The issue of whether the iPad is a meaningful production device is important to many educators. The issue comes up when making the decision whether to invest school money in traditional computers or iPads (and similar devices). Traditional computers, laptops or netbooks, are versatile and the capacity to write and create multimedia as a learning experience is obviously available. The touch interface of the iPad and an operating system that works a little differently when it comes to storing and integrating media elements is unfamiliar to those of us who have a more traditional background and may have originally seemed a barrier to content production.
Apple and those who develop apps are obviously attempting to move users toward a different way of doing things. iPhoto on the iPad, a new offering, is different from iPhoto on a computer and may serve different purposes. For example, one of the cameras I use takes images that are large and it would not be practical to store thousands of these images on an iPad. I use my desktop machine to store images and upload many to Flickr. I can download images from Flickr to the iPad to take advantage of the interesting ways you can edit images using iPhoto for the iPad. I am also exploring the potential of iPhoto (on the iPad) as a way to produce content – what Apple calls “journals” in this case.
I must say that creating an iPhoto journal reminds me of the old iWeb which I thought was a useful produce/service for those who wanted a web site that looked more sophisticated than the time and background of many would allow. iPhoto Journal is obviously more image oriented because it is tied into iPhoto, but it offers the user widgets that pull in things like maps, date, and text boxes to a “collage”-like display. I can see teachers working with their students to create a journal as a final project product.
Screen capture from iPad
Here is a link to a sample product I created available via iCloud. I must say that I struggled some to arrange the objects to position them exactly where I wanted and I do not have the experience to know why. I was working on my iPad 2 and it is very possible this would work more smoothly on the new iPad. it is also possible that iPhoto for the iPad is a 1.0 product and refinements will come. In my opinion, Apple has a mixed history developing such products (e.g., iWeb and mobile me). However, the company is going to have focus in this area or be more accepting of opening up to those more focused on cloud services.
Here is a CNET review for a second take.