IPAD pro Review: Two Years Later-A Teacher’s Perspective

iPad Pro 10.5” with Apple Pencil

I just finished my second year teaching with the above IPad Pro, and I am very happy with the features and benefits it provides me. It makes me more organized and efficient as a teacher, and it saves me a good deal of time. It has totally replaced my reliance on multiple notebooks, and I same a considerable amount of paper, which is important to me. The purpose of this review is to highlight several aspects of why I feel this device is a must if you are a teacher, or even a student.

There are several reasons why I fully endorse this product and encourage you to incorporate it into your work and/or home life. The top 3 reasons I will discuss in this review are:

  1. Portability and ease of transport
  2. Flexibility, power and availability of a wide array of useful apps
  3. Apple Pencil

Before I begin, I must stress that I am in no way affiliated with Apple or any other company, nor am I paid or compensated in any way for reviewing their products. I simply have found something that works well for me, and I wanted to share my experience with others in the hope that it can enrich and simplify their lives as well.

I will start with what I consider to be a big negative: Price. I have felt for a long time that Apple products are too expensive. Much of what you pay for is markup for the name, reputation and status, and that doesn’t sit well with me. To give you an idea of what I mean, I still have the iPhone 6, which I will have until it crumbles into dust. It seems beyond ludicrous to me to spend another $800-$1000 on a device I already have, just to get a few new bells and whistles. There isn’t enough change to warrant that, at least for me.

You can understand my concern now about pricing for the iPad Pro. It was a huge roadblock to me, and I was very reluctant to buy it, knowing that I could definitely purchase another tablet for considerably less.

I can tell you now two years later that it is by far the best purchase I’ve made in many years. It has become my primary device not only for teaching, but it has replaced my home computer as well. I’m writing on it this very moment.

I decided to buy the 10.5” Apple iPad Pro for two main reason:

  1. I was already familiar and comfortable with IOS and Apple products. I also had the chargers already, which you can’t discount.
  2. The Apple Pencil seemed like the smoothest, truest and most intuitive stylus that I had ever seen or experienced, and I knew I would be using it heavily in the classroom.
Apple Pencil

I chose the 10.5” iPad Pro because I wanted something that is easy to read and see, but would remain portable and convenient to carry around. This size is perfect for the classroom, as it allows me to carry it virtually everywhere I go during the day. I don’t have my phone on me during the school day, and this device more than makes up for its absence. I have an aftermarket case and keyboard by Logi, and I find it natural and easy to write, even with it’s smaller size. I have watched many YouTube videos and even movies on it, and it’s size is more than adequate for me needs. It also has an impressive speaker for its size; much more impressive than the iPhone. The 10.5” seems to be the perfect size for my needs.

Another aspect of this device that I love is its speed, power and useful apps and features it offers me. I typically wake up at 0500 on school days, and on a typical day, I don ‘t get to bed until 2200 or so. I use my iPad pretty heavily, and even at that, I find that at the end of the day, I’m only down to about 40% power. Even on my longest days with play rehearsals and meetings, I have never had to charge it mid-day. That is important to me, and it’s nice to know it is dependable in that category. I also find it to be lightning fast, which makes it more fun and efficient to use. Being a teacher and using it for word processing, blogging and freelance writing, it also has more than enough power and memory. I’m not sure I could ever maximize its potential with my needs.

Ipad with Apple Pencil charging in lightning port

The biggest reason this device has become way electronic assistant is the wide array of useful apps it has available, specifically for my classroom, organization and productivity. I haven’t used a notebook in years, although I do love the act of writing, which I find relaxing and cathartic. Between the Apple Pencil and the apps which are meant to specifically maximize its potential, it makes it easy and even fun for me. For my note taking/bookkeeping needs, I use an app called “GoodNotes”, which was a total game changer for me. I have many different notebooks within the app for each class I teach, and I can hand write them as I normally would. The app allows me to keep detailed and organized notes that I can easily access and amend, and I no longer have to carry around several notebooks or frantically search through each notebook to find a certain document, lesson plan or assignment. It has made my life and my job much more efficient, and I’m grateful for finding this.

The final main reason I love the Apple IPad Pro is the Apple Pencil. As I mentioned, I do think Apple is overpriced, and the Pencil is no exception. Depending where you find it, it will cost between $75-$100 new. That is a huge amount of money for a stylus. I will save you the time and research, though. It’s worth it.

I tried several different styluses (styli?) before reluctantly shelling out the cash for the Apple Pencil, and all of them were painfully deficient. They lacked the touch and “feel” of the Apple Pencil, and the writing process was choppy and a bit frustrating. The Apple Pencil allows you to write almost as if you’re writing with a ball point pen. It’s incredibly responsive and intuitive. Just like a beautiful pen, it becomes relaxing and even fun to write with, especially with all the size and color options available to you.

If you’ve wondered how you can get yourself more organized, or you’ve been on the fence about buying a new tablet, I hope this has helped. It has been a game changer for me, and I am so glad I found this device. It has made my days better.

Don’t hesitate to message me if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to share my honest experiences with you.

-Z

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