WHS 38 – The Resolutionary New Homeschooling iPad – The Wired Homeschool

On Wednesday, Apple announced their “new iPad”. Rumors and speculation before the actual announcement were abundant. Most of the guesses about the technology in the new device were correct but the gadget soothsayers got the name all wrong. Rather than name their latest “post-PC” device the iPad 3 or iPad HD Apple chose to simply call it “The new iPad”. After the astonishing statistics about the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, Tim Cook revealed the new tablet to thunderous applause and the applause was merited.

Apple’s “new iPad” sets the standard for educational technology. Tablet makers around the world should take notice of Cupertino’s grab for the classroom whether it’s in a educational institution or in the home.

There’s no doubt this is a great device. With a display resolution greater than the average HD television and a dual-core processor “the new iPad” is as revolutionary as Apple claims, perhaps even “resolutionary”.

With the new processing power and brilliant display at their disposal, app developers are sure to develop some beautiful apps that take full advantage of the increase in processor power and display resolution.

One piece of technology was missing, however: Siri. The voice-activated assistant present on the iPhone 4S isn’t available on “the new iPad” but there seems to have been a nod to the technology with the new voice dictation feature. Perhaps we’ll see Siri on the iPad in iOS 6.

Rather than run down the list of specifications, I want to talk a little about how this can impact homeschoolers. With iWork and iLife available on the new iPad the need for a second computer or budget laptop is essentially eliminated. Parents can purchase an iPad for their children rather than a laptop. It’s easier to use a much more portable. iWork and iLife allow your children (and you) to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more on a device that you don’t need to worry about crashing or backing up (if you use iCloud).

Apple iWork for iPad

iTunesU and iBooks add even more educational value with free books and college-level courses for your child. The growing library of interactive books and courses available for free provides an increasing array of educational gold waiting to be mined by you and your children.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s a cornucopia of educational apps that you can purchase or install for free that tailor to various educational levels and styles. I’m amazed each time I look in the app store by the fantastic educational apps available for the iPad. It seems like the options are limitless.

What do you think? Would you get an iPad instead of a laptop or desktop as a secondary computing device?

Some of the new iPad Specifications:

  • Height: 9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
  • Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
  • Depth: 0.37 inch (9.4 mm)
  • Weight: 1.44 pounds (652 g)
  • Retina display
  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
  • Dual-core Apple A5X custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip with quad-core graphics
  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 technology
  • Wi-Fi + 4G for AT&T model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Wi-Fi + 4G for Verizon model: LTE (700 MHz); CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Capacities – 16, 32, & 64 GB
  • 5-megapixel iSight camera
  • Video recording, HD (1080p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
  • Video stabilization
  • FaceTime camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second

Full iPad specifications available at Apple’s website.

Also mentioned in this podcast: Stack the States and Stack the Countries review, Intel’s AppUp service (full review coming soon), my plans to attend the Northeast Homeschool Convention, and I’m seeking sponsorship to attend the Blogworld and New Media Expo in New York City. Todd Wilson interview.


If you’d like to leave feedback about this or any other episode you can call and leave a voice mail by calling 518-290-0228, send email to feedback@thewiredhomeschool.com, or leave a comment on the blog. Follow me on Twitter: @jwilkers. Also follow the podcast on Twitter: @wiredhs. Join the Facebook page over at http://facebook.com/wiredhs

Music: Poofy Reel by Kevin Macleod.

The Wired Homeschool is a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network. For more family-friendly tech podcasts visit techpodcasts.com

  • John, great episode.

    I don’t think Siri on the iPad is as easy as on an iPhone.

    Siri is a personal assistant, putting things on “my calendar” or setting a reminder.iPads are used a lot by families, passed from person to person.  To have Siri work in this environment would mean it would need voice identification (who is speaking) as well as voice recognition (what is said).A great challenge.  Wonder who could make this happen?jeff

    • Jeff, 

      I think for families it could be very useful.  You could keep a family calendar on it, for example.  In addition, many of the other things it does (search, weather, etc.) could still be used by multiple family members.  

      Think about this: you hand the iPad over to your child to play a game but before doing that you use Siri to create a reminder telling your child that their time is up.  Cool, right?  

      Just some thoughts.  Thanks for sharing yours.

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