I have recently been thinking about how each new class of students who go to college bring new technology with them. The newest item of tech is the tablet. These range from an iPad, Blackberry Playbook, HP Touchpad, maybe even the new Kindle Fire. The question is however, is having a tablet for college something that is worth having?
I personally own an iPad 2. It is a really awesome piece of tech to have and play around with. As the semester has moved forward, I find myself using my tablet more and more. My iPad allows me to check my email, remote access my desktop back in my apartment, access a DropBox account, and a lot more. When I first purchased it, I had in mind that I was going to take class notes with it. However, I have not yet really taken any class notes on it, mainly because I have not purchased a stylus (a pen for a tablet), which makes writing a whole lot easier than using your finger. A lot of class note taking applications also support audio recording, meaning if you want to record a lecture, then it is as simple as pressing a button. Once I find a good application to sync my notes between my computer and my tablet, I may dabble in taking notes on my iPad.
But what I really see the tablet as for a college student, is a mobile work center to quickly access what you need. The best use I have found using my iPad is when I need something from my desktop when I’m in class, or I need to check my email quickly. What tablets do well, is that they are usually quick and precise on what you want to do. Checking my email only takes a press of an icon. The tablet allows you to keep in sync with all of your files, emails (etc.), without having to go find a computer and wait for it to start up. It literally takes about 30 seconds for me to turn on my iPad, connect to the Gannon network, and check my email.
I know that tablets are expensive, but if you ever have the opportunity to get one, it is a really cool piece of tech. It streamlines the process of organizing what I need to get done. As a college student, that is priceless (even though the tablet itself is expensive). They do a variety of things, and there a lot of applications out there focused on education and college students. At first I didn’t know how much I would use my iPad, but it turned out to make my life a whole lot easier.
Take a look at what is keeping Matt Kridel occupied in his bloc Sci Guy