CreativeMac | August 31, 2013
Back to school for iPad – GripBase Podium Review
NewerTech Media Coverage
It's that time of year again. Time to head back to the classroom.
This year, more than any other before, we're returning to school with iPads in tow. As a learning tool, book replacement, or prompt, the Apple iPad is part of the classroom. Newer Technology has made the iPad easier to integrate with the new GripBase Podium.
Generically speaking, the teacher stands at the front of the classroom and creates resource material on the blackboard, whiteboard, smart board, speaking to the class, and discussing the lessons at hand. The GripBase can stand at the board with them, providing computer resources through the iPad.
Although I do like the handy grip of the NuGuard GripStand (compatible with the GripBase), holding the iPad for a 2 hour lecture, or while writing on the board, isn't optimal.
The GripBase Podium serves as the teacher's 'hands free' device.
The base is sturdy enough so it won't tip over while you're navigating pages with your fingers, but I'd place it close to the board if you're planning to do much walking/pacing back and forth in front of the board. Like any other monopod, it can be tipped over. The heavy base does provide a good protection against tipping over easily, but it's not impossible to trip over.
I have to admit that the photos of the iPad in front of the black board and white board are a bit contrived, because I don't use any prompts while I'm writing at the board.
On the other hand, if I'm lecturing using the projector, I will often trigger animations or slides from the laptop or iPad to the projector. For me, this is where the GripBase Podium shines. While I'm not directly in front of the projector, the thin profile of the stand allows the audience to see the onscreen lessons easily. The stand frees the presenter from being tethered to the iPad, and allows them to move toward the screen and make gestures with both hands. (Yes, I often use my hands when I talk/present).
From the other angle, the podium allows you, the speaker, to feel more connected to your audience. Rather than being trapped behind a large wooden lectern, or flimsy music stand, the GripBase Podium really allows you to engage your students.
Whether you're using this stand to lecture traditionally or as part of your ALL TECHNOLOGY classroom, this is an excellent way to keep your iPad easily accessible, allowing you to use new tools for teaching.
THE RUNDOWN / PROS & CONS
It collapses to about 3', and extends to about 5' (about .9m to 1.5m)
It weighs 12.5 pounds (5.6 kg)
Cost = just under $50. ($49.99 OWC)
This thing was MADE for teaching from iPad (iPad mini)
Twist lock makes it easy to adjust (for different students use)
Heavy base makes it really hard to knock over.
Less expensive than other metal lecterns.
Comes with the GripBase as well - you can use it on podium, or on your desk.
Heavy. It's a chore to lug this thing across a big campus. "Across the room or hallway" is not bad.
One use. Although the end is outfitted with a threaded neck, I haven't attempted any other attachments.
GripBase may be difficult to push your iPad into (see my previous review). Yes, it's very secure, but it may a minute or two to get your iPad into the holder.
Teachers/Lectors : An excellent piece of furniture that breaks the division between you and your audience that large wooden podiums may create. If you're already using an iPad, you need to add this to your classroom.
Students / Parents: With sheet music also making its way from print material to digital media, if you play any instrument, this is an easy way to view your iPad. Don't put your iPad on a music stand. This is made for your iPad. Granted, the iPad isn't as big as a printed sheet of music, but if you're practicing with friends via Skype - you could have both.
Bottom line - it's hardware for a very specific task: HOLDING YOUR iPAD.
Like the GripBase, the Podium does an exceptionally good job doing this. It's not for everyone, but if you think it *could* be for you, then it most definitely can fill that hole you were curious about. Well made. Great price.
You can find the product online with links to resellers here:
I didn't find it on Amazon, but you can get it at OWC:
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