Monday, October 18, 2010

The iPad: A Hot Item For Businesses, Colleges & Schools, Too

Companies, colleges, elementary schools and just about every kind of organization one can think of are leaping onto the iPad as a gadget that will help them do whatever they do better, faster and more efficiently.

Latest evidence comes from a business meeting of chief information officers being held this week, and also from a series of field tests and programs at a wide spread of educational institutions.

Some 7,000 business and education IT leaders are meeting now (Oct. 17-21) in Orlando, FL at Gartner, Inc.'s Symposium/ITxpo, and ipads are on their minds.

From the agenda of over 120 sessions for IT chief information officers at businesses, colleges and other organizations, the bosses in charge of information technology will have at least 13 sessions specifically covering the the Apple iPad as part of the solutions for the future.

Symposium/ITxpo is a Gartner roadshow, with stops ahead beyond Orlando this fall in Tokyo: Cannes, France, and Sydney, Australia. Gartner, Inc. is an international IT and tech research firm.

Some session topics featuring the iPad:

“New Tools to Manage Overload – Anyone For iPad?”
“iPads, the Ultimate Consumer Device in Higher Education”
“iPads & eReaders – Advancing Productivity or Distracting the Enterprise?”
“Tablets in the Enterprise”
“CIO Town Hall: The Top Three Technologies in 2011.”

In education, colleges are hopping on the iPad bandwagon to sort out how to use the tablets to educate their students and how to train students to use iPads in their future professions. The iPad is being studied, analyzed and used by universities and schools in a surprising number of ways.

Eric Lai is a tech journalist and now a researcher for Sybase, the SAP company that focuses on 'mobile and enterprise software” and systems—like the iPad.  He posted a Google spreadsheet detailing various universities and schools that are putting the iPad to the test these days.

The spreadsheet shows that in some schools, incoming freshmen are getting iPads as part of a discipline-specific agenda (such as Education) or for testing of the iPads as educational tools. The programs are varied, and the spreadsheets include universities and elementary schools.

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