Welcome iPad 2!

3 03 2011

Yesterday, Apple released the much-anticipated iPad 2 which will be available on March 11th.
Is this the holy grail?

So, what’s so new about it? Well, from what Apple is touting:
* Foward and rear-facing camera
* Face Time
* Photo Booth
* HD Video
* 33% thinner and 15% lighter
* Dual Core A5 chip for faster performance
* iPad Smart Cover
* Addition of iMovie and Garage Band to App Store
* iOS 4 touts enhanced stability, multitasking, and overall performance

This is pretty cool considering it hasn’t quite been a full year since the first iPad came out.

What’s great about this tool is it’s ease of adapting to a multitude of student’s learning styles and preferences. The iPad’s accessibility features make it a versatile tool for even the most challenged learner. For example, enabling Voice Over not only allows a user to ‘hear’ where things are on the iPad, but in iBooks, it allows the user to have the text read to them.

The apps are mind boggling and are growing faster than I can type this post. I will be featuring some of my favorite apps in the coming weeks. Not only is the iPad an educational tool, but it is can be used as an Augmentative Communication Tool (AAC) for students with communication impairments.

I spent some time yesterday in one of our developmental classrooms that is piloting the use of iPads. I was blown away by some of the user’s levels of engagement, excitement, motivation, and appropriateness in using the device. Teachers are excited about using them, students are engaged and motivated to learn, and both are eager to share apps with me that they find in their own research.

From what I have seen, the iPad gives our most challenged learners independence, a voice, and a choice. I think the enhancements of the iPad 2 will only strengthen this.

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