iPad: fashion accessory or creative tool for learning?

All our grade 11 students are being given iPads, and I have just received mine

The theory is that their learning might be ‘enhanced’ by having them use the iPad for school-related work, although there are some who suspect that more time might actually be spent on games, social networking and videos.

I have enjoyed reading a ‘guest post’ article by Doug Ward (associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Kansas) – “What I’ve Learned from Teaching with iPads”.


The iPad is fun but – as Professor Ward points out – “tablets are certainly no educational panacea and I’d be careful about wholesale adoption without aspecofic purpose.”

For our IBDP visual arts students, part of the ‘school-related work’ is, of course, making art, so I have been checking out iPad paint and sketching apps, and looking at the kind of art that is being produced with the iPad.

As for ‘practising’ artists, David Hockney currently has an exhibition on at the Royal Academy in London in which his iPad creations feature.

Will my year 1 IBDP art class use their iPads to demonstrate their “understanding of the ideas and techniques that underpin artistic expression”?

Time will tell!

I will follow our school’s technological educational experiment – both for art investigation and art making purposes and for other schoolwork – with interest.

Links, articles etc

Apple iPad: Why I won’t be buying one – yet


Art iPad apps


David Hockney’s instant iPad art


  • Greg
    February 2, 2012

    Hi Andrew

    I got an IPad for Christmas and downloaded several Art Apps straight away.

    I particularly like Inspire Pro, Sketchbook Pro, Brushes and ArtRage. 123D Sculpt is quite interesting too.

    Star Wars: Millenium Falcon Gunner is pretty darned good as well – and it looks like you are involved in a fairly elaborate performance art piece to passers by when you are playing it….



  • triplea_av
    February 5, 2012

    Hi Greg,
    Yes – some apps can be quite addictive.
    I’ve already got Sketchbook Pro but will check out your recommendations!
    Cheers from snowy Surrey,

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