Prep Talk

Frequently Asked Questions on the iPad and Virtual Textbook Progam

Posted April 23rd, 2013


1)      Who does the new iPad and virtual textbook paradigm affect? The class of 2016 and 2017 are required to participate in the new virtual textbook program as described in Prep Talk article here.

2)      Where will one find the latest information related to the Prep’s new iPad initiative? In Prep Talk and here.

3)      What if I already own an iPad? If you already own an iPad 3 or later with 32 GB storage, or better, it will be compatible with school needs.

4)      Do I have to buy an iPad if I have one that is an earlier technology than bullet 3?  At this point minimum requirements for existing iPads that you may already own is iPad 3. Based on recent information from our Apple account manager, If you own an iPad 2 it will likely not be robust enough for school needs. Apple operating system updates needed to run later Apps may not be available which will make it non-compatible with current or future classroom needs. Apple does not give much advanced notice when they terminate support for a hardware and the iPad 2 already has 1 foot in the grave.

5)      When will the iPad 5 be released? The current marketplace iPad is version 4. Apple iPad 5 is threatened to be released, depending on what “expert” you read, in 2013, either March, April, June, July, October or November. So, that should answer the question of when the new iPad will be released.

6)      Should I wait for the iPad 5 to be released before purchasing? There is still plenty of time before you need to purchase an iPad for 2013-14 school year, so yes, wait.  It is likely that you will not need to have the iPad before the beginning of August; perhaps the later model will be out by then. If you order your iPad through the Prep for the advantages indicated in bullet 9, we will not place the actual order with Apple until mid-July. More details on the order date will be in future Prep Talk newsletters.

7)      What happens if you purchase the iPad and a week later the next version is released? As you have seen repeatedly in the technology market, a new version will ALWAYS be in the marketplace shortly after purchasing a new device. Apple analysts are predicting that a new iPad will need to be released bi-annually in order for them to keep up with the continuing tech pressure from the myriad of other Tablet manufacturers in the marketplace. It does not mean that the product you just bought won’t work. It just won’t be as slim or light as the newer model.

8)      Is an iPad Mini OK for school? If you already have one, when the App list comes out, try it and see. The Mini is a smaller screen and not as good a resolution so there is an advantage to the full size iPad when it comes to reading eBooks and other course materials.

9)      Should I purchase the iPad from the Prep? The advantage of purchasing from the Prep is being able to distribute the payments out over time without usury interest rates using the FACTS tuition payment plan. The business office has forms available for contracting the purchase. Orders can be made with the business office at any time but the actual orders will not be placed until mid-July. Use this link for the iPad order form. Use this link for order form instructions.

10)   When will an Apps list be published for classes? Apps list will be published in future Prep Talk articles. The course Apps and book list should be available by the end of June.

11)  Does the iPad replace the need for a laptop? Each technology is to be utilized to maximize a student’s learning needs. While the iPad is a requirement, TabletPC and laptops are optional additional learning tools for students to employ in their learning endeavors. While the iPad will now become the prominent research and virtual textbook to replace 25 pounds of textbooks, the Windows or MAC laptop remains the traditional tool for composing large papers and other tasks not capable on an iPad.