Writing with Thumbs: one semester down

Posted on: February 11, 2015 | By: Analise Godfrey | Filed under: Instructional Technologies, Teaching & Learning

ipad-600642_1280 (1)Since receiving my iPad five months ago, I have had many peers ask me if it is worth getting an iPad for school. My answer: yes, if it fits into your budget. The iPad is definitely a luxury item that makes certain aspects of school easier but at the same time can be very pricey. I used a Macbook for all of undergrad and the beginning of my graduate program but I have found myself using my iPad all the time now for academic and non-academic activities. I believe that the iPad has become a college friendly device, especially with the vast array of educational apps now available.


One of the things I enjoy most about the iPad is its portability and speed. My Macbook is about to hit its sixth year of existence. I have really enjoyed using it but it’s just not as fast as it used to be. I love being able to put my lightweight iPad into my purse and pull it out and use it without having to wait for it to boot up. PowerPoints download instantly for class and apps like Keynote make it easy to take notes right on the slides. Other apps like iBooks make it enjoyable for me to complete class readings. Thanks to its Retina Display the iPad makes you feel like you are actually holding the textbook or journal article right in your hands. Outside of school purposes, my iPad has become my new TV. Using apps like Netflix, HBO GO, and SHO Anytime is also pretty awesome on the Retina Display.


Overall I don’t have many complaints. The iPad has been really user friendly and a great accessory for school. However, there are some things I wish the iPad had. I have always wished there was some way an USB port could be added to the iPad. Another thing is that I still have to use my Macbook for is printing. My printer does not have wireless printing so it makes it impossible to print from the iPad. This is where a USB port would come in handy.

My evolution as a writer

Let me just say if I didn’t have the Belkin case with the built in keyboard, I don’t think I would spend a lot of time writing on my iPad. A case like this is a necessity if you plan on using your iPad for writing. I also have to admit writing is one of my least favorite things to do but this is one of the reasons I wanted to be a part of this project. When starting this project I hoped to expand on my writing skills and try to enjoy writing a little more. So far using this iPad to write has made it possible for me to write almost anywhere and has given me the opportunity to write more than I have in a long time. I am pleasantly surprised to say that I have really loved writing about my experiences with various apps and being able to share my thoughts with the Elon community.

Life after iPad

Over the past five months of living with my iPad there are definitely some apps that would be hard to live without. The first one is Keynote, I am easily able to look back at class power-points which makes studying a little less stressful. Another app I use daily to facilitate my learning as a physician assistant student is the Davis’s Drug Guide. Non-academic apps I use quite frequently include Netflix, Spotify and HBO GO.

As mentioned previously my Macbook has become pretty obsolete since the introduction of my iPad. When on the go I still use my iPhone for texting, directions and quick internet searches. But when at home the iPad also makes it easy to keep in touch with friends and family by connecting with my phone and allowing me to still text, which in turn also make my iPhone obsolete while I am on my iPad.

As the Writing with Thumbs project continues I am looking forward to exploring more medical apps, especially ones that make it easy to study when on the go. The iPad is not essential for a student but I find it very helpful and useful for educational and non-educational purposes.

Image by Pixabay / CC0 1.0

Analise Godfrey

Analise Godfrey

Student at Elon University's Physician Assistant Program

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One response to “Writing with Thumbs: one semester down”

  1. Jovan Lee says:

    I agree with your idea that the Ipad has the ability to replace the Macbook.

    As a university student in Singapore, carrying a laptop around proves to be really cumbersome and tiring. If I can substitute that giant metallic device for something lighter and more portable, certainly I will do so!

    I absolutely share your sentiments!