I am not going to tell you about performance compared to another model or discuss the merits if a million pixels if a variety of colours… I’m just going to say how I have been using the iPad mini over the last week and the difference it has made to me as a teacher.
Firstly, it is so much lighter, strange that that would have an impact but it does, I can simply hold it in one hand and type away without getting arm ache after a while. I’m not saying it is a reason to dump a full size iPad but it does make a difference, especially for me as I rarely sit at a desk to teach. The portability allows me to respond to teachers questions on emails or mark student work, whilst being out away from my office.
Secondly, it does everything the full size iPad does but the battery does not appear to drain as quick, after a full day of showing videos, recording students practically working, marking work and giving feedback, I still have plenty of battery left. Again not a massive reason to get one but it does make it easier to plan your sessions without thinking about when it might need a charge or will it last till l get back to the office.
From a student point of view, do I think it would be a valuable tool for them in the classroom? Definitely
It is big enough to use to type on and be creative? I have fairly large clumsy fingers and I cope okay, so students should be fine.
It is also small enough that it can slip into a pocket and doesn’t take up any room at all in a bag (our students tend to not have the latter so the pocket thing is important)

All in all it has not changed my practice but has made it a little easier, if you are thinking of getting an iPad and not sure which to go for. I would opt for the mini as I am a sports teacher and it is more portable.

So there, my simple and brief review.