Benefits & Drawbacks

Feel free to add your own observations and/or discuss in the discussion area of this page if you disagree with any of the current listings.

Pros:

  • Engaging to students - they seem more interested in working on the iPads than on a desktop. Perhaps that is simply novelty and it will fade.
  • Extremely portable.
  • Can promote an increasingly paperless classroom.
  • Excellent annotation tools in iAnnotate to mark up articles and other readings.
  • Great note taking apps that support audio and handwriting recognition - can encourage students to be more organized and to take more effective notes.
  • Incredible amount of apps available for all subjects
  • Promotes intuitive creation (for example, dragging and dropping cartoon characters with a finger is much easier than with a mouse)
  • eBooks available from multiple publishers & multiple platforms (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Books) - not limited to one proprietary option
  • When reading an eBook, the user can highlight, notate, search, & bookmark easily.

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to observe what students are doing as there is no SmartSync type observation program available yet.
  • Difficult to limit access to certain apps or sites. For example, if you set the device so that apps can not be installed by the end user, they also cannot be installed by the administrator unless the admin goes into the iTunes control panel and switches off the restrictions each time they want to sync.
  • Difficult to deploy in a "cart" setting as they are very personal devices. For example:
    • Can only set up one e-mail address per iPad
    • Can only set up on Dropbox account per iPad (can switch to different one, but requires several steps)
    • Cannot set up the ability to log-in as a different user; that means that all students/teachers see the same content - can't limit to one audience and not the other
  • Cannot sync to more than one computer.