iPads in Education

Innovating education with technology.

Why iPads are much more than consumption devices

When the iPad was first released it was correctly hailed as the perfect device for media consumption ... so much so that it's critics and even some of it's ardent supporters felt that it was primarily a consumption device and little else.

The iPad is certainly a first rate device for consuming media but where the iPad (and tablets in general) actually excel at however is their ability to blend superior media consumption with communication and social networking. We have moved well beyond the simple consumption of media. It's estimated that one-third of the exponentially expanding amount of data we consume on a daily basis now requires some form of interaction. In other words, we don't just read and watch any longer. We react, or even more correctly, we "interact" with the information we consume.

This is really where the rubber meets the road for the iPad. Any educator will tell you that you learn more effectively by being involved in a discussion rather than simply listening to one ... and so much of what we learn these days comes from interacting with media rather than just passively consuming it. My morning routine on the iPad will certainly involve reading news, articles and blogs, rss feeds and more ... but the beauty of a mobile tablet device is the ease and convenience with which it allows me to comment and respond through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It's this inherent ability to connect and communicate with the sources of information I digest that makes the iPad a compelling device.

The nature of our relationship with information has changed in the 21st century. The blending of superior media consumption with efficient social networking and communication tools is really why tablet devices will continue to expand and become indispensable parts of our daily life and culture.

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