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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. : )


  • 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 Kōrero 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

  • 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

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