My post of a cat playing with an iPad was a placeholder until the initial hype died down and more reasoned reviews started coming in.

Lee Wilson, President of PCI Education, wrote a very cogent post titled iPad for Education Revisited that praises the iPad’s value as a media consumption and media organization tool, with important implications for education. Lee’s key takeaways:

… the iPad is hands down the best user experience I’ve ever had when it comes to content consumption. It isn’t any one thing – screen size, portability, battery life, Wi-Fi + 3G always on access, multitouch, and a great line up of apps all contribute. New users will find that the temptation to over-consume content is a phase you need to pass through.

For those of us who have been advocates for game based learning this device opens up a new avenue of exploration. Always on access and location awareness have some particularly interesting applications for augmented reality gaming within a community.

Devices like the iPad will change how content is shaped and delivered. Portable true multimedia delivery with the power of databases on the backend is the leap we have been aiming towards for 30 years. That day has arrived.

As a replacement for textbooks this is a lightweight wonder. It should open up a wave of creative innovation for multimedia instructional content with real time formative assessment (via game-like experiences).

Students have always been challenged to manage information – schedules and homework assignments in particular. Teachers face an even more daunting info management task as they juggle assignments, rosters of students (and their families), state and district standards, and instructional materials.

The iPad will be a real boost for both groups. At a basic level it will make automating and interacting with complex data much easier. Blackboard’s demo of their iPad app shows how this can work.

But most importantly I believe it will make it easier to make connections and use information in on-line databases at the teachable moment. With 3G you can dig into your stuff anywhere at the moment of need.

Sure you can do most of this on your phone today – but after three years the scrunched over squinty stare at my phone is wearing thin. The iPad provides much more natural and human scale interaction.

After a few weeks of steady use I’m convinced that pad computing will change the face of educational publishing.

Read the complete article iPad for Education Revisited at the Education Business Blog.

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