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BestWesTurn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
So i am considering going back to school to earn a second bachelors. I really want to get an iPad. Are they good for school use? Are there many good apps out there for school? I have an iPhone and i love it. If it is good for school is it really worth it?
Thanks ahead of time

Mac, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (250,560 points)
    You need a real computer for college. One that can run MS Office. An iPad is not a substitute for a good computer.

    BTW, why are you wasting time on a second bachelor's degree? In today's work world a bachelor's degree is hardly worth more than a high school degree. What you need is a graduate degree. Most graduate schools do not require a bachelor's degree in the same area. Business schools have MBA programs designed for students without a BBS degree. Give some more thought to your plans and go visit a school counselor to explore options. A second bachelor's degree is both a waste of your time and money.

    I'm a retired university professor in case you are concerned about the veracity and wisdom of this advice.
  • BestWesTurn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I appreciate your advice but I have done the leg work, done the research and if i plan on making a switch into a new field i need more education. No one is going to hire me without the certifications and knowledge, bottom line.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (250,560 points)
    No one is going to hire you with a bachelor's degree when they can hire someone with a master's degree for the same price. You may have done the leg work but I think you were running on the wrong track.

    I don't know what field you want to go into, but unless you're going to DeVry for a degree in whatever, you have better options than another bachelor's degree. Bottom line.
  • BestWesTurn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    well im not here to argue with you about degrees, i know what decision I'm making (which given the situation i can almost guarantee you I'm making the right decision) The question was about an iPad. so thank you for that response.
  • Ralph Landry1 Level 8 Level 8 (37,740 points)
    The draw back the iPad has for school work is the difficulty in typing on the virtual keyboard if you are trying to use it for note-taking, and the software available. The Apple Office software, Pages, Numbers, etc., is fair and compatible with the Mac version, but no where near as strong. And not compatible with the MS Office software if you want to use that, except Pages can save in the .doc format.

    A big question is what field do you intend to study? What software will you need to use? Will this be your primary computing device or just a to/from class device?

    I would disagree with Kappy about graduate schools accepting students without degrees in a particular field...what he stated is only true in VERY limited disciplines. MBA programs do that, but I can guarantee engineering programs do not do that. Some will let you cross engineering dsciplines, but not from outside engineering into engineering, except physics, of course. A graduate degree is important in some fields, but not all.

    So, what is your proposed field of study?
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    It depends on what your needs are. How would you use it? Note taking? Research? Ebook Reading?
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    When did Microsoft Office become a requirement for college?

    Also why are you so insulting about the OP's desire to get a Bachelor's degree? You don't know what his field is or his job prospects and for many fields a Graduate Degree is a waste of time and money especially MBAs.
  • gse1.woody Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Here is a portion of the computer requirements for the university I currently attend:

    1.5 GHz or greater (Intel Pentium or AMD processor)
    Windows XP® or Vista®
    Microsoft Office 2003® or later (contains Word, PowerPoint, Excel, optionally others)
    Microsoft Word 2003® or later
    Microsoft PowerPoint 2003® or later
    Microsoft Excel 2003® or later (for selected courses)
    Microsoft Access 2003® or later (for selected courses)*
    Microsoft Project 2002® or later (for selected courses)*
    Microsoft Visio 2003® or later (for selected courses)*
    Current anti-virus application (regularly updated)**
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    Good thing I don't go to your school because I wouldn't buy any of that stuff. Personally, I think it's a bit arrogant for a university to dictate what you need for a computer.

