Sunday, December 19, 2010

3 Reasons an Administrator Needs an iPad

For over a month now, I have been testing the capabilities of my iPad, and I have to admit, it has now become a seamless part of both my professional life and personal life. I would encourage all administrators to consider investing in an iPad for three reasons.

1. The iPad increases my level of "connectedness" to my staff and to PLN. Let's face it, taking a laptop into a meeting is a bulky enterprise at minimum. I have gotten into the habit of taking my iPad into every meeting I attend. During those meetings I am always connected to my teachers back in their classrooms. Using Skype and Google Talk, we can always be in contact even when I'm not in the building. For example, back at school, a teacher might have a question about whether I can attend a parent meeting that afternoon. They Skype me asking about my schedule. I immediately respond that I'm available or suggest a better meeting date or time. The combination of having my iPad and software like Skype gives me a level of "connectedness" with my staff at all times that was once not possible. I also gained another level of connectedness with my PLN using Twitter’s iPad app and the BlogPress app which allows me to compose and post blog posts using my iPad.

2. The iPad increases the level of my access to the cloud. With the applications like Dropbox, Google Docs, and Docs to Go, I have access to my entire professional document library with my iPad. I can type a letter and save it to my Google Docs or Dropbox, and have immediate access to that document using my Docs to Go app. I can type on my iPad  the outline of a letter to be sent to my parents and save it to edit and print later using my desktop. Another great function of the iPad is that I can access documents like our student-parent handbook on my iPad at any time.

3. The iPad increases my ability to manage the day-to-day tasks of my job. With apps like GoTasks and Google App for iPad, I am able to easily add tasks to my to do list and dates to my calendar. For example, should I find myself in a meeting and someone requests a meeting date, I can access my Google Calendar, locate an acceptable date, and add it to my calendar. The iPad provides just one more access point to my Google Tasks and Google Calendar.

Getting an iPad should be a "no-brainer" for the administrator. It provides increased connectivity, increased access, and a higher level of job manageability. Just make sure you download the right apps.

Short List of Must Have iPad App List for Administrators

Skype for iPad

Dropbox for iPad

Docs-to-Go for iPad

GoTasks for the iPad

Google App for the iPad

Twitter for iPad

BlogPress for iPad


  1. Great list and rationale - I've been enjoying my iPad, and I agree it's nice to have information and connectedness with me at all times.

    I think it's important to manage people's expectations for just how connected I will be, so I don't always respond to email right away, but it's nice to have the option.

    Here's my collection of ideas on iPad use for principals:

  2. In my district they gave iPads to all the principals. This has been the basis for a lot of humor and eye rolling among the teaching staff. The older principals who can't type very well haven't touched them yet as expected so it looks like a waste of money at a time when we can ill afford it. Some carry it around and are interrupted by it when they should be paying attention to the people who are trying to talk to them. Its like checking email in your office while someone is trying to talk to you. Its not all bad, but it is not all good either.

  3. Great post. I wrote a blog in a similar vein about iPads called "You can lead a horse to water..."
    About iPads and board members!

  4. Perhaps purchasing iPads for administrators across the board isn't the wisest course of action, and in my post there is no place I make that case. I suggest only how the iPad has helped me in some of my own administrative tasks, and I make an attempt to show its promise. Like all technologies, iPads just aren't for everyone.