Life with an iPad: My thoughts thus far

Posted on: January 26, 2015 | By: Aurora Albi-Mercier | Filed under: Instructional Technologies, Tech Tips, Teaching & Learning

I love being able to streamline my uses  between my 3 devices: Mac Air, iPhone 5 & iPad Air.

It has been 5 months since I began this journey of using mobile devices to write these blogs, and it has been quite the learning process.  College students are often looked at as “technology wizards,” meaning we somehow have the divine knowledge of how every gadget and doodad works… well, at least our parent’s generation seems to think so. I can’t even count how many times my mom has asked me to “fix the computer because it’s doing some weird thing again.” It’s surprising to know that while a lot of technology seems to be hardwired into our millennial brains, not everything about this iPad journey has been easy.

The convenience is incredible

Using an iPad as a student has definitely been…odd, but satisfying. Using an iPad to write these posts or to simply take notes in class makes me feel a little sleeker, lightweight, and overall just a little more updated than using my computer. I think one of the biggest benefits of having an iPad is the size and convenience. Often times, throwing the iPad into my bag is much easier than trying to fit my 13” Mac laptop. For someone who basically carries her whole life in a bag with her at all times, the feather-light weight is definitely a huge benefit. Even though the product is travel-sized, its screen size is large enough to allow me (the girls with crazy thick glasses and poor eyesight) to see it. So far, when it comes to needing to type some notes or search the web, I feel like my iPad has all of the same capabilities as my computer.

Multitasking on an iPad can be hard

That being said, using an iPad isn’t always my favorite. I can’t multitask as well as I can on a computer, which means I can’t pull up multiple screens at once to work on a project, review notes while writing an essay, or watch Ellen videos on YouTube when I’m supposed to be studying… you get the idea. I think that has been my biggest challenge with the iPad so far only because I am the ultimate multi-tasker.

The other sizable challenge is being able to edit on the iPad. Finessing the keys on the iPad Bluetooth keyboard isn’t always the easiest, and I sometimes type words incorrectly and need to edit. Going back and changing my work has been difficult. So while my writing process is the same, my editing process has changed depending if I’m on iPad or computer. I’ve never been too great at putting my thoughts all down and then trying to make sense of it. I’m much more of an edit-as-you-go type of person, but that’s a bit difficult when you have to touch the screen to edit a specific section. I’ve started editing my work mostly in my head now, before I even begin to write because I really don’t like having to edit on the iPad.  I’m much more careful now about what I try to express because I don’t enjoy editing.

And while writing on the iPad has its benefits and difficulties, it’s not solely what I do while using my iPad. My top five apps that I use are: Facebook, Spotify, Pinterest, Messages, and Mail. Interestingly enough, I think those are actually the top apps I use on my phone and computer as well.  Having an iPad to work with has actually streamlined my life across the different platforms.

Not ready to give up my other devices

While using an iPad is a great extension of my computer and its programs, I don’t know if I could switch to using an iPad full-time. I know that my dad has foregone a computer and uses his iPad full-time for his business, but I don’t know if I could make the leap as well.  However, I am very thankful that the iPad has allowed me to streamline and enhance my work.  I know that I use my iPad like I would a bigger version of my phone, (minus the ability to make calls.)  I really enjoy the fact that I can switch devices easily without worrying about losing my work or missing a beat.   For example, if I was starting to have a texting conversation on my phone, I can continue on my iPad and vice versa.  Searching something on my iPad pulls up just as easily on my computer and phone.  Using the iCloud has made my life a lot more seamless, and I’m excited to keep exploring these technologies.

Aurora Albi-Mercier

Who knows what I'll end up doing later on in life, but for now I'm just a twenty-something who likes to be busy and wants to learn yoga. I'm also trying to teach myself to love tea... (but I have to admit, I prefer a good cup o' joe.)

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