Is the iPad made for Education or Business?
The initial perception on the iPad being just ‘a big iPhone’ has radically changed over the past twelve months.
The iPad is not only growing in sales but also by function. For example, take a look at the example of London Bistro’s using them as menu’s or converse US using the iPad to allow customers to customize a pair of shoes and take them home straight away rather than waiting for Shipping.
With apps such as keynote and analytics, the iPad provides CEO’s, managers, and sales reps with a wealth of information and tools at the touch of a screen!
In terms of education, School technology.org gives some reasons for the rise of iPad popularity within the sector:
1. Size- it’s much smaller than a PC or a Laptop
2. Weight- the iPad 2 weighs just 1.33 pounds (601grams)
3. iBook’s - not only considered a green product, but also allows a huge range of textbooks otherwise unavailable in hardcopy to students.
4. Apps- The apps provide a one stop shop for school supplies such as calculators, notebooks and language translators.
5. Battery Life- the iPad2 has a 10hour battery life.
Another obvious advantage to education is it could serve as a replacement of the heavy schoolbags- it’s not uncommon in Ireland to see a child wandering around with a bag almost as big as them on their backs. The lightweight iPad with the capacity to hold thousands of books, and all the schools supplies they’ll need will serve as a great alternative.
In the US,’ iPad labs’ (an updated version of a computer room) are becoming popular, although the issue is it’s still very expensive to upgrade to them, especially when flash cannot be used on the screen. A pack of 10 16G iPad’s would set you back $4,790.00- without insurance, a master mainframe mac, covers etc. Therefore at the moment only very well-funded schools can afford them- at least until someone starts a Tesco iPads for school’s programme!
The main question on people’s lips is whether the iPad is the best option. There is competition in the water with multimillion dollar investments in tablets such as the ‘Motorola Zoom’. Steve Jobs claims that the competitors haven’t even reached the technological capabilities of the iPad1- and a survey taken in December 2010 showed that of those intending to buy the iPad, 78% would be buying apple over other tablet brands such as Dell. The same survey showed that 14% of businesses would be buying the iPad in the first quarter of 2011.Schools however, due to budgetary constraints will possibly have to assign their loyalty to the cheapest bidder.
I think it’s safe to say that the war of the tablets has only just begun.
Combined Media is a leading independent interactive agency that specialises in web design and development. We create websites, e-learning tools, interactive presentations, applications and all things digital. Founded in 1992, Combined Media has evolved unique processes that combine the best aspects of user-centred design and technology expertise. Our aim is to create products that marry usability, design and excellent project management for our clients. Based in Dublin, clients include VHI healthcare, Roche Products, Novartis, ESB Independent Energy, RTÉ and Smurfit Kappa.