Trying out an iPad

I had my first opportunity to try out one of Apple’s new iPads today when Jonathan Hunt visited the office, bringing his with him.

Jonathan and were involved with the Christchurch Amiga Users group nearly 20 years ago, when he was a young software engineer with Telecom. We spent lots of time then exploring the use of the Amiga for education, and Jonathan went on to do some exciting work with interactive touch-screen displays amongst other things.

Now a little older, and with young children of his own, Jonathan was keen to show me some of the things he’s finding the iPad useful for in terms of an educational device for his kids.

I’d have to say I was impressed – both at the size and usability of the device itself, and in the promise of the software that is beginning to emerge.

I’m not convinced yet that I’d be going out of my way yet to purchase one – partly because the iPad store isn’t yet supported in NZ which severely limits the access to applications that might be useful, and partly because I’d be more interested in waiting for a 3G version with a camera installed to find the device really useful for the sorts of things Jonathan and I began to exlore and discuss yesterday.

So, for me it’ll be a bit of ‘keeping watch’. One of the sites that is useful in this regard is the iPad Learning Hub by the Maisie Centre, where there’s ongoing discussion about the pros and cons of the iPad as a learning device.

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