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iPad For OU Study

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    I'm currently considering my options with regards to a new computer system and I was wondering if the iPad would be a good fit. I know it would really suit my day-to-day needs but as I'm going to be starting with the OU this year I thought I'd check with you guys to see if anyone is already doing this?
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    (Original post by Cuddly Duddly)
    I'm currently considering my options with regards to a new computer system and I was wondering if the iPad would be a good fit. I know it would really suit my day-to-day needs but as I'm going to be starting with the OU this year I thought I'd check with you guys to see if anyone is already doing this?
    All right! I'm doing science modules. I use both my iPhone and iPad but they have their limits. I use a scientific calculator app on my iPhone. I like the brightness of the screen and the flexibility. I've got a couple of Oxford science dictionaries on it as well as the Wikipedia app which are handy for a quick look up.

    I used my iPad most for reading pdfs and text in Kindle book format. For some courses the texts are online only so when working on a TMA on my laptop and can just pick up the iPad and read the digital text whilst keeping the waffle I'm writing on screen!! But if the main text is in book form I prefer to read it like that. But I have sometimes read the pdf versions on my iPad when I've been out and about. One of the problems with the OU is that it is Windows/ Internet Explorer reliant and some interactive study materials won’t work on an iPad. So no tablet can yet replace a PC, although the new mobile friendly version of Student Home mostly works on a mobile device.
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    Will you be having a desktop/laptop as well? A lot of courses come with DVDs that obviously you'd need a disk drive to run, and some have software that is only compatible with Windows. I'm not sure if you can even run Crossover or something similar on an iPad so that's something you should look into, depending on what courses you'll be doing.

    Personally I can't see how a tablet would have helped me with studying at all, but it seems to work well for some people - reading books on the train and whatnot.
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    I'll be studying for the LLB Hons Degree in Law so hopefully there should be little in the way of PC-DVD content.

    I'm currently thinking iPad only, so there would be no PC as a backup beyond my wife's netbook which I could use for submitting assignments (I was under the impression these had to be submitted via specific OU software).
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    (Original post by CuddlyDuddly)
    I'll be studying for the LLB Hons Degree in Law so hopefully there should be little in the way of PC-DVD content.

    I'm currently thinking iPad only, so there would be no PC as a backup beyond my wife's netbook which I could use for submitting assignments (I was under the impression these had to be submitted via specific OU software).
    They now also have DVD content online which is viewable using Flash player. Of course the iPad isn't Flash compatible by default but I have the Skyfire app which converts flash into HTML5 which can be played. Works with the OU videos I've tried.

    I'm not sure that I'd want to type assignments for a word heavy degree like Law on an iPad. Never tried submitting work with an iPad. I'm not sure if the submission system works in iOS5. You'd have to ask the OU. Also iCMAs only seem to work reliably with Windows and IE.

    The OU, more than any institution, will look into ways of using new formats but it may be some time before you can do it all with a tablet.
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    (Original post by CuddlyDuddly)
    I'll be studying for the LLB Hons Degree in Law so hopefully there should be little in the way of PC-DVD content.

    I'm currently thinking iPad only, so there would be no PC as a backup beyond my wife's netbook which I could use for submitting assignments (I was under the impression these had to be submitted via specific OU software).
    The LLB is pretty much all reading (there's hardly any DVD content), and the course books are also in PDF format so you can read those on the iPad. You do have a lot of online activities to do when reading through the books.

    You usually submit assignments in .doc or .rtf format via the website, there is no software - I couldn't imagine doing a Law assignment on an iPad, at Level 3 they're 3000 words or so, often requiring formatting in terms of headers and the like. Although I suppose you can get a keyboard for the iPad, which may help, you'll probably also need to get a dedicated word processing app (I have PlainText which is pretty basic).

    In conclusion, as a current LLB student, who owns an iPad.. They're nice little gadgets but absolutely not essential for OU study, and ideally you want a system whereby you are able to word process and organise information efficiently.
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    I recently asked about whether or not people used pdf files or stuck to their books as I'm also considering getting an iPad / other tablet for taking my studies to work with me> I have a macbook pro at the moment but I don't thin I'd like to take that to work 'just incase'. Anyways here's the link... http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1937127
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    Funnily enough, my Galaxy Tab arrived yesterday, so thats gonna have a lot of my OU stuff on, but as others have said, trying to do an assignment in the multiple thousand words brackets would be a chore at best!
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    (Original post by CuddlyDuddly)

    I'm currently thinking iPad only, so there would be no PC as a backup beyond my wife's netbook which I could use for submitting assignments (I was under the impression these had to be submitted via specific OU software).
    Hm... if it`s a case of "either this or that", then I`d say definately the laptop rather than an IPad.

    I really can`t understand everyone`s fascination with the IPad anyways, but leaving my personal opinion beside, it`s really just a matter of economics, isn`t it?
    An IPad costs as much as a decent/higher middle-class laptop, but you have very restricted features you can do/use with the thing, in comparison to a laptop.

    So I`d say, go for a laptop. You can`t even watch a DVD with the IPad, writing long texts with it would be a pain in the ass, I guess, etc.

    Personally, I have thought about possibly purchasing an IPad, in order to use it with my studies when studying at work, but I already have a laptop and I wanna wait until actually having started with the OU, in order to see wether it would really give me an advantage.
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    Thank you for taking the time to respond, it gave me a lot to think about and helped me to make a decision.

    I decided to purchase a MacBook Pro for my studies. It felt like the sensible option, sturdy, long lasting and more than capable of whatever tasks I might need to throw at it.

    What also nudged e this way was the thought of getting to wrapped up in the tech whilst my attention should be on the study material. This way it's pen and paper 90% of the time and the MacBook Pro for working on assignments and doing online research or activities.
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    (Original post by CuddlyDuddly)
    Thank you for taking the time to respond, it gave me a lot to think about and helped me to make a decision.

    I decided to purchase a MacBook Pro for my studies. It felt like the sensible option, sturdy, long lasting and more than capable of whatever tasks I might need to throw at it.

    What also nudged e this way was the thought of getting to wrapped up in the tech whilst my attention should be on the study material. This way it's pen and paper 90% of the time and the MacBook Pro for working on assignments and doing online research or activities.
    I don't know what you are studying or going to study but do you realise that the oU generally do NOT support the mac? This may not be a problem depending on the subject but there are some modules that this would cause a problem.
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    (Original post by CuddlyDuddly)
    Thank you for taking the time to respond, it gave me a lot to think about and helped me to make a decision.

    I decided to purchase a MacBook Pro for my studies. It felt like the sensible option, sturdy, long lasting and more than capable of whatever tasks I might need to throw at it.

    What also nudged e this way was the thought of getting to wrapped up in the tech whilst my attention should be on the study material. This way it's pen and paper 90% of the time and the MacBook Pro for working on assignments and doing online research or activities.
    As Ann says, the OU is really a Microsoft friendly place. All the assignments I've submitted had to be in Office 97-2003 format. Having said that on my last course people with Macs and Linux based devices were doing it but got into all sorts of problems with one of the interactive study materials which resulted in much criticism of the OU's narrow platform base. There was an issue when some tried to use Google docs as well. And this was meant to be a cutting edge online only course. I think most were able to submit the computer marked assignments though. But the OU has said that it's trying to improve things.

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Updated: March 14, 2012
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