iPads in the University Classroom

The Wired Campus section of the Chronicle of Higher Education has a brief column about the use of iPads instead of textbooks in one class at Notre Dame. Really, there is not enough information in the article to say if tablets like iPads will be a bad or good replacement in the long term (i.e. no control group reported on, maybe it is just this professors style that works, etc.). However, it does seem i was successful and with proper apps (like ones that can annotate pdfs) it is a viable option for course materials. However judging from this paragraph

And when it came time for their computer-based final exam, 39 of the 40 students in class put away their iPads in favor of a laptop.

iPads don’t replace a laptop, so why not just deliver materials to laptops? Still, that said, it is good to see higher education looking into these new tools. We just have to remember that while some things are new ans shiny, they might not actually be better for a particular purpose so we need to keep a critical eye when considering/evaluating at new technology.