The iPad mini a month on….


So I have now been using my iPad mini in earnest for a month. It has already become an essential tool that goes everywhere with me! I use it for most things, browsing the Internet, reading blog posts, and of course answering emails. The SpringPad App is fantastic as a way of curating and organizing materials. I am finding that I am reading more blog posts as a result and have categorised things for different purposes (blog posts, videos and audio, teaching materials, etc.) I can’t imagine now how I coped without it! It is funny how we integrate technologies into our practice and how this sometimes takes time, before one has that ‘Ah hah’ moment. I think iPad minis have fantastic potential in a learning context; enabling learners to learn anywhere, anytime, as well as for use in fieldwork, etc. The range of Apps available is simply staggering and the interface is good, very easy to read from. The big advantage over the iPad is the size and weight; the iPad is just too heavy to my mind. Also it has great battery power, another plus.

For me this is truly a disruptive technology (Christensen 1997), a game changer, something that fundamentally changes things. It will be interesting to see what emergent research work on the used of these types of devices shows. Terese Bird in our team has just completed a JISC-funded project PLACES evaluating the use of iPads in our Criminology Masters. The evaluation was very positive and showed the benefits of these types of devices, in particular enabling the students (who are often working in dangerous parts of the world, with little or no Internet access) to have access to all their course materials. I think iPads/iPad minis also have hugh potential for professionally based courses, for example Medicine.

Here are some useful links on using the iPad for learning: 


Christensen, C. (1997). The innovator’s dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail. Harvard, Harvard University Press.



3 Responses to “The iPad mini a month on….”

  1. Gill Says:

    I was struck by how new iPad users who blog are so delighted with their iPad they blog about it. I did exactly the same on May 27th 2010 when my first iPad1 arrived, describing how I expected I would use it. I then blogged again on 15th July describing how I found I was actually using it. It is now 3 years later and I upgraded to an iPad mini a few months back. My new uses mostly related to new apps that come out, for example iThoughts is a step change in mind mapping. Also, the Cloud means that all my photos are sync’d across all my apple devices and that makes the iPad mini much more useful for pics. An apple TV allows me to share whatever I can see on the iPad on my TV screen - so I can view photos, videos and even edit docs on the big screen. I agree with you about the handy size. I take it with me much more than I did the larger iPad because it fits nicely in a handbag :)

  2. Gráinne Says:

    Nice one Gill! Need a lesson on the Cloud not really figured it out yet ;-)

  3. Dominic Says:

    Ah… It fits into a handbag.

    So now I have to buy an iPad Mini AND a handbag!

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