I was one who said the iPad is just an over-sized steroid induced, over-glorified iPod touch. It appears, and not for the first time, that I was wrong on this score. My hubby purchased for my birthday (which is today actually) back in August the iPad first generation. I wanted a first generation because frankly the substantial difference between the first and second generations is the camera. This is the same camera that is on the iPod touch fourth generation. My son has the fourth generation. We bought it specifically because of the camera because we thought having a camera on board would be much easier in making visual schedules and social stories for him. Which in fact it does not as the camera is crappy at best. There is no flash (as is the case for the iPad2 as well) and the pictures are grainy. The video though is pretty good.
HERE are the specs for the 4th generation iPod touch. And HERE are the specs for the iPad first generation. The obvious difference is the one a person sees first, screen size. The iPod is 3.5 in screen size as opposed to the iPad’s 9.7. Six inches is huge (get your minds out of the gutter folks LOL) when you are an avid reader like I am but your 50 year old eyes are getting a little weaker every year.
At school they have been trialing an iPad first generation with JR for about 3 months now. The Proloque2Go app is installed on it and JR is mastering it very quickly. So much so that we applied for a grant to get JR an iPad. If he gets the grant he gets the iPad faster, but either way he’s getting an iPad. It may wait until our income tax return check in February and our school district even offered to pay for it, but I want JR to own his things, not just borrow them so we will get it some way ourselves. The one thing I did ask the school district to pay for, and they agreed was a protective case for it. The one he will be getting is ranging in price from $200 to $300. They can be found HERE and HERE.
JR’s fill in speech therapist from last school year wrote a letter explaining why the iPad is better than the iPod. Frankly, I can’t add anything to this so I am going to copy and past her letter to the grant committee here.
“To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to support the purchase of an iPad for ****** ****. ****** currently uses an iPod Touch throughout his entire school day to socially interact with staff, as well as communicate his wants and needs. He performs applicable academic tasks on this device as well. He has the dexterity and capability of using the iPod and is also proficient at using Proloquo2Go, which is the application that was selected to serve his communicative needs.
****** is very proficient at using his iPod Touch, however, this device has limited ******’s ability to communicate as effectively as possible. First, the limited volume of the voice output on his iPod Touch makes it extremely difficult for novel listeners to understand his requests or other communicative exchanges. It is essential that the voice output on any assistive communication device be intelligible to a novel listener; without appropriate voice output, ****** is unable adequately communicate with those around him. The iPad has voice output that vastly surpasses the voice output of the iPod Touch. The iPad would allow ****** to effectively communicate with anyone he would encounter within his home, school or community.
Second, since the screen on the iPod Touch is so small, when ****** orients the device so that it is horizontal (which makes the icons appear larger and easier to discriminate), only three icons appear on the screen. This then requires ****** to scroll through the screen/s for a prolonged period of time, producing an unnatural delay in communication. The icons on the iPad would be larger, which would enable ****** to orient the screen horizontally or vertically while still allowing him to quickly and easily discriminate.
Finally, since ****** uses his device for things other than requesting (ie. academic tasks and social interactions), those working with ****** must also be able to utilize the device to teach ****** new skills. With the screen being so small, it makes it difficult for staff to effectively and systematically instruct ******. The larger screen would allow staff to more effectively instruct ****** within all academics tasks, as well teach ****** to become a more competent communicator.
I firmly believe that ****** is in need of a more effective communication system, specifically the iPad. ****** would utilize this device across his entire day not only to communicate his wants and needs, but to also socially interact with others, relay vital information that is imperative to his personal safety, complete academic tasks, learn new skills, and verbally participate within group activities. I genuinely hope that you consider ****** for this device in order to help him access all aspects of his environment and communicate to his fullest potential.
There are many well written and well researched articles on the net comparing the iPad first generation to it’s sister the iPad2 and it’s cousin the iPod touch. A little research will provide you with the answers that you seek when determining which to get for yourself or a loved one. I did a huge amount of research and read very carefully the customer reviews of those with experience before buying any of these products.
As a side note: there are many apps in the iTunes store that can be used to replace your laptop too. Dropbox is a file sharing app that works between the computer and the iPad. Quickoffice allows you to write documents, print utility allows you to print from your iPad. There are many apps that would virtually eliminate the need for a laptop. As a matter of fact I use my laptop to play my games on facebook and that’s about all I do with it now. Hopefully apple will soon be opening their products to flash content. Then I can get rid (finally) of my microsoft laptop.
Also Proloque2Go is doing a survey for those that are users. If you are interested in participating in please go HERE. Also if you are interested in reviews of apps for those with special abilities, BEFORE you shell out your hard earned money please go HERE. Just click on the iPad on this screen and you will find many reviews on these apps.