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iPad mini - what do you think?

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Started by Catriona Pene 05 Nov 2012 10:41am () Replies (17)

I am the proud new owner of an iPad mini. I bought the most basic model 16gb $479 to trial with myself, with students in schools, for my three boys to trial at home and for my 12 year old to trial at school in his BYOD setting.

So what do I think?

I love it for my own use, the smaller size and lighter weight means it will be easier for me to take wherever I go and I do just really love the feel of it. It is more like a book to hold, fitting nicely in one hand and just like when you return home after having a second child and your first born suddenly seems huge, my "old" iPad 2 now seems very heavy and clunky by comparison. It is fast on my home wireless, the battery lasted the advertised 10 hours and the new lightning plug is easy to use and gave an impatient me a fast recharge.

My 12 year old has given it a huge thumbs up, it is a perfect fit for his needs of BYOD at school. Small enough to safely transport to and from school each day and yet a much more useful screen size than his previous iPod. He reports that the camera is easier to use and that apps load faster.

In the classroom I suspect the larger ipad2 and 3 formats will still be preferable for group work and collaboration, particularly in primary schools, but where students are pimarily using it for a personal device this smaller format is great. The camera too is much easier to manage as the device is easier to hold.

The price? Yes only $100 cheaper than an iPad 2 so not much cheaper but that still means you get 6 iPad mini for the price of 5 iPad2s and $100 buys a you a whole lot of apps.

So there are my first impressions, I will take it into schools with me this week and get the feedback from students and teachers.

Who else out there is trialling them? What do you think?


Compare specs.

Read what Glen Davies IT Manager at CORE  has to say 

The new ipad mini came out yesterday. Christchurch-based IT expert Glen Davies gave it a try.

Add your own views below. : )


  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 13 Mar 2013 6:46pm ()

    hi Mary

    Congratulations on your Big Mini!  can I suggest you look at Reflector http://www.reflectorapp.com/ and wirelessly beam your device. Makes you much more mobile and you can have multiple devices linked in at the same time.


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 05 Mar 2013 12:52pm ()


    I'd love to hear more about how these tools are being used in context too Mary - for all age groups. More and more schools are requesting schools to visit - to glean ideas about mobile devices, so if anyone has a story to share - I'd love to know more about:

    1. Who was/is being been taught? - individual, group, class, priority learners
    2. Intended learning outcomes - with the mobile device (mini or otherwise)
    3. What happened - actions for teacher/student 
    4. What does it look like - any successful outcomes
    Image sourced from Freedigitalphotos.net
  • mary jamieson (View all users posts) 05 Mar 2013 9:57am ()

    Oh, and I got a really nice padded fold over cover from JBHi fi for $29.  Works great and has correct hole for camera.  Size is great for individuals or pairs, anything more and you may want to upsize to ipad.  I don't bother with screen protector as I have cover, I also don't like the asthetics of screen protectors.  Response time is super quick, camera works really well.

  • mary jamieson (View all users posts) 05 Mar 2013 9:50am ()

    I purchased the 64gb mini 2 weeks ago and am loving it!!! Not looking forward to spending $70 on vga adapter though.  Can you get them cheaper.  I have a school where the teachers have all been given ipad minis and am keen to hear how other teachers are getting on with them.  Any suggestions for my first time user teachers?

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 07 Feb 2013 10:05am ()

    Hey Monika, 

    My cover came from Harvey Norman but I have seen similar ones much cheaper on TradeMe recently. I like having the flap as it protects it in my bag but also recognise it can get in the way whe using the camera.

    Chek out this thread for more of the same discussion around screen protectors and cases for iPads.

    : )

  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 06 Feb 2013 9:14am ()

    Just unpacked my new (work) iPad Mini which is now charging :) First discovery - the new plug which I had heard about; I had been annoyed at Apple for changing it (it's so handy in our house to charge iPod, iPad2 and iPhone with the same plug - no, I'm actually not a Mac person but Apple's advertising really seems to work ;D). I can already see that the new plug looks less fragile so that's a bonus esp. with children using it.

    Can anyone give some advice on covers, please? I have seen Catriona's (where did you get that from?). As I have cracked an iPad2 screen before I want to be extra careful, so definitely sth. that wraps around all edges. With or without flap? It can get in the way but protects screens - what do you think? I haven't looked yet, but I suppose there are screen protectors for this size? I have read the discussion on them, but as this machine is in my bag and not so much shared in a classroom I would like to put a screenprotector on it. Looking forward to playing soon lol - the size, feel and marketing have definitely appealed to my lymbic brain ;D

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2012 8:06pm ()

    Tania Coutts reviewed the iPad mini in schools and early childhood centres. Check out her post on the CORE blog.

