This is the situation: as I mentioned in my previous post, I am participating at an FLC at my institution. The FLC has its own budget, that the directors decide what to use it for, but each member receives $500 in professional development funds. It can be used for almost anything related to my profession (except a computer/laptop), without having to justify it (so, for example, I could buy books and DVDs for my own research if I wanted, professional memberships, etc). You can also buy an Ipad if you want. Here is the trick. For most items, you purchase them and you get reimbursed. For the Ipad, though, you have to go through some Purchasing Office at the University, and they buy it for you. They will either buy an 16 GB Ipad2 for $399, or a 16GB Ipad 3rd generation for $499. Those are the choices. In addition, for some administrative reason, you can't put money out of your own pocket to buy the Ipad. Therefore, you can't say "I'll buy development material and then I'll get the Ipad if I want and pay the difference".
When I first heard of the possibility of buying an Ipad, I got all excited. Cool, and Ipad for free!!! But then I started thinking. I want it more like a new toy than anything else. I am sure there are plenty of things I can do with it in my teaching and research. But are they really worth spending all that professional development money in it? I am not sure. I don't have to decide now, I have a year to spend that money. What do you think? Would you buy an Ipad or spend the money on other materials? Why? Any input will be greatly appreciated.