Mobile digital devices rocketed to popularity around 10 years ago with the release of the iPod. Mobile computing went mainstream with the release of the iPhone in 2007. With the release of the iPad just one year ago, we are now seeing a significant shift in the dynamics of computer purchase and practice – moving away from desktops and laptops to iPads and other mobile devices. Their cost relative to laptops along with the promise of mobile computing has raised tremendous interest in iPad use in education.
I don’t believe Apple anticipated the demand for iPads as educational devices. When they were first released, more than one Apple sales representative suggested that iPads were designed for personal media consumption and laptops would be a more appropriate investment for schools. In response to overwhelming interest among educators, I started our online community – iPads in Education – within weeks of the iPad’s release.