School is starting in late August, and already a few universities are touting their decision to make the iPad a part of the classroom. But these universities might run into problems in making the device’s functions work for the average college student, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Unless instructors are willing to switch to digital copies of readings, students will crowd their bookbags with their precious iPad screens and large, bulky textbooks. The lack of a USB port limits the iPad’s ability to become a useful group tool in class. Transferring files from iPad to iPad heavily relies on eMail and networking and can cause problems when sharing work files. In a setting where students are sharing iPads, splitting up work to take home can be a pain. Printing is another issue students might face; although Steve Jobs says that printing will come soon, the inability to print documents from the iPad keeps it from being a well-rounded classroom tool. Other limitations include battery life–no matter how good a 10-hour battery is, remembering to charge the device is key–and the lack of multi-tasking, which can be a problem when moving between apps…

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura