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No, It’s Not a Computer

For those schools who look at the iPad and see a computer, Fraser Speirs suggests a rather Zen approach by understanding how that device wants to be used.

The iPad is an intensely personal device. In its design intent it is, truly, much more like a “big iPhone” than a “small laptop”. The iPad isn’t something you pass around. It’s not really designed to be a “resource” that many people take advantage of. It’s designed to be owned, configured to your taste, invested in and curated.

Which goes completely against the standard way we use computers in most schools: cloned to function identically, organized into labs (or carts), and used identically by students (also organized into labs).

However, it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking at units running Apple’s iOS or any number of competing products.  All of them in this category are designed to be personal communication devices, not traditional computers.

And trying to make them fit into that mold is only going to frustrate a lot of educators (not to mention their IT support partners) and waste a lot of money in the process.

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1 Comment

  1. Melissa

    I completely agree with you and Fraser. So if you had the ability to have a 1:1 iPad program would you give students the ability to take them back and forth to school/home and at what age would you think this is appropriate? Ability to add their own apps? Again, what age would be appropriate? Struggling with these questions…

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