The iPad, Apple’s answer to the tablet and e-reader market, has been the subject of controversy since hints of its development began leaking onto the Web last year. By the time of its official announcement, opinion seemed to fall into two camps, either this was another game-changing gadget on the scale of the iPod and iPhone, or it was an over-hyped and overpriced toy for Apple fanboys (and girls).
As the first reviews of the actual product hit the Net last week (store sales launched today in the U.S.), I along with a few others have wondered what impact, if any, the iPad will have in educational circles, particularly in language instruction. At first glance, the iPad is an undeniably sexy piece of hardware. Already, there are plans in the works to get it into schools, but will it replace textbooks, or for that matter, notebook or netbook computers in the classroom?