If you’re naturally averse to posts which glowingly describe Apple hardware and software, you’ll want to skip this one.

I think the Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard is nothing short of MAGICAL, especially when paired with an iPad. Call me an Apple fanboy, but I am absolutely amazed by this. How does it work? I can say the words “bluetooth” and “wifi,” but the ability to say those words does not grant me an understanding of how these invisible, wireless technologies enable me to access as well as publish information from any location in my house.

new Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard

I have seen others use bluetooth keyboards previously, but today is my first day to use one. The process of pairing it with the iPad was, as it should have been, straightforward and easy. No instructions were required. I simply turned bluetooth on, on my iPad, and pushed the power button on the keyboard. The iPad recognized that a keyboard wanted to “pair” with it, prompted me to type in several numbers and the return/enter key, and I was done. Now, whenever I have bluetooth turned on and the keyboard is near, the iPad’s built-in, on-screen keyboard does not appear– it assumes I’ll be entering text with the keyboard. If I don’t, I simply turn bluetooth off and the iPad goes back to “normal” text entry.

Whatever your opinion of the iPad, I think it’s hard to deny that modern technologies like these ARE “magical” by our 20th century information and technology standards. When my 9 year old daughter experienced typing on the iPad with the bluetooth keyboard this evening, she exclaimed, “I could see using these in school someday.” While costs are still prohibitive for iPads and bluetooth keyboards to be in the hands of every student, today’s costs for today’s computing capabilities will not remain constant tomorrow. We live in grim economic times for many public schools in the United States, but technologically I wonder if things have ever looked so bright… or so “magical?” I know… I’m gushing. But this experience is truly marvelous. While I doubted my ability to use the iPad to “live-blog” conference sessions two weeks ago in Iowa for the CASTLE 1:1 Institute, armed with a bluetooth keyboard I’m confident this would be a cinch. True, the iPad is not yet configured for easy application-switching and backgrounding/multi-tasking, but apparently that will change later this year when the 4.0 firmware is released. It’s hard to take some things for granted today, but I think it’s safe to say the application environment and application possibilities of tablet technologies (like the iPad) are only going to get better. Wow.

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