How the iPad won me over, Part 3

Education & Technology

As much as I hate to admit it, maybe I’m just as bad as every other technology-loving consumer that’s out there. When I traded in my old flip phone, I would settle for nothing less than iPhone. When Blu-Ray players beat out the competition in the high-definition DVD war, I had to have one. And of course, when I got into college, I didn’t want any other laptop besides a MacBook. A MacBook Pro, no less. Keep in mind that at that point in time, I knew nothing about technology. The truth was, I just wanted what was hip and, more importantly, what was going to make me be cooler than I already was (I was more than happy to use the excuse that a Mac was required by my department, but I can’t imagine I would actually have spent my student loan money on just any old PC).

My want is equally proportional to the product’s popularity!!

Even now, I know a lot more about technology than I did two years ago, but I still want the most popular items on the market. They don’t call it marketing for nothing, and I, like most of my peers, fall for it every time. iPads are currently more popular than laptops (at least in buzz, if not total numbers) because as Apple continues to expand on their product, more businesses are realizing the potential and ordinary customers are happy to carry a flashy iPad instead of a laptop any day.

This realization is leading developers to create more worthwhile apps every day which can go viral in ways that Microsoft Office just can’t. Sure, there are all kinds of software available for download on a computer, but virtually all the same stuff can be found cheaper and downloaded faster on the iPad. These popular tablets aren’t selling fast just because they’re a fad, but because they’re genuinely becoming some of those most useful tools on the market.

Why would I want to watch a 2-hour lecture on such a small screen?

Reading over one of my first ever blogs for WizIQ, I talked about Apple’s newest released app: iTunes U. I saw no good in the application, for I couldn’t understand the use of having downloadable lectures on my phone. I hardly even watch any videos on my phone — why would I want to watch a 2-hour lecture on such a small screen? Because I’m a reasonable guy that likes to give second chances (and also because it happened to show up while I was browsing the app store), I decided to download iTunes U onto my iPad. Much to my surprise, it was extraordinarily better. The download page wasn’t cramped, because the screen is significantly bigger. Mostly, the application didn’t seem so intimidating and that inspired me to download the “Communicating through music” class. The class had 14 different downloads that included videos, text, sound clips, and assignments.

WizIQ, much like iTunes U, has many classes available to take.

Just like a normal class, but in the comfort of your own bed, iTunes U gives people the opportunity to learn something that they’ve never learned before. As a company, WizIQ, creates their software with not only educators and schools in mind, but also just regular consumers. Their purpose is not just to create a platform where professors can teach and students can listen, but also to include on that platform an extra spot that allows regular people who aren’t involved with any type of education to learn whatever they want. WizIQ, much like iTunes U, has many classes available to take.

WizIQ doesn’t offer their courses for free, but it’s not all pre-recorded boring lectures. One of their featured classes is “French Language for English Speakers,” which can be taken for $239, includes 20 live interactive online classes, and access to recordings of all the classes. The value of such offerings is becoming clear as more and more companies spring up to enable people (and not just traditional students) to learn all manner of new things.

The world of Online Education

Apple has clearly seen that the world of education online is spreading. Their iPad supports both in classroom learning and virtual learning. I finally get the allure of the iPad now. It isn’t just about having the latest fancy device. There are already an abundance of apps out there specifically designed for education, with dozens more being created every month. WizIQ is working on a full-blown mobile strategy to tap into the power of these devices; I’ve had a chance to see their iPad app in action and there is nothing like holding your instructor in the palm of your hand.

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