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Updated on August 15, 2016

Five useful and free iPad apps for unique learning

You might have seen or heard about schools and universities across countries like the UK and Australia making use of innovative technology, leaning towards a more (arguably) progressive education, mostly in the incarnation of the tablet, more specifically the iPad. In fact, its minimalist design, navigable layout and portability make it the perfect device in the current market if you're looking to learn a thing or two through digital media. Here are five cost-free apps which we highly recommend if you're a student hoping to make use of an iPad for your studies, or if you're simply a person with a deep love of learning.

1. iTunes U

What really sets the iPad apart from other in terms of e-learning services is the availability of archives upon archives of 'virtual' courses, ranging in everything from Mathematics, Beginner French and Law to Psychology, Engineering and Japanese History, offering vast amounts of continually updated information right at your fingertips. iTunes U offers PDF readings, exclusive videos from university lecturers and lengthy podcasts for a variety of learning styles. This is certainly a tablet feature that is difficult to compete with in the tech market.

2. TED

Listen to creative minds and cultivating social leaders speak in front of an enthusiastic audience, and you can be a part of it with this app. TED (not that witty bear) is an non-profit organisation aiming to reach out to a global audience through publicising the works, ideas and stories of various individuals in any industry your can possibly think of - doctors, lawyers, scientists, artists, business gurus, college professors, you name it. Many TED Talks are available on YouTube; however, more exclusive content and features (e.g. playlists, options to listen to Talks in different languages, categorised organisation of Talks) can be accessed through the official iPad app.

3. Twitter

Yes, Twitter. Social media is pretty much the way to go when searching for quick and accessible whiffs of news and information articles when used in the right ways. As a matter of fact, it's common knowledge among contemporary journalists (and students of journalism) as well as media producers that Twitter can be a place of sharing and posting information across your social circles and the wider community of followers when you're not checking out Kim Kardashian's latest maternity photo. Keep up to date with sources like The Verge, The New York Times - you can even follow Neil deGrasse Tyson if you're a fan - or just involve yourself in an act of journalism when posting a link to your online blog or news story for friends and fellow students to enjoy.

4. A Parcel of Courage

This one's for the little ones. 'A Parcel of Courage' is a e-book style app by developer Maria Stavinskaya that allows preschoolers and early elementary school children to become engaged in an interesting storyline which intertwines narrative with puzzles and games. This app is a great way to introduce kids to basic patterns and numbers (up to 10), and over 20 colours and new vocabulary, engaging both the logical and creative spheres of thinking. The accessibility of the iPad allows use of this app just before and just after school, making good use of a child's free time.

5. Reading Eggs Student

Subscribers of Reading Eggs online can now access the service for their young children aged 3-13, so they can enjoy discovering the wonders of literacy and reading. Reading Eggs Student allows the young learners to use the app both in an educational setting and at home, and physical copies of the books featured on the app can be purchased at a price.

Visit the App Store if you're interested in finding out more about the exciting features and expansions that these applications offer. Happy learning! Or if you want to find out more about tablets and tablet security, contact us now.

Fusion Rotate and Flip

A rotatable tablet kiosk by BossTab
A rotatable tablet kiosk by BossTab

Microsoft Surface Hub - a big tablet with business in mind

In January 2015, there were several big announcements made by Microsoft including Windows 10 and the HoloLens, but they weren't the only ones. Another new item was overshadowed by the others, and it's definitely a big one. It's called the Surface Hub; it's a gigantic mega-tablet that uses Windows 10 and is intended for business conference rooms.

After some delays, they finally began shipping to customers this March. This huge tablet comes in both 54 and 84-inch sizes and retails for $21,999. The idea behind the Surface Hub is that it's supposed to become the centrepiece of the meeting, whether or not the participants are in the room with you. It's a much more streamlined version of the old teleconferencing systems you may be used to seeing at your job, and it boasts some great benefits too.

Check out BossTab for tablet stands and iPad kiosks.

It looks rather like an enormous TV, including an HD ultra high-resolution video output. It's also flanked by two HD cameras, speakers, and infrared sensors. Internally, it features a customised Intel Core i7 processor. Microsoft even made a customised version of their Windows 10 operating system exclusively for use with the Surface Hub, making it quick and easy to access the three most common things you'd want to use in any meeting straight from the device's lock screen. These include a version of Microsoft's popular OneNote app that functions much like a whiteboard, Skype access for calling in participants remotely, and the ability to project any Windows 10 PC desktop on to the big screen.

Also, the Surface Hub includes two styluses known as Surface Pens. Users have the option to log into each stylus using their corporate emails, so you can track which employees contributed notes or scribbles to the brainstorming session. In addition to the meeting-focused programs, the Surface Hub has the capability to run any app available in the Windows Store — even Candy Crush Saga — including apps that aren't optimised for a screen that size.

Granted, this big tablet might require some fairly heavy-duty tablet wall mounts, and the price tag is a bit on the high side. Still, that's a small price to pay to bring your conference room and your business bang up to date.

The BOB Tablet Stand

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