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View Full Version : Thoughts on iPad for kids Xmas


prostar205
12-18-2010, 10:59 PM
I am soliciting people's thoughts on getting my kids (girl age 8, boy age 10) iPads for Christmas. I know nothing about them. My hope is they will use them as educational tools. Please let me know your thoughts.

H20BOY
12-18-2010, 11:24 PM
They are great for easy access to the internet and for email. You can also download several games and other apps that would keep them busy for hours.

medicmoose
12-18-2010, 11:42 PM
To be honest...and we have one...I don't know that kids that age would use one of these to their capacity. Sure you could have them play around on it but it seems like a little overkill if bought solely for the kids.

JimN
12-18-2010, 11:42 PM
I am soliciting people's thoughts on getting my kids (girl age 8, boy age 10) iPads for Christmas. I know nothing about them. My hope is they will use them as educational tools. Please let me know your thoughts.

Don't think it's like a regular computer. It's more like an iPod on steroids. It's cool but...

Double D
12-19-2010, 12:08 AM
I would recommend laptops instead. They can be used for school and homework, printing and other educational stuff. I know an iPad can do most of this but its harder. Example: My wife has both and when she needs to do more computer stuff she uses her laptop. Games and stuff, she pulls out the iPad.

Ski-me
12-19-2010, 02:32 AM
Man, I don't know. They sure sound expensive for kids that young. Heck, my 14 year old lost her ipod and I'm having issues wanting to replace it for her. She lost it, she can buy a new one with HER money now.

My wife also thought a Kindle would be good for the 14 yr old...she reads ALL the time.

Ski-me
12-19-2010, 02:37 AM
I would recommend laptops instead. They can be used for school and homework, printing and other educational stuff. I know an iPad can do most of this but its harder. Example: My wife has both and when she needs to do more computer stuff she uses her laptop. Games and stuff, she pulls out the iPad.

Good point. My 12 and 14 yr old use their laptops all the time for school. Word, Excel and Powerpoint. If they didn't have one, they would (and did) use our laptops for school. They are really being asked more and more these days......

prostar205
12-19-2010, 03:45 AM
I would recommend laptops instead. They can be used for school and homework, printing and other educational stuff. I know an iPad can do most of this but its harder. Example: My wife has both and when she needs to do more computer stuff she uses her laptop. Games and stuff, she pulls out the iPad.

I like that idea. I'll look into that. They have asked for the Xbox 360 but already have a Wii. I am not going to sustain 2 different game consoles. Thanks for the idea.

bcampbe7
12-19-2010, 11:18 AM
Look into a netbook. Small and easier to handle/carry around for kids yet pack most of the punch of a laptop. Only drawback is most do not have an onboard CD/DVD drive.

ski_king
12-19-2010, 11:24 AM
I also suggest a netbook or small notebook.

You can get a decent netbook for about $250 ea. We have had one for a couple of years and wife and daughter carry it in their purse when traveling.

The Podge
12-19-2010, 11:53 AM
You might also want to consider the iPod touch. The 8 GB model is around $220. I have both iPad and iPod touch. The touch does almost everything that the ipad does but on a smaller screen. I am getting one for both my 8 and 10 year olds. The new ones can even use FaceTime over wifi. Pretty cool stuff! The net book is a good option too but we already have one for homework and it is not as fun for them. I am sure they would like either!

tex
12-19-2010, 12:54 PM
Buy them a ball and tell them to get outside and play! This is coming from a guy who had to talk my wife out of outragous electronics for our 10 year old! BTW-Santa is bring him a barefoot suit!

bigmac
12-19-2010, 02:42 PM
Netbooks aren't dead yet? I'm amazed.

iPad is a fantastic gift for kids that age. Bear in mind that they need a computer for syncing with iTunes. Do not understimate the difference between an iPod Touch and an iPad. The difference in screen sizes is monumental in terms of fucntionality. IMHO, iPod Touch would be a waste of money.

At that age, you wouldn't need to get the 3G versions unless you didn't have a home wireless network or unless the kids had some burning need for GPS navigation functions (the wi-fi only iPads don't have GPS).

A useful adjunct to the iPad is Apple TV. You can stream video or audio directly from the iPad to your HDTV

bigmac
12-19-2010, 02:54 PM
Good point. My 12 and 14 yr old use their laptops all the time for school. Word, Excel and Powerpoint. If they didn't have one, they would (and did) use our laptops for school. They are really being asked more and more these days......

