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  iPad: 10 Exciting Possibilities for PMP Aspirants

Last week, I watched Steve Jobs' Keynote address (video) at the iPad Launch. As I was watching the video, my mind slipped into a flashback of 2007, when I was preparing for my PMP Certification exam. I could imagine myself leaning back on a couch with my legs crossed, Steve Jobs-style, resting the iPad on my lap and reading my favorite book, the PMBOK Guide. Oh, what a bummer, you might say! I admit that reading the PMBOK Guide is obviously not the most interesting thing you can do with an iPad. But being a gadget lover, I cannot help but marvel this device and how it can change the way we study and learn. It offers the best of both worlds - a smart phone and a notebook. In this post, I will talk about 10 ways the iPad may transform the way we prepare for the PMP exam.

From my experience, a PMP aspirant spends about 40% of his/her exam preparation time on the internet. Be it reading blogs, browsing through websites, taking sample exams, reading articles on Wikipedia, watching training videos, or social networking with fellow project managers, there's a lot more material available on the internet today than we had 2-3 years ago. Here are the 10 exciting possibilities that the iPad offers in the PMP education arena.
  1. Browsing websites

    iPad promises to offer a whole new web browsing experience. Unlike a regular PC (or even a Mac), we no longer need to spend half our lifetime waiting for the system to boot, and another half waiting for it to load a browser. With the iPad, the internet is "always on" and "instantly on". The screen is large enough to give us a great surfing experience, unlike the tiny screen of an iPhone/iPod Touch.

  2. eReader

    With the iPad functioning as an eReader, it should be much more convenient to read books on this device compared to that on a mobile device (like an iPhone), or a notebook computer.

    Wouldn't it be great if we could get all our study guides in electronic format and be able to access them instantly? Let's start with the PDF version of the PMBOK Guide. We get it free with PMI Membership. So, we can read it on the iPad. Moving on to the study guides, many publishers are already offering PDF versions of their PMP Exam Prep Guides. So, we have that covered too with the iPad. With the new iBooks App and iBooks store (similar to Amazon's Kindle bookstore), expect to see iBooks editions of popular PMP Prep Guides.

    When you are travelling, instead of carrying 3-4 books along, all you need to carry is the lightweight iPad. The iPad will still weigh 680 gms, no matter how many eBooks you load onto it. By the way, that was supposed to be funny.

  3. PMP Exam Prep Courses

    Earn all your 35 Contact Hours of Project Management education through self-study with the PM Prepcast, right on your iPad. Though the Prepcast was originally designed for the iPhone, it should offer an even better learning experience on the iPad. Expect to see a plethora of new PMP Certification preparation courses designed specifically for the iPad.

  4. PMP Exam Simulators

    There are quite a few PMP Sample Exam Apps in the App Store. But let's admit it, taking a 4-hr long exam on the iPhone isn't a pleasant experience. The iPhone battery may not even last that long unless it's fully charged at the beginning or is connected to a power source.

    However, the experience should be totally different on the 9.7 inch display of iPad, which also boasts of a 10-hr battery life. It's going to be a great proposition for publishers offering PMP Exam Simulators. Expect to see this space burst.

  5. Online Forums

    Not only can we browse through the forums, but also participate in discussions. With a large keypad, typing shouldn't be an issue, not to mention the external keyboard option.

  6. Social Networking

    We can already access Social Networking websites on most smartphones, but the iPad is sure to transform that experience. We may not even need custom apps for each social networking site. Viewing the full (desktop version) of these sites shouldn't be a problem on the iPad. This would mean access to more features and a better user experience.

  7. Study Aids

    How about an online version of Rita Mulcahy's Process Game for the iPad? Or how about a great PMP Flashcards app? Also throw in some interactive games with drag and drop controls. Possibilities are endless.

  8. Study Notes

    We already have Evernote App on the iPhone. But who needs a custom app when we can access the full (desktop) version of Evernote, Google Docs and other applications that allow us to capture our notes online. Choose a tool of your choice and keep all your notes online. I personally use Google Docs for this purpose, but Google Docs doesn't work on the iPhone. Hopefully, it will work on the iPad.

  9. Mind Maps

    Now this is exciting. With lot of real estate to work with, drag and drop features, tapping, swiping and gestures, working with extensive Mind Maps should be a breeze.

  10. Training Videos

    We all know the volume of project management training material available on YouTube. We can even view the HD videos on YouTube on the iPad.

These are just some of my initial thoughts about the iPad. And I've only touched the tip of the iceberg. I know it has some serious limitation (no multi-tasking, no video camera, no standard USB ports, no Flash etc.), but I feel that the benefits far outweigh the flaws. I'm pretty excited about what this device offers and all the possibilities that lie ahead.

I'm eager to know what you think about it? Are you excited about this device too? What are the other possibilities that you can imagine?

Disclosure: I'm not holding any Apple stocks. Whether you buy this device or not, it's not going to make any difference to my bank balance.

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