Why I chose the iPad for homeschooling

 I chose the iPad for myself our  homeschool:

I know that there are many tablets now on the market.  When I first saw the iPad I immediately thought about the possibilities of using a tablet for homeschooling.  I was a little hesitant to buy the first generation iPad because of the price.  I also kept hoping there would be a good Android tablet that was cheaper than the iPad.  After a year of waiting for Android, I finally decided to buy a second generation iPad.  I have not regretted that decision.  With five kids at home, the iPad is a favorite school activity.

Here are my top five reasons i chose iPad for homeschooling

  • Large selection of quality apps (I can transfer iPhone apps to the iPad for free)
  • Large screen so more than one person can look at it.
  • Built with quality and size.  No cheap plastic.  
  • Long Battery life.  I usually only charge it one or two nights a week.
  • Instant on.

 iPad 2 vs. iPad

I bought a second generation iPad (16 GB) because it was the latest and it had a faster processor.  In hindsight I think I would have bought a 1st generation iPad with more memory.  The iPad 2 does have some nice bonus features but for most of what you need the first generation iPad will work.

Favorite feature:  Automatic on with the cover opened.  It is so nice to just open the cover and look something up and then close the cover and toss the iPad on the bed.

Least favorite feature: The camera:  It is low quality and the kids sometimes take many pictures that take up memory.  A close second least favorite feature is the 1 speaker!  It isn’t very loud especially in a family with four boys.

Ultimately it now comes down to the software.  Even though there are some good Android tablets on the market Apple has a good head start on applications.  The applications make the tablet useful.  The iPad is still the king of tablets.

What you need to know about iCloud

I have been looking forward to iCloud ever since iOS 5 was announced. To be honest though I have hardly used it since upgrading to iOS 5.  Now I am attempting to use iCloud on my iPad.  Right now there appear to be some limitations.  Here is my take on iCloud for the iPad and iPhone.
The Good:

  • 5 GB of free storage
  • Find my idevice
  • Syncs contact list, calendar, reminders and bookmarks

The Bad:

  • You can’t backup PDF documents only iWork docs
  • You can only backup
  • You cannot manage what is on iCloud

The Ugly:

  • You must setup a me.com to sync email
  • It’s hard to see your files that are backed up
  • It is hard to figure out.  I wanted to back up all my Pages documents but it seemed to take too long.  I have no idea what documents are in the cloud.
If you are looking for a place to store documents and file in the cloud then iCloud is not what you are looking for.  I would recommend Dropbox or evernote.  If you just want peace of mind that your contacts and other important data will be backed up in the cloud then iCloud will work for you.