Technology is always changing. It is always evolving. It is always being updated, and hence this will always be the case. Nothing will be around forever, simply because something new, more exciting, more innovative and more technologically advanced will come along. New devices, software and ideas are always in the works.
When it comes to the iPad, it is no different. I recently read an article that stated that ‘it’s only been two years since the device was introduced, and that may not be enough time to separate fad from trend over the long term in education’ (Catalano, 2012, p. 1). It really got me thinking and I believe it is the same with ANY kind of device and/or technology! Yes, computers have been around for a long time, but they are certainly not what they were when they were first introduced to the world. Laptops are now the thing, and very few people seem to own desktop computers these days, or if they do it is mostly for business purposes. Mobile phones as well have been adapted to include so many extra features that you can now be connected to the world 100% of the time. They are no longer simply a device for making telephone calls, or sending a quick text. They have the internet, photo and filming features and don’t forget all the applications that smart phones allow you to download!
With the introduction of iPads, this has changed the use of computers and laptops considerably. Working in a store that sells iPads myself, I have spoken to customers on a daily basis about their use of the iPad compared to their computer, and many barely even use their computers anymore if they previously only used their computer for social or home use. I have also had the privilege of talking to many teachers about the use of iPads in the classroom through this job and have discovered that it is very much true that technology comes in, and is phased out often very fast for something better. The Interactive Whiteboard or the Smartboard as some call it was only introduced into schools within Australia a few years ago. Some schools are already phasing it out and opting for the use of iPads instead. The iPad has the ability to be hooked up to a projector, and therefore as many teachers have said, the iPads can be a large screen and a personal computer all rolled into one – with all the Apple Apps to match!
Who knows what the future holds for this technology like any other technology, but right now, it is a very useful device in education!