I am trying something new. To celebrate my finishing my dissertation and earning my Ph.D., my husband bought me an iPad. Today I am stuck in the doctor's office, so I'm using the time to explore the possibilities. Since I don't have a smartphone, I'm still learning to use the keyboard, but so far it is really user-friendly. It is so much better than my husband's Blackberry keyboard. I typed my notes for this post and then e-mailed them to me. Worked great!
I can see several uses in the classroom already. My nephew has trouble writing on paper and currently carries around a special device that let's him type out his answers. It is limited in that it only types one line at a time and he can't write long responses or see what he has written previously. But using the iPAd, he could do so much more. The portability is another plus. The iPad actually weighs less and easily fits into his book bag. It looks just like one of his books, which helps him fit in. I can see how his teacher might be able to upload his worksheets to Google Docs or Zoho so he could complete the actual worksheet and turn it in.
The notes app would allow students to type their notes in class rather than writing them on notebook paper. Many kids type faster on their phones than they write. They could access the Internet to find information to supplement class discussions. They could use different educational apps to help them learn a new concept or to practice/reinforce what they learn. I found one iPhone app developed by eduweb called SpaceWalking that allows you to walk through the solar system.