Weird iPad mini charging problem

Hmm. Today a Year 6 teacher told me that the iPads weren’t charging. The ISIS charging cabinet is basically some 10 and 8-way power adapters plugged together with iPad power adapters plugged in. But yet it seemed that all the iPad power adaptors didn’t work that were plugged into one of the 10-way power bars. I checked with a different adaptor, and the 10-way adaptor was definitely still working. I then took out the iPad charger and plugged it directly into a wall socket. That seemed to make it work again! I had to do that with all the iPad adaptors affected, but they now seem to work ok.

This is a little bit worrying. It could be an issue with the iPad mini design, with the lightening cables or with the fact I’m using lots of power bars. I’ll keep an eye on it. It’s worked fine up until now though, which is what is particularly confusing. Maybe there was a power surge which affected the iPad power adaptors?

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iPad mini – hands on

Yesterday I (finally) got to try out an iPad mini. The “sorry, we’re sold out” sign outside the Apple Store suggests that it can’t be all that bad. And I don’t think it is.

The size is really nice. It’s small enough to hold in one hand, but the screen is definitely big enough to interact with. It does indeed remind me of the 11″ MacBook Air with its diddy but high density screen, which allows you to get everything done just as well. I don’t think it would work so well as a shared device though, but who’s to say. I’ve done some work with kids using iPod touches one between two and that seemed to work fine.

It does remind me of the iPod touch in terms of portability but without the use restrictions. I’ve heard people talk about using 1:1 iPod touches in schools, but to me there didn’t seem to be so much you could do on it. Whereas an iPad mini suggests many opportunities.

Other pluses:

  • Better camera
  • Lovely build quality
  • Super light
  • Great price

Anyway, enough of my sales pitch…

Thoughts on iPad mini

I’m really excited about the iPad mini although I have yet to actually hold one in my hand. They’ve been out for barely a week, but they appear to be selling like hot cakes. I think they hold great potential for doing a 1:1 deployment in a school. Here’s why:

  • Cost. It’s only about £50 less that the iPad 2, but that’s nearly a 20% saving. Which is not to be sniffed at, especially if that nudges a bulk purchase into the realms of affordability.
  • Screen size. It is quite diddy (I’ve made a paper mock-up of the screen size already!) but not unusuably so. And because there’s the same number of pixels as an iPad 2, you can still do as much on i. I use an 11″ MacBook Air every day, which has a poky screen compared to a retina display MacBook Pro. But because it has such a dense display, you’ve still got plenty of pixels to play with. I’m guessing the same applies with an iPad mini.
  • Better camera. Always good, especially in a school where making movies and taking photos has so many uses.

Maybe once I get to hold on in my hand I might change my mind, but at the moment I’m pretty hopeful about their usefulness.