Readers: Seven ways to make the iPad better for education

“I want to monitor students’ reading comprehension, math skills, and problem solving progress,” said one reader.

iPad adoption in schools is growing at a phenomenal rate, as we reported last year, and some educators call the devices a game-changer.

But besides its sleek style, portability, and access to apps and the internet, is the iPad efficient for teacher and student work—more so, say, than other tablets or mobile devices? At the current cost of the iPad, one would hope so.

We recently asked readers: “If there was one feature/app/design spec you’d like to see on the iPad (or any other mobile device) to help you teach in the classroom or make your job more efficient, what would it be and why?”

And though there are many mobile devices on the market, our readers were like the coach who picks on the star player to make him or her even better: Most commented on how the iPad could be better for education. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most readers focused on functionality and compatibility with other software and hardware already within the classroom environment.

Do you agree with these suggestions? Have any of your own? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

(Some comments edited for brevity.)

1. Show some Flash.

“It would be great if iPads were compatible with Flash! We are rolling out a [one-to-one computing program] in August with our sixth grade. It has been so difficult to try to work around the inability to play Flash content. Many software companies are creating their resources in HTML 5 format, but there is still so much out there that won’t work on the iPad.” —Angela Woolsey, technology integration specialist, MSD of Mt. Vernon

Meris Stansbury

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