The iPad works with Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files just fine. And it's an exceptional reader, with the ability to use eBooks from Kindle, B&N, and iBooks (and others).

But really, it's designed as a media device and that's what it does best. It's for books, magazines, newspapers, music, video, DVDs, games, internet browsing, email, and "social networking".

nmcjr
12-19-2010, 04:30 PM
But really, it's designed as a media device and that's what it does best. It's for books, magazines, newspapers, music, video, DVDs, games, internet browsing, email, and "social networking".

This is a good summary of the iPad's best uses. However, one limiting factor for the iPad is that it doesn't support Adobe Flash and I'm guessing that many kids websites use Flash pretty extensively. So, you may want to check the websites they'd use and make sure they dont' require Flash. Also, since its a touchscreen keyboard I don't personally think its real practical for applications that require a lot of typing, such as Word. I know I wouldn't want to type a school report on an iPad.

These are probably the two things that would sway me personally toward a netbook, and in my opinion why an iPad supplements a computer, but does not replace it.

If you do look into netbooks, beware that many are somewhat limited on video/graphics capability, especially HD video. So if that's a desire, be sure to look for that capability in the feature list, and it will drive up the cost and narrow the field of models to choose from.

As an aside, for anyone with kids, check out opendns or windows live family safety as free ways of filtering the types of content they are allowed to access.

mattsn
12-19-2010, 09:25 PM
I have been a Mac person for years. (owned the first one and I was principal of an Apple Distinguished School). Got my iPad the first day it came out. I love it.

1. It does NOT play nice with Excel, Word, Powerpoint. You can view these formats, but cannot manipulate them and return them in that format. You need / can use Apple's Pages, Numbers, Keynote suite, but they are not like the MS formats.

2. The app Cloud Browse is a work around where you can view Flash.

Good luck

mattsn
12-19-2010, 09:33 PM
It would be great if this forum would join ForumRunner. It is an app that allows forums to run in a format for smartphone, iPhones, iPods, iPads, etc. Makes it much easier to view and respond to the forum.

Also, if possible wait until late March, April for the new iPad 2. Rumored to have a camera and much more.

TX.X-30 fan
12-19-2010, 11:43 PM
My 10 year old son is getting a laptop which is much cheaper and I believe will be of more use than the ipad.

I still have some trouble seeing the usefulness of the things other than they are small and easier to pack around. Still 30 bucks a month too for 3g service.

Double D
12-19-2010, 11:55 PM
My 10 year old son is getting a laptop which is much cheaper and I believe will be of more use than the ipad.

I still have some trouble seeing the usefulness of the things other than they are small and easier to pack around. Still 30 bucks a month too for 3g service.

AT&T doesn't offer the unlimited for $29.99 anymore. Its $15 a month for 200meg or $25 for 2 gig. If you go over, it costs big money.... :mad:

Also, if your lucky enough to still have the $29.99 unlimited plan, don't let your credit card fail, you will loose that plan forever. Been there and fought it. Got it back the "LAST" day it was available.

milkmania
12-20-2010, 12:38 AM
I can't imagine holding that thing to my ear for a 30 minute conversation

Iphone is bad enough:rolleyes:

milkmania
12-20-2010, 12:40 AM
AT&T doesn't offer the unlimited for $29.99 anymore. Its $15 a month for 200meg or $25 for 2 gig. If you go over, it costs big money.... :mad:

Also, if your lucky enough to still have the $29.99 unlimited plan, don't let your credit card fail, you will loose that plan forever. Been there and fought it. Got it back the "LAST" day it was available.

noted, thanks

Jesus_Freak
12-20-2010, 05:49 AM
As an aside, for anyone with kids, check out opendns or windows live family safety as free ways of filtering the types of content they are allowed to access.

Thanks to all for these comparative summaries...helps tremendously.

Just wanted to add $0.02 re the filtering issue: bsecure (http://www.bsecure.com/Products/Products.aspx) is very good as well. It has some quirks, but IMHO teens should at least be monitored even if a parent has issues with controlling the flow of content. Other nice features include the ability to fix the time of day they can access the web, as well as enforce time limits for a session. I have found personally that parents, in general, have no idea what their boys are viewing. Let's just say that I was awakened when I began taking the time to simply monitor what my own teens were doing.

bigmac
12-20-2010, 07:28 AM
My 10 year old son is getting a laptop which is much cheaper and I believe will be of more use than the ipad.

