Apple’s iPad Transforming Education

The Apple iPad, the handy-dandy technological gadget that was once referred to, only two years ago, as a “toy”, is no longer being looked down upon by critics. As a matter of fact, this gadget is now used widely across many different platforms, not just for personal reasons, but also for work and even education.

Good-bye Bulky Binders

The bulky binders that once kept everything organized are no longer necessary for salesman, business owners, and even teachers. Stockbrokers can now rely on their iPads to provide them with real-time stock information and other business statistics in the middle of lunch, rather than running back to the computer, logging in, and plugging in the websites for the necessary information.

Companies are also providing mobile employees with iPads to create a more efficient work flow offsite. The iPad has made life and work so much easier for people who are always on the go. In fact, Apple boasts that almost all of the Fortune 500 companies have decided to include the iPad as one of their technological advancements, despite the fact that the gadget has yet to change job descriptions much.

The iPad and Education

Just last month, in an effort to appeal to students and teachers, Apple released the iBook 2 store, where high school students can find the multimedia versions of high school textbooks. Around the same time, iBooks Author, the Mac app that helps people create multimedia textbooks, was introduced for the iPad as well. These introductions could change the world of teaching, taking it to a whole new world, far beyond what people think when the words, “history book” are mentioned.

Rather than words and pictures in a thick, heavy book, students will find videos, virtual tours, interactive pictures, teleconferencing, real-time updates, animation, and explorations that are search-based.

Transforming Classrooms

Kyle Wiens, from iFixit, a website created to help people repair issues with their consumer electronics, says that “Linear, chapter-based textbooks are an anachronism when it comes to knowledge transfer.” Rather than the old chapter book and chalkboard that history teachers have been armed with since 1801, history teachers can now turn to the iPad to bring a new aspect of teaching to the classroom.

“The way we think isn’t linear—it’s associative. We jump from concept to concept, our brains naturally latching onto the next most interesting idea. The path to knowledge is best approached organically, not prescriptively,” Wiens wrote. High school teachers may find that they need to change their ways of teaching, if Wiens is correct.

According to Apple, there are over 1.5 million iPads currently being used in educational institutions. Although iBooks, at this point in time, are very similar to the linear textbooks that Wiens described with a few multimedia features included, it’s just a matter of time before we see these books become more stimulating and packed with multimedia features.