By chance of luck I have a long prep period today, and I was able to watch the live blog on iPad 2 announcement on CNET as I type this post. The iPad 2, while in general remain the same in its functionalities, have several new features that could prove to have great educational use down the road for teachers.
New Features Breakdown for iPad 2
- First Dual-Core Processor on a tablet device
- Up to 2x faster CPU
- Up to 9x faster graphics (while still using the same hardware)
- 1.3 lb. in weight (iPad 1 was 1.5)
- 8.8mm in thickness (thinner than iPhone 4, which is 9.3mm)
- Front and rear dual camera
- Mirror HDMI Video Output that runs 1080p
- Facetime capabilities (video chat) that works between two iPads, between an iPad and an iPod Touch, and between an iPad and a Mac.
- Tech specs: 9.5″ high, 7.3″ wide, 0.34″ deep, 1.33 lbs in weight. Storage capacity for both WiFi and WiFi+3G models: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB.
As I’m watching the live blog, I can’t help but start brainstorming some quick (and rough) ideas and possibilities for iPad in the classroom.
The fact that there is an HDMI Video Output is very promising. The port looks a lot like the video output for MacBooks, but I’m sure with few adaptors it will work on any projectors. This opens the possibility of projecting educational apps (such as the ones with anatomy and/or astronomy, can’t think of the actual names of the apps right now) that previously can only be viewed by the owner of the iPad.
In addition, PowerPoints and other presentation-based projections are now available and capable through iPad, which makes it more possible for teachers to stand facing the students while working on the presentations.
The introduction of cameras into iPad is a leaping step from its predecessor. The dual cameras opened the possibilities of using Skype and other video conferencing apps in the classroom. Teachers can now plan rendezvous with other parts of the world using iPad and able to move the device around so that the communication can be much more streamlined and focused. Also, for schools that may have a limited budget and cannot have a laptop cart and/or one-to-one laptop programs, this feature can allow teachers to still Skype as a whole class conference, and move around to focus students onto the screen.
Introducing the iOS 4.3
Also during the announcement today was the introduction of iOS 4.3. The newest iOS software features some exciting and useful applications from the Mac computers, and bringing them into iPad. These have great uses in classrooms.
The photo-taking application that’s been on Mac OS X since the introduction of iSight cameras. The software gives you nine live video streams with various effects.
EduTech Thoughts: This may be useful more for the teachers to document and take photos of the classroom, but I’m not particularly sure of its usefulness as a tool in the classroom. Thoughts, suggestions?
Avialable for purchase in the iTune store for $4.99, this is a great addition for the iPad. The iMovie features
- Prevision editor
- multitrack audio recording
- new themes
- AirPlay to Apple TV
- Share your videos in HD
- Universal app
This application seems to be available across between iMovie on the Mac and the iPhone app. It will have features similar to its Mac counter part – timeline scrubbing and clipping. The whole app uses gestures, so you can tap on parts of clips to add them to the timeline, as well as use things like the pinch to adjust things.
EduTech Thoughts: As a foreign language teacher, video making is often one of the most used activity in the classroom. With the iMovie on iPad, this brings a whole new possibilities in creating student-centered skits, as well as using it as a observational tool. I can foresee possibilities in apps that allow observers to film the teacher while taking down notes, which would be great for professional development and self-improvement.
Truly, up to this point, I’m sensing that Jobs and Apple is trying to kill their competitors. Heh. Another great application imported from Mac, GarageBand features:
- Touch instruments
- Guitar amps and effects
- 8 track recording and mixing
- More than 250 loops
- Email AAC file of your song
- Compatible with Mac version.
EduTech Thoughts: Not sure for other subjects, but this is a great addition for Language Arts. Teachers can record and easily play back clips for students to listen to, as well as conducting listening assessments easily through the use of GarageBand. For music, teachers can now work with other students (with or without an iPad) and produce music. The “SMART” instruments allow people who may not know the instrument at all able to play and produce music with the help of the program.
The presentation is still going on, but it seems possible that all the exciting announcement is over. Will continue updating the post today the minute I hear more news.
Images courtesy of CNET.com