    I have a friend going to USF right now and he uses either his Powerbook or his Thinkpad running Linux.
  • BestWesTurn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am intending on using it mostly for ebook reading, viewing pages on the fly, to keep up with some notes (not class note taking just things i need to get done type notes). This would not be my main computer. I have a Macbook, which i can run VMWare on for Windows purposes. Since the school program i am looking into will be mostly windows based, such as command line and the training programs are windows only environment. I am going back for computer networking. I have a BS in an unrelated field, so if i went back to school for a master in that unrelated field or earned an MBA i find it hard to believe a company is going to give me the opportunity to join them for their networking needs.
    All that being said, just not sure if its actually worth it for the amount i would use it. Of course im kinda using school as my excuse to go ahead and get one, but the money could be used elsewhere, but if the iPad would really be of use then it would totally be a worthwhile expense.
    Just stuff im thining about.
  • BestWesTurn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am intending on using it mostly for ebook reading, viewing pages on the fly, to keep up with some notes (not class note taking just things i need to get done type notes). This would not be my main computer. I have a Macbook, which i can run VMWare on for Windows purposes. Since the school program i am looking into will be mostly windows based, such as command line and the training programs are windows only environment. I am going back for computer networking. I have a BS in an unrelated field, so if i went back to school for a master in that unrelated field or earned an MBA i find it hard to believe a company is going to give me the opportunity to join them for their networking needs.
    All that being said, just not sure if its actually worth it for the amount i would use it. Of course im kinda using school as my excuse to go ahead and get one, but the money could be used elsewhere, but if the iPad would really be of use then it would totally be a worthwhile expense.
    Just stuff im thining about.
  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (18,035 points)
    That is so sad - to see "command line" and "Windows" used in the same sentence

    Seriously, if you are going to be getting a computing degree in networks, get at least a MacBook air. Then you will have a REAL UNIX command line to work at while at school, with proper shell scripting available, PERL, Python and Ruby pre-installed (and not having to run under emulation either).

    Seriously, trying to use Windows for shell scripts, PERL and such is a nightmare, even with very clever emulators like cygwin.

    And you may well need to be able to login to shared resources to access projects, upload/download assignments and a host of other things an iPad simply will not do.

    I just think you will find an iPad very limited for the kinds of courses you will be taking in that kind of field (I worked for 10 years at a large, highly ranked public univ. ITC department).

    As far as the degree goes, I think it's a good idea. Most IT jobs these days, from programming to systems and network administration, want a degree on your CV. While experience is the big thing, without the degree, you are often not even eligible to apply for many IT jobs. Yet, graduate degrees in IT still don't count for much - BA/BSc and then real world experience is what earns the top salaried jobs these days.
  • ElviaNidia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I currently own an iPad and I use it mostly for school. I study math so I have a need to be able to take hand written notes. Since I also need to write papers for other classes, there is a need for a keyboard. So if you are going to use this for school, be prepared to invest in some accessories.

    First, protection. I have a gel case and a clear cover on my iPad to protect it. Well worth it but not completely necessary if you are on a budget.

    Next, get a wireless keyboard. I purchased the apple blue tooth model. To prop up my iPad, I use a book stand. It is a small portable metal bookstand that I purchased at the student store for $5. This way I can type on my iPad while it is propped up on the bookstand (and the gel case actually keeps it from slipping off of the metal bookstand).

    Next you'll want a stylus. The pogo sketch stylus works GREAT in apps like Sundry, Noterize, and Penultimate (three I have purchased). My favorite of all of those is Noterize but you should make the decision on your own.

    Now the apps. I cannot get by without Goodreader (which now supports annotation), Noterize, and Documents to Go Premium (although, they stink for powerpoint so you may want Keynote). If you want to type any math what-so-ever on your iPad you'll need the LaTeX app for $9.99. Due to Apple restrictions on apps, it cannot compile - I googled online compiler, paste my code then download the pdf into GoodReader. This just does not work for Tex files with images since you cannot upload the images onto the web from the ipad (so you'll want to compile those at home).

    I did spend some extra $ for all of this but it is well worth it. I take class notes with my stylus in Noterize while recording lectures, I type papers in DocsToGo (which has Dropbox and Google docs support), I write math papers in LaTeX, and I read and annotate textbooks in GoodReader (and I actually found one on iBooks for a reasonable price).

    While I still need a laptop at home for backing up my work, etc, this makes my bag much lighter since I can carry the iPad anywhere without a hassle (24 oz vs 4.1 lbs for my Lenovo Tablet PC - and that is without its base). This made for a very heavy load, even with replacing many textbooks with pdfs on my Tablet PC.

    The best benefit of the iPad is its battery life. I can go two school days without charging it. When I had my Lenovo Tablet I used to worry about being in classes that were over 50 min since it would rarely make it through an hour and a half class without needing a charge (I had the lighter weight battery). If i dimmed the screen to the dimmest setting, it would last but I would strain my eyes to use it.

    A lot of people scoff and say you need a laptop but I feel that YOU need to make technology fit YOUR needs. I made the iPad fit my needs. Hopefully, you can do the same.
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    I find the iPad great for ebook reading. I also use it for note taking, email and web browsing.
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