This review from MacWorld sums things up nicely:

Lots of hype; not THAT much different really (no really – push play on the review).  But the potential is here for schools to get cheaper iPad2's if you want to without sacrificing that much at all with the drop in price on the iPad2's.  Worth taking advantage of if it is something you were thinking about anyway.

The current beast has a better camera and a stunning display from the looks of things – otherwise much the same in NZ.  The big deals in the recent "Event" were really around software.  The completion of the iLife/iWork suite for the iPad, etc.

You have an iPad you buy into the ecosystem.  Some things are hard – don't try importing video from most digital cameras into iMovie for instance (even with a camera kit).  Usually doesn't work.  Frustrating in a school …. but then 'you have the whole shebang in one device' is the counter argument.  But when pretty good digital cameras are under $200 I am not sure I buy it.

Technology is a treadmill, admit it!  It is just deciding when to jump on and start running.  No company gives you want you want, or even necessarily what they are capable of doing – they give you the minimum to make you fork out your money and not feel too ripped off.  Apple are particularly good at creating and riding the hype cycle. 

It is also working out what you actually want to do with the shiny new toy and when it actually no-longer does it.  Can you live with waiting 2.7seconds instead of 1.9?  Do you really need the HHHD resolution screen to play skill and drill apps in your classroom that look like they were designed and built for a Comodore 64 anyway? Its like high speed broadband – it is just more crap faster unless you know how to search effectively.

So … iPad3's?  Like the review says – don't have one or have a Gen1 the probably worth it.  But don't trade in an iPad2 for one unless you really need the upgraded features.  The #2 is a real bargain at the moment and still streets ahead of any competition I have seen for any school scouting around.


5 Responses to “iPad 3 …. or whatever it’s called”
  1. Hi Greg --
    It strikes me that if you took the $200 for the digital camera and put that towards the iPad2, then a brand new iPad2 now only costs you $379 + $10 or so for iMovie on the iPad, and you have a device that not only takes photos and shoots video, but also edits them as well, and will upload them to your blog, and maintain the blog (there's an app for that too). Yes, the images taken with an iPad2 are not stunning, but they suffice for classroom use.
    That Apple only 'gives us enough' to make us fork out our money and not feel ripped off is quite crazy.  What do you want Apple to create at that price bracket?  What other tech company is making a tablet of the quality of the iPad2, with decent battery life and the huge ecosystem that is the App Store?  
    And as for the assertion that teachers are only using iPads for 'skill and drill' activities,what's up with that?  Have you been on the Virtual Learning Network iPad group lately?  Loads of discussion around iPad apps that are used for creating amazing content and for sharing learning.  Yes, there are some teachers that will use iPads just like they have used computers, as time fillers, but please don't be insulting the rest of us!
    I would agree with you that a cheaper iPad2 is a better deal for schools than the new iPad (at the original price points!), but until we have picked up a new iPad, taken shots with the new camera, read on the new retina screen, and seen how much faster movie creation and GarageBand is, I think it would be wise to reserve judgement.

  2. greg.carroll says:

    (writing this in my iPhone …)Good comments Matthew but please remember you do have the relative luxury of being in a school at the cutting edge of eLearning in nz. The participants in the Virtual Learning network are the same. Look at the membership of any of the virtual learning networks verses the total nz teaching population.
    The comments i make are on the strength of spending considerable time in a number of different schools around Otago and nz over the last 10 or more years.
    Apple has an astoundingly successful commercial model. They give 4-5% margin to resellers in nz and it is not worth their while to sell Apple products, yet again they can not afford not to. No company does any more than it has to to make the most money, Apple is no different. They do what they have to to to maximise the profit for shareholders just like any business.
    I am a real fan of mac products and would describe myself as an apple fan. Even so i am realistic about the 50-ish % Apple will make on the new iPad as pretty extraordinary in the tec world. I dont believe this is a deniable fact.
    The great thing about the new iPad is not so much the hardware as the software that will finally begin to address the creation issues I raise. I believe the iPad is only just beginning to realise its potential as an education device. Hopefully it is onward and upward from here. But lets not be blind to the reality of many (most i would guess) classrooms in the country.

  3. Yes, I appreciate what you are saying, but after many years with ICT Clusters, massive conferences, ICT mentors, etc, why is it that teachers still use these tools as 'skill and drill' devices (tablets or computers)? Are we in NZ doing something wrong with our PD I wonder?
    Yes Apple plays hardball with resellers. Yes they are making obscene amounts of money.  Yes they could give more to education!  But I don't think they make products 'just good enough for them to sell'.  I think they want to make insanely great products.  Could Apple have created the 'iPad3' three years ago? I doubt it.
    And yes, I agree with you that the potential for iPads to change the face of how we use ICT for learning is huge.  Already with the current apps available, we can't find a lot that we need a traditional computer for.  Even the TELA laptop programme may be in danger!
    But if the reality of most NZ classrooms is as you suggest, how do we go about addressing that?  

  4. greg.carroll says:

    I believe we need to turn the educational philosophies we hold on their heads!

    I shudder when i hear teachers talking about 'teaching and learning' … It MUST be the other way around. Learning is fundamental. If you are clearly focussed on learning as your educative purpose and the reason you go to your classroom each day how can you not engage with ANY tool or technology that makes it better?  

    If you put teaching first then children are the empty vessels to be pumped full of the stuff in the teachers head and then squeezed periodically to make sure the requisite drips come out. Lectures rule, textbooks rule, pre-determined content rules and testing and compliance are paramount. Trust is low. Teaching is a technical, easy replicable and franchisable comodity. Sound familiar. 

    I am much more in favour of a model that values learning at ALL levels of the schooland focuses on this as the fundamental driver. Trust- of kids and adults-is high; as is collaboration. Learning is as the revised NZC describes. Engagement is high and teaching is valued as the art it is, not simply a series of behaviours. 

    The difference between Bill Gates on TED and Denver Gully(?) or Ken Robinson. Listen to Dan Pink on motivation; read "whats the point of school?"….

    it makes me mad and frustrated at the same time… But our roles are to move people forward. To get them to be the best they can be and to make their classrooms open and transparent through the use of ICTs and engaging with their communities. This is now a compliance issue of the NZC if we want to push back. Bigchallenges as the beiracratic inertia of the edication system is huge. 

    Fun challenge though!

    (btw -- will be playing with an ipad3 this week coming from the us tomorrow… Cant wait!)

  5. Sounds like you could come work at Selwyn Ridge mate! Very jealous, I will probably not get to have a hands on with the new iPad until later on next week.

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