I still have some trouble seeing the usefulness of the things other than they are small and easier to pack around. Still 30 bucks a month too for 3g service.

Getting a 3G iPad wouldnt make sense in his situation. An 8 and 10 year old would have no need of a data plan/3G service unless the OP doesn't have Internet service at his home. Better to get the wifi-only iPad and save the $130 per iPad and 3G monthly fees and set up a home wireless network...use the iPads over wifi which is faster anyway. He'll need a wireless network anyway whatever computer he gets them, if he doesn't already have one.

As to their usefulness...can't help there. I think the iPad is a fantastic tool for kids, but trying to convince someone out of the laptop mindset is usually fruitless, especially when you can get such cheap laptops.

Ski-me
12-20-2010, 12:06 PM
Re-thinking this, it almost sounds pre-mature for purchasing these for an 8 or 10 yr old.

I have 3 girls, 14, 12 and 9.

Like I said, the two older ones use their laptops for school and it has been very useful. The oldest one's "old" laptop is now for the 9 yr old. After about 2-1/2 years of life, the battery for the 9 yr old is dead so it always needs to be plugged in. My 9 year old only uses the laptop for games..... Nancy Drew, Family Feud and some of the more basic, kid games. That's it.

So, looking at it again....my oldest got her first laptop at age 12 and now after 3 years, it needed to be replaced because of the battery. So now, she is on her second laptop. Just something to think about before making a large purchase....

Oh, and if it helps, her first laptop was recieved during Christmas while we were in Seattle (of all places). :D

DooSPX
12-20-2010, 12:58 PM
As an aside, for anyone with kids, check out opendns or windows live family safety as free ways of filtering the types of content they are allowed to access.

great info... I actually use opendns (both paid for and the free service) to limit content for business networks or even public wifi setups I installed and administer.
it is a great service...

About the iPAD playing nice with MS Office applications... thats a toss up. Sometimes it works fine, others, not so much. The app for editing or even creating MS Office files is buggy it seems to me.

My 2 cents would be if you want them to do homework with a little media on it then get a laptop. If you want to get it for media and them to play on, then go for it.

ORX-1
12-20-2010, 01:20 PM
New iPad comes out in April. I am waiting to pick one up. But I did buy them for my parents for christmas. great product

bigmac
12-20-2010, 03:40 PM
New iPad comes out in April. I am waiting to pick one up. But I did buy them for my parents for christmas. great product

Five new features predicted for the next-version iPad rumored to be released in April:

-thinner and lighter
-external USB connector
-2 cameras - front and rear-facing, like iPhone 4
-new "retina display", like iPhone 4
-3 axis gyroscope, like iPhone 4

TX.X-30 fan
12-20-2010, 05:11 PM
Good info guys, I think they look cool and my wife has used them at work and likes the things. I hope at some point to get her to bring one so I can mess with it and see for myself.

bigmac
12-20-2010, 06:04 PM
However, one limiting factor for the iPad is that it doesn't support Adobe Flash and I'm guessing that many kids websites use Flash pretty extensively. So, you may want to check the websites they'd use and make sure they dont' require Flash.

I was an early adopter of the 3G iPad and have been completely satisfied with its performance. I was kind of surprised at how little an inconvenience it was not using Flash (#1 use of Flash on the internet is porn, of course).




Also, since its a touchscreen keyboard I don't personally think its real practical for applications that require a lot of typing, such as Word. I know I wouldn't want to type a school report on an iPad.

If they're going to be doing a lot of report-typing, I'd get a regular keyboard....either the wireless Bluetooth keyboard, or the one with the built-in dock.

mattsn
12-20-2010, 06:54 PM
ZAGGmate Great cover and keyboard all in one. A little pricey and the ridge around the edge of the cover is a small problem

http://www.zagg.com/accessories/zaggmate.php

prostar205
12-21-2010, 03:30 AM
Thanks for everyone's insight to this thread. I think my wife and I are going to postpone the iPads and go with the Xbox 360 with Kinect.

The Podge
12-21-2010, 12:29 PM
I would suggest the Otter Box "defender" series cover for the iPad or iPod if you have kids using it. They are WAY better than any other cover i have seen! www.otterbox.com