As promised in my previous post, I have spent some time thinking about the place of iPads in the classroom and have come up with a list of ten things I believe needs to happen to ensure the widespread adoptions of these devices.
In order to become a significant player in education, the iPad needs…
- to be extensible, adding several USB ports would be a start. Printing anyone? Ethernet would be great for fallback when the wireless is down, but I don’t expect that.
- to support multiple accounts on the same device.
- to provide for the same sort of enterprise level management as other computers. This means being able to create and deploy master disk images, posture assessment before joining networks, remote management and updates… Why should we have to give up the things we waited so long for Apple to develop for us on the Macintosh line?
- to have a robust collection of electronic textbooks that meet state standards available for it.
- or perhaps more precisely the iTunes Store, to accept open source software applications such as Open Office, Audacity, and other staples of education.
- antivirus software. OK, so few viruses exist for Macs and fewer (if any) for the iPhone OS. How long do you think that will last?
- a built-in VPN client if the iPad is to be used by administrators and faculty to access secure records from off-campus.
- a user-changeable battery. To expect schools to pony-up for sending dozens of units in at the same time for a battery swap is crazy.
- A child-tested and ruggedized version. Reports from other sites indicate that a drop test indicates that the iPad may not be as shock resistant as its smaller sibling iPhone. Oopsie!
- as every other critics has said - a camera. A video camera. As good as a Flip.
There you have it. iPad. I love you, for home use. Wait and see for school…