Finally got the new iPad – My iPad 3 first impressions
Being a fan of Apple products, it is only natural that I wanted to get the new iPad soon as it became available – on the iPad 3 launch date. Unfortunately, I had to wait until the money became available to get the new Apple iPad 3. I suppose the question to be answered is, why did I need a new iPad wifi 16GB, when I already had the iPad 1? Aside from the obvious reasons of wanting to have the latest, newest and shiniest, the main reason for wanting the new iPad was the ability to send the iPad screen to my Mac via Wi-Fi. The iPad 3 resolution is pretty amazing really. I already have a growing catalogue of videos on my Wizardgold/Mac20Q YouTube channel that are how-to videos showing how to work with Mac software. Naturally I want to do iPad videos also and my attempts to do them with the over shoulder camerawork, I don’t feel have been terribly successful. With the new iPad 3 I can use the application Reflection on my Mac and airplay the video from the iPad to it. When I have the video available on my iMac and I can then record it using the application ScreenFlow.
My first impressions of the new iPad wifi model
Maybe I have become used to the extra speed with the faster processor in the new iPad and the lovely retina screen, but I’m not experiencing a huge wow factor. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the new iPad wifi only and probably all I need is to have 10 min again with the iPad 1, so that I really get the point.
With the previous iPad, I had the Apple cover for it and found it to be very useful. I haven’t bought an iPad case or a cover for this model yet. I don’t particularly like the colours of the Smart Cover and I think they seem quite expensive. The Apple smart cover for the iPad looks like it could be quite useful for when you need to stand the iPad up to use it. That can be either when you have it in landscape mode or in portrait mode. I think perhaps the Smart Cover for the iPad is less useful in terms of protecting the iPad from wear and tear. There is another version of the smart cover that does have protection for the back of the iPad and I may go into an Apple Store to have a closer look. I will check out the iPad designer cases too.
Getting up and running with the new iPad from Apple
All I did was to plug it into my iMac and tell it to restore from a backup that came from the previous iPad. For the most part, this worked very well although adjustments were required, on account of this new iPad has only 16 GB of storage space. The previous model I had, had 32 GB available and so I have had to do some judicious pruning of applications and content. While I was trying to get the content and the data sorted out, I felt it was a bit of a moving target. In the end the best way to move forward was to search for the applications with the largest footprint, to see which ones I could remove and save most space. There was some, like Garageband and iPhoto that I was not going to take off whatever happened. It was probably more due to my impatience to get using the iPad and maybe I could have set it up as a new iPad rather than going with the backup from the previous. On the other hand though, at least the way that I did it most of the settings for applications were preserved. I expect that I may have saved myself some hassle by going with the backup option. Even so, with some applications such as Tweetbot, for example, I did have to reauthorise the application to use my Twitter accounts.
Planned educational use of the iPad
As I live and work in Spain and have to try and survive financially on work that only becomes available during the summer holiday period, I have decided to look at teaching English as a foreign language. I have already worked teaching English in a Spanish school recently and I quite enjoyed it. The plan now is to do the TEFL course and look for private customers and possibly set up a small classroom to teach English. I do have a space where I could situate the classroom and generally it could be quite a useful business. The thing is, is that there are English-language schools available already in the area and I think that to have a unique selling proposition of having iPads for students to use in the class, could set me apart from the crowd.
iPads in the classroom
I have been reading a number of blogs with stories of how teachers are using the iPad in the classroom and it looks very interesting indeed. There are a number of applications available that are specific to learning English as a foreign language and there are also plenty of apps which are just plain useful for teachers. While I was teaching in the local school, I made use of the iPad Bento application and the iPad Evernote app extensively. It was also easy to show videos and to play audio clips in the classroom directly from the iPad. This would be more difficult with a large class of students but there is a way to get around this. iStudiez Pro iPad app is handy tool for teachers to use.
The Apple TV and the iPad
What some teachers have done, is to use an iPad in conjunction with an Apple TV connected to a television. With this configuration of technology the teacher can walk around freely within the classroom and have whatever is on the iPad sent over the air to the Apple TV. The teacher can use this to show a specific application for learning English or could use a whiteboard type of application. With these whiteboard apps you can use them to show images, write or draw on and even to show animations. The days could be numbered for those big smart boards that are in most classrooms in the UK.
The effects of using the iPad in the classroom
Being able to walk around freely in the classroom is excellent for classroom management. The teacher not being tied to the front of the class and having to turn their back on the monkeys, I mean students, helps with the control of the class. You would be able to stand at the back of the class, behind those that think that they can sit at the back and hide or mess around. It is quite possible that the students generally will be more engaged with the subject matter, due to the use of new and exciting technology. It would probably be likely that there would be fewer occurrences of bored pupils that can’t be bothered. In any case, the disruptive pupil now has nowhere to hide.
Making the best use of the available technology in education
The more that a teacher can use all of the available senses to engage the students, the better. There will be the need to continue using teaching techniques that don’t require using the iPad. I don’t believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It is true to say though, that the new technology extends and expands the options available. Images, video and sound can be used along with the interactive nature of using a computer that you can touch, to make things happen. With this you can integrate the kinetic element of learning where the students are learning by doing. I love the possibilities of teaching with the iPad as a tool.
Using technology to flip the class
There is even a school of thought at the moment, that would have the use of the class flipping to change the way the education operates, even more. There are few different ways of doing this and one of them could be the teacher presenting the information in a video. The student watches this video to get the explanation and the basic content outside of the class. That would be the homework. Then in the flipped classroom, the teacher can have a more interactive approach with activities based upon the previously viewed content. I like this idea and I would be keen to give it a try. The process and mechanics of flipping a class would require a number of articles to fully explore and explain, so I won’t go into full details in this one.
Enjoying using the iPad 3
With explaining some of the reasons for my wanting to get the new iPad, I digressed or went off on bit of a tangent. Even with the great iPad 3 specifications, it is still about the user experience. I have to say that I am very pleased with my new purchase and you should look out for some how-to videos on the Mac20Q YouTube channel. If you have any comments or questions with regards how the iPad 3 tablet could be used in the classroom, please feel free to leave a comment below or use the contact form. I am looking forward to hearing from you, especially if you have any positive thoughts concerning the iPad for education. I do wish I could have afforded an iPad with 3G / 4G, but the cash would only stretch to the new iPad wifi version.