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Take Your iPad To College

The Practical iPad Guide

This is the first fall season for the iPad, the first year it will be showing up on college and some high school campuses at the start of school. For those of you still in the high school system, it may take some convincing to allow the new $500 and up device on school grounds. While some K-12 schools may embrace the iPad, others might ban it from campus for reasons ranging from cheating to misuse to fear of theft (and subsequent liability). So forgive us for focusing on the college set, but they have less explaining to do (at least when it comes to this). On the plus side, many of the products listed here can apply to any student.

As a student, you probably imagine that the best practical use for an iPad will be as an eReader through iBook. It could happen: this could be the year that eBooks finally gain traction on campuses as an alternative to big, bulky books, and thanks to the Amazon Kindle and iPad, there are at least two devices that make them viable.

But eReaders have long struggled, which led to some well-deserved cynicism on the part of publishers. So while the Kindle and iPad are finally making eBooks viable, it's taking a bit of time for the publishers to come along. McGraw-Hill, one of the major book publishers in scholastic texts, only has four titles on iTunes. Not a big start. But there is some movement. An ex-Apple employee has founded a company called Inkling dedicated to making college textbooks for the iPad. Momentum is growing, but we encourage to look to your iPad as more than just a screen for reading.

So, what else can the iPad screen be? What will you want or need, beyond a Netflix and Pandora account? We have a round-up of some hardware and software that could make life a little easier and justify your pricey purchase.