    Over the last week or so, we sent out one of our e-learning facilitators, Tania Coutts to check out what teachers and students thought about the iPad mini experience.

    Here’s the results.

  • Josie Woon (View all users posts) 09 Nov 2012 7:45pm ()

    I agree is so light but the screen size doesn't not seem to alter the performance.  The stores are offering generic cases as apple havent brought their one out yet, but the day after release they were all over trade me and eBay and about $20 so really why would you spend in the $60 range like the shops offer.  Now I just need someone to buy me some to trial in my class, anyone, anyone? Lol but actually if anyone knows of funding that you can apply for, for equipment like this for classes.  Please let me know.

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 09 Nov 2012 4:26pm ()

    Getting right back to the road testing of the ipad mini in schools.  

    I took the ipad mini into 3 classes. Year 0/1, Year 3 and Year 5/6. All of the classes had children who were familiar with and currently using ipods and ipad2s. 

    We trialled the ipads and ipod with apps the children were familiar with and I asked them which device they preferred and why.

         photo copy.JPG

    Here are some of their responses.

    "The iPad mini is more portable but still a big enough screen size to do work on."

    "You get the same number of apps on the screen whichever device you have."

    "The iPad mini is lighter to hold and it is easier to take photos with and to take video on."

    "There is a better picture on the iPad mini, the screen is brighter and the camera takes better photos."

    "When I am using Pic Collage app it is easier to use the iPad mini if I am working alone but harder if I am making a collage with a buddy or in a group."

    "The iPad2 is better for group work and for when you want to do a lot of writing."

    "It is much easier to take photos on the iPad mini or iPod because it is much easier to hold and much lighter too."

    "I liked having the smaller iPad mini on my desk when I am working on it and on other things because it takes up less room on my desk but the screen size is still big enough to research on."

    "Using ARDinopark on the iPad mini it is much easier to get the dinosaurs in the right place because the iPad mini is easier to hold and to turn and to reach the photo button without losing hold of the iPad."

    "There is no difference on the music apps on the iPod, iPad mini or iPad 2, the sound quality seems the same and they are all just as easy to use."

    Making movies is much easier on the iPad mini. You still get just as many choices as the iPad2 but it is much easier to hold and take video and photos, and the screen is stil big enough to see what you are doing.

    And I think this comment sums it all up quite nicely.

    "Sometimes I like a big thing and sometimes I like a smaller one. It depends on what I am doing. If I am outside walking around or taking photos it's easier to have the smaller iPod or iPad mini but when I am working on a big collage or doing a lot of writing or when I am working in a group it's better to have the bigger iPad2 because there is more room on the screen."

    3 device test.


    Has anyone else used iPad minis with students? Interestd to hear what they think. : )

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 06 Nov 2012 12:58pm ()

    This is a very relevant discussion…and I’m mindful not to let myself get caught up in a 'brand debate' here.

    I've also been wondering why the iPad mini was different/better to the iPad - beyond the size debate. A recent experience in schools, reminded that watching video and playing games embedded within a web space can be a challenge on an iPad- even with Puffin or Photon loaded to help play the flash files. A laptop or desktop might have been more desirable in this case. Horses for courses? I'm increasingly aware that schools are going multi-platform, so, there's obviously a place for a range of tools - as Catriona has already mentioned.

    I hear you Tim. I think with any purchases, we need to making strategic/deliberate decisions aligned to “purpose, vision, understanding, pedagogy” as Nick Major has just posted in, The e-Learning Planning Framework - how and why to use it  |  NAPP KĊrero 16, otherwise we can caught up in an elite 'culture of couture' – which grows by word of mouth and makes us waaannnnntttt the latest gadget badly. This makes for excellent advertising/marketing for the company (that named itself after a fruit), but can also leave some of us feeling left behind, not up-with-the-play, possibly inferior.

    It also reminds me of Gartner's Hype cycle, where after the Technology Trigger (breakthrough, media) we’re excited by the prospects of the device in the Peak of Inflated Expectations (early success stories), only to be plummeted into the Trough of Disillusionment (interest wanes, doesn't deliver) and on it goes. Interesting to see where BYOD and 3D printing sits...

      Gartner's hype cycle  

    Ideally, we’re aiming for the Plateau of Productivity (use and relevance pays off), which is why I’ve enjoyed reading this blog post, 18 iPad uses: How Classrooms are benefiting from Apple’s tablets where, “Beyond the immediate benefit of engaging students, iPads can improve education efficiency and standards.” 

    I found this a useful read, because the author, Davide Savenije outlines some learning processes (with examples) using the iPad -  rather than focusing on the apps or the tool itself.

    What else is important to consider here?

    CC Image sourced from marcoderksen

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