399. That's a bargain for what may be the best iPad for schools at the moment. I do wish they would still produce the 32 gig iPad 2 units as well, but it looks like that is not going to be the case.  Don't get me wrong, the New iPad is now the best tablet on the market and continues to push the boundaries, but I think the best news was that the iPad 2 just got more affordable for schools and kids.

Your thoughts...........????

Just a few misc. resources for staff and check out Lucid Charts too!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Working in education and technology is awesome and seeing all of the great resources that are available to teachers and students is one of the more compelling aspects of this job.  Each week I share numerous resources with our staff via staff emails and my Twitter feed, but sometimes I like to share a few in the blog as well.  Here it goes... 

Top 10 Sites for Creating a Chart or Graph  (Notice Lucid Charts is one mentioned.  We already have that installed in our Google Apps, and you will read a little more about it later in this entry.) 

PBS has a great site with videos and a ton of other resources.  You can sign up for a free account too.  

Free iPad Math App- Elem.
Addition UnderSea Adventures: This colorful and visually stimulating app will dazzle your child as he explores the under water world with math. Children reveal puzzles of underwater scenes by solving simple addition problems. Puzzles increase in difficulty, each with a new scene to reveal. (FREE)

Free iPad Math Game App- Elem.
Island Chase Subtraction is free in the App Store for the month of March. Go get it if you haven't done so already!  (Courtesy of Barb Bentzinger  Thanks Barb!) 

10 Recommended YouTube Edu-tainment Channels. This is a nice list for starting your YouTube subscriptions. Check out the list here.

Google Apps
I love this product, and all of the companies that tie into Google apps.  

This week, Google just added the ability to label and/or star your email messages before you send them.  What a nice feature to be able to remember to followup on those important messages you send.  Read more about it here. 

We just added Lucid Charts to our Google apps this week, and this product is awesome!  This is a great product and this company offers their product free for school to use.  Thanks Lucid Charts for not only making a great product, but they allow us to use it with our students at a cost we can afford! 

iPad not connecting to wireless?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Here are just a few quick notes we share with our staff:

If you are having trouble with wireless, you can simply turn it off, and then turn it back on again. This often fixes the issues. 

When you close an app on the IOS devices, it really does not close.  Normally that's OK, but sometimes you will want to close all of your apps if one is giving you a problem.

Many teachers do not realize, that hitting the sleep button does not really shut the iPad down. 

Reset device. (Does not cause loss of data.)  This will solve many problems!