Just before school let out this spring, I sprung for a new toy — an iPad. I figured that with traveling, it would be a good investment/time waster. It is as I spent the first week school was out playing “Angry Birds.” I also, in the back of my mind, thought it would be good for teaching. So far… not so much.
While the iPad is a fun toy, it really does lack the tool part of portable electronics I find valuable. I was also immediately frustrated to learn what it can’t do, like edit photos. In fact, I’d call it computer extra-light. For the person who wants to appear hip and techie, but who can’t actually do anything. For those of us wanting to do more, well there’s a cost for that.
- Want to upload pictures? $29.99 for the piece to allow you to do that.
- Want to use an app to teach your class? $29.99 (I believe) to hook up to a projector.
- Want to use any kind of useful software? $ to $$$$ (restaurant pricing) for that. Some apps are quite cheap. Others, more useful apps, cost more.
- Want to protect it from breaking or at least getting scratched? $9.99+ for that.
I am resentful of being nickle-and-dimed for the toy. It’s like buying an old house. There’s always going to be something else to buy or replace.
In some ways, I guess I do regret jumping on this trend. It wasn’t cheap and hasn’t panned out to be as cool as I thought it would be. I’m also not as impressed by the “stuff” as I think I should be. Also, since you can’t demo an app beforehand (there is a description), and I haven’t figured out how to trash ones I’ve downloaded and don’t want, you end up with an iPad filled with random stuff. Hell, I keep my “desktop” fairly neat so app after app looks cluttered. I think it’s just too easy (like with bookmarking) to add an app that never gets used and just sits there.
In the end, I see this ending up as Keb’s toy or what we use in the car to replace the DS. Needless to say, it’s a very expensive gaming device.