Monday, March 5, 2012

iPad as Academic Tool

When the Tax Return Fairy graced my bank account with her presence a couple weeks ago, I knew exactly what I was going to do with her gift (and by gift I mean money-I'd-worked-for-but-the-federal-government-was-holding-for-me). I went straight to the Apple Store and picked up a shiny new iPad 2. And let me tell you: My academic life will never be the same!

I'll probably do separate posts on some of the awesome apps I love, but I just have to sing the praises of this tablet. I'm able to do so much, and it's totally boosted my productivity.

The main reason I felt like I "needed" this tool/toy was for the ability to manipulate PDFs. It's amazing! I can search databases and download full-text articles straight to the device. Then open them in Adobe Reader or iAnnotate or GoodNotes (my fave), read them much more comfortably than on a computer screen, and mark them all up--highlighting, writing, adding pages for notes... I'm actually able to read and engage with the text, which is something I've been lacking the past couple quarters.

I also bought a stylus--the BoxWave, if you're curious--which I love, and which makes note-taking easy. I can write by hand! I actually wrote the rough draft of this blog post by hand on "ruled paper" in GoodNotes--I have a Notebook for blog planning.

I'm really pleased with the iPad as an academic tool, and certainly recommend it for students--grad and undergrad alike.

Are you a student with a tablet PC or iPad? Has it made any difference in the way you do school? Do share!

P.S. I got my super cute iPad sleeve from Pink Oasis. Notice a trend? ;)


  1. Great post! I've had starting using my iPad for school readings again, iAnnotate seems awesome! Last quarter I downloaded similar apps but they didn't work too well, so I basically stopped using my iPad for school. The main reason was that a lot of the PDFs I had to read were just images so I couldn't really interact with the text. Hope to use my iPad a lot more for future classes :)


    1. *I meant I've started using - oops!

    2. Hi Mirna!
      I think having a pen/stylus really helped me with the usability of the PDF apps. You don't have to worry about selecting text, you can just write/draw/scribble/doodle all over!