iPads as an educational tool?

I read of a couple of private schools evaluating using iPads as a possible textbook replacement tool, Reading, writing, and iPads and Lafayette’s Alexander Dawson School swapping books for iPads.  Both articles mention some benefits:

  • Text books are much cheaper in electronic format,  about a third the cost of a traditional text book.iPad
  • They are more engaging to students
  • They can display additional content like videos, browse the web, etc
  • Can be used for quizzes
  • Can access current information from newspapers and magazines
  • Textbook revisions are cheaper to update

There are also several disadvantages to iPads or any other e-book  reader:

  • The initial cost is expensive
  • They are more likely to break than a text book
  • They need to be plugged in to recharge
  • Transporting materials to and from school is hard on them (have you checked out your kid’s back pack?)
  • Students may get distracted by some of the other abilities of these tools and lose sight of the task at hand

It will be interesting to see how these experiments work out.  The possibilities are very exciting and interesting.

What are your thoughts on iPads replacing textbooks?

Will you be attending the 2010 AP Annual conference in Washington D.C. in July?  Stop by the Total Registration booth to register to win an iPad and a free year of  our AP exam registration service.

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