Pushing the limits?

The next two weeks will give me a chance to stretch the practicality of the iPad to its limits. I enrolled in a couple of weeks of continuing education classes at the seminary I graduated from 17 years ago. These days, seminarians during the regular school year are required to have a laptop, and most of them bring them to the classroom to take notes. Pastors returning for classes in the summer ordinarily do the same. I (foolishly?) decided not to.

As I was packing for the trip, the list of tasks normally done by a laptop scrolled through my head:

  • Taking notes. The seminary professors may be able to keep all those details in their heads, but I need some help.
  • E-mail. Keeping in touch with my wife and congregation back home.
  • Writing papers. I expect two of my three courses to each assign a 8-10 page research paper.
  • Powerpoint capability for class presentations.
  • PDF file reading. Our seminary’s essay file offers many great resources for research.
  • Bible software. My Logos iPad app has Greek and Hebrew Bibles, as well as a host of other resources, but it’s a far cry from what I can do on a computer.
  • Internet access for research and personal use (banking, surfing, flight reservation, etc.).
  • Entertainment for the plane rides and airport waits.

The next two weeks will tell how well my iPad can keep up with all the laptops in use by my fellow students.

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