How the iPad won me over, Part 1

All hail the new iPad! Much like my constant theme of schools wanting to look cool by buying new technology, my dad has the same issue! Literally, with every new edition of a phone, tablet, or other various incarnations of the technological market, my father has to have it. He stops at nothing to get his hands on new equipment if it’s even just for a few minutes. He says that because of his job, he has to do it. He quite often says to me, “If I don’t keep up with the latest and greatest things, how will I get anything done?”

All hail the new iPad!

Whether or not he has an obsession, he pre-ordered the third generation iPad. As a result, he sold one of his second-generation iPads and gave the other one to me. This made me the owner of a MacBook Pro, and iPhone, and an iPad. Although, I’ve always stood behind Apple as my favorite company, I’ve always looked down upon tablets. When Apple released their first iPad, I had no interest. What good would a wide chunky awkward machine do for me? Then, because of the sudden popularity, more and more companies began releasing their own tablets. Apple stepped up and released the iPad 2, creating even better sales. And now they’re releasing the new iPad to even bigger numbers.

iPad over the other tablets!!      

My dad isn’t the only one who buys electronics non-stop. Tablets have taken a while to catch on with ordinary people like me, but there has never been a shortage of people who want the latest gadgets just to look cool or who find some use for these little media machines. Android tablets may make you feel cool, but they pale in comparison to the popularity of iPads. Besides the obvious trendiness and hipness of Apple, the iPad has a huge number of apps that make it useful for a variety of reasons. Social networking and gaming dominate young people’s use of iPads. However, they can also be used for business, financial, travel, and of course, education.

Let’s take a look back into elementary school…

I usually focus on higher education learning and how technology affects it. Now that I actually have one, though, I’m not so far out of high school that I don’t see all that the iPad can do, not just for college-level students and teachers, but also for K-12 and even adult learners. I certainly don’t want to disregard the uses that the iPad has in K-12 classrooms or in every day life. For that reason, let’s take a look back into elementary school. I remember 10 or so years ago, when we didn’t have any electronics in the classroom. We sat while our teacher wrote on a chalkboard and would occasionally hand out a worksheet for us to do simple math or English problems. As time has moved forward, so have advancements in technology.

This doesn’t mean that everyone uses them. Older generations can’t figure out new advancements and my parents’ generation often struggles too. Teenagers were the first to really pick up on this latest wave of technology; even if schools ten years ago were just beginning to bring technology into our classrooms, I can’t remember a time that I didn’t have a computer at home. Now, of course, it seems like my 2-year old sister has pretty much figured out most of the gadgets in our house. As a result, the classrooms that I once knew have become computer labs. Over the past ten years, there have been propositions that all students in elementary through high school should own a laptop, just like college kids do. A lot of developers have been designing laptops and other various technologies tailored towards the learning capabilities of K-12 students.

 An iPad can fill the needs of every age group…

Take a step out of the K-12 classroom and look at college lecture halls. With any laptop on the market, there are going to be aspects of education in the software. Every student needs one; why wouldn’t a company create their laptops to fit the need of their core customers? I’m willing to bet that the iPad can fill the needs of both K-12 students and average college/university students, so that fewer and fewer of them will have to buy massively expensive laptops until their future careers (if then). Not only this, but the iPad can also educate and entertain normal consumers. Apple has created a ubiquitous product that will one day be required in one form or another by everyone. No, everyone won’t have an iPad, but since just about everyone had an iPod at some point, it seems pretty likely that Apple has set the tone for tablets to be the computers of choice in the years ahead.

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of my 3-part series on my conversion to an iPad-lover.


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