An iPad for Professors: Does it Help?

When the original iPad was unveiled, it was hugely successful as plenty of people hurried to their local Apple store or Apple carrier stores to purchase their own. Of course, as with all new machines and gadgets, critics took to share their thoughts on how they felt of the new device. Recently, with the unveiling of the second generation iPad, critics who are also professors are sharing their thoughts on the iPad, just one year after the first iPad was released, according to an evaluation type article posted in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Cory Bohon claims carrying around his iPad is much easier than carrying around his MacBook Pro, which roughly weighs about 8 pounds, mostly because the iPad is much lighter and essentially allows him to do the same school work he does on his laptop. One of his favorite applications is Ignition, which allows him to connect and have access to his MacBook Pro where he can see his work and do more work from his iPad when he is on the go. Another iPad user, Brian Croxall, who wasn’t too thrilled about the thought of the iPad and didn’t really see its appeal, was gifted one for work and has enjoyed it much more than he ever imagined. While the iPad hasn’t replaced his desktop or laptop, Croxall claims its great for taking notes at meetings, checking Web sites, and saving articles for reading them later.

Professor Billie Hara can’t really recall a time when he was more productive, speaking of his productivity with the iPad. Hara uses his iPad to handle several classroom management tasks such as keeping attendance, calculating grades, and updating course blogs. Hara also responds to student work using applications such as Dropbox and iAnnotate, and is able to send graded work back to his students through e-mail programs such as Google’s Gmail. He claims that over the past month, at any given time, he has able to take care of school work in several places including at home, a local coffee shop, on an airplane, at a conference, and even in an ER waiting room. Jason Jones is most impressed with the ability to take notes on the iPad. He uses his iPad to take notes and speaks highly of Evernote, because his notes are readable and automatically sync where he needs them.

Konrad Lawson thinks the iPad is a great tool for a wide range of tasks and is often times his go to gadget when on the go. He likes having a whole personal library on him without feeling the weight of the laptop and likes the variety of applications available for iPad users. Mark Sample, who has never been a fan of Apple and its products, loves his iPad as he feels it is dispensable for teaching, research, and performing scholarly activities. Sample uses the device to write quite frequently and has loaded it with PDFs related to teaching and research so that he can do his work on it. And when you add a Bluetooth keyboard, Sample says the lightweight machine is good for doing your work all day long.

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