Apple’s education and sales event

Today I went to Edinburgh Castle to see a presentation by Apple about it’s educational offerings. They issued each of us with an iPad, and gave us a presentation on using the iPad and SDK for it, and using iTunes U for providing students with more and more capabilities for accessing material and showing us how easy it was to turn presentations into podcasts. What as interesting was the way in which Apple see matters going: more and more towards mobile systems (and away from desktops and even laptops). Now, I’m quite happy to help students by making material accessible – I know that many of them have jobs that take them time, and they want to be able to work when it suits them, and I’m happy with that. Indeed, I often respond to their emails well away from anything resembling office hours. But when people start suggesting that we have to supply material in tiny bite-size elements, I get a bit restive – surely the students have the ability to concentrate for 50 minutes at a time (they seem to manage it on games!). But they made podcasting look so easy that I might even try it.

But apart from the  pedagogical side, the event was really rather a good sales pitch for the iPad.  I recall working in a tailoring shop, where we were told to get the customer the try the jacket on, and it was at least half sold: providing computer-savvy people with an iPad for most of a day has a similar effect. All I need to do  now is find the money!

The event was curtailed because of the heavy snow outside: there seemed to be a worry that Waverley Station would close. I rushed to the station, but actually, it seemed to be working rather well, even with the fresh snow. And now here at home it’s -8.5 C outside, and there’s about 45 cm of snow. The view is glorious (even in the street lights). I note that the iPad costs the same whether I buy it educationally or as an ordinary individual. And my wife wants one as well. Could be an expensive Christmas!

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