Why I Requested an Apple iPad 2 from Rutgers University

Last year, I made a few waves when I posted, “Why I Returned the Apple iPad Tablet to Rutgers University.” Now, I’m requesting an Apple iPad 2 to use to teach my Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing courses in the Rutgers Mini-MBA program. So, have I changed my mind, or has the iPad changed to become what I had in mind all along?

Eric Greenberg Rutgers iPad 2Here’s the backstory: In July 2010, Matt Bailey, the president and founder of SiteLogic Marketing, Cindy Krum, the Chief Executive Officer of Rank-Mobile, and I taught some of the courses in the first Rutgers Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing course. In December 2010, Heidi Cohen, the president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, Liana “Li” Evans, the co-founder and CEO of LiBeck Integrated Marketing, and I taught some of the courses in the first Rutgers Mini-MBA: Social Media Marketing course.

The Rutgers Center for Management Development (CMD) had supplied all the students in both courses with their own free Apple iPads, which contained pre-loaded instructional materials.  The participants in both courses liked their iPads.

More importantly, they liked the courses, as the video clip below shows.

But when I was finished teaching the courses, I returned the iPad that I’d had been loaned to the Rutgers Center for Management Development.

Now, I didn’t return the iPad to Rutgers because I hated it. And I didn’t mind being asked to test Apple’s bleeding edge technology.

But in its initial incarnation, I thought the iPad was “a left-handed teaching tool.” It was on the brink of the verge of the edge of replacing my laptop, but it wasn’t quite there at that point in time.

Still, the iPad showed a lot of promise and developers were starting to launch some killer apps. So, I was just waiting before giving it a second chance.

Now, I’m ready to do that.

The Rutgers Mini-MBA Program will be offering an accelerated Social Media Marketing course during the week of June 6-12, and an accelerated Digital Marketing course during the week of July 11-15. And Rutgers CMD will be providing each student in both courses with instructional materials and business case studies pre-loaded on a new Apple iPad 2.

And as one of the faculty members who will be teaching classes in both courses, I want to use an Apple iPad 2.

Why now? Because the iPad 2 is significantly better than the initial iPad.

Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD says, says, “The iPad 2 moves the goal posts, by being slimmer and lighter, boosting speed and power, and holding its price advantages, available apps and battery life. As of now, I can comfortably recommend it as the best tablet for average consumers.”

David Pogue of The New York Times says, “You can now connect the iPad to a hi-def TV, thanks to a single H.D.M.I. adapter ($40) that carries both audio and hi-def video. What you see on the TV mirrors whatever is on the iPad, which makes it a great setup for teaching, slide shows, presentations, YouTube and movies. It works automatically and effortlessly.”

And Tim Gideon of PCMag.com says: “The clear standout in the ever-widening sea of tablets, the Apple iPad 2 brings a slimmer design, faster processing, dual cameras, and FaceTime video chat to a tablet that already had a leg up on the competition.”

Plus, there are now 65,000 apps for the iPad. Among the ones that I plan to use in class are:

  • Flipboard, which gives my students a way to flip through the news, photos, and updates that their friends are sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, and Flickr, enabling them to see all their social media in a magazine layout that’s easy to scan and fun to read.
  • OmniGraffle, which enables my students to create diagrams, process charts, website wireframes, and other designs with the ease of Multi-Touch on the iPad.
  • iMovie, which enables my students in my Video Marketing class to turn the HD video they shoot on their iPads into a masterpiece worthy of the red carpet.
  • Keynote, which enables my students to create presentations with custom graphic styles, elegantly designed themes, stunning animations and effects, and powerful features designed for the iPad.
  • Pages, which has everything my students need to put their words into beautiful documents, including Apple-designed templates and easy-to-use formatting tools.

With these apps, I can use an Apple iPad 2 with either my left or right hand to teach my Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing courses at Rutgers this summer.

So, have I changed my mind, or has the iPad changed to become what I had in mind all along?

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