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iPad2: teaching possibilites

03 Mar

“I want that and it’s affordable!”

Beyond this thought, I was also thinking along the lines of, “How can I use that in the classroom?  How can others use that in the classroom?  How can it be used beyond the classroom?”

These are some of my thoughts:

  • Use it like the ipad video displays with someone in front of the classroom with the iPad hooked up to a TV.  It is basically like a computer hooked up to an overhead projector.
  • Use it as an electronic textbook.  Forget the Kindle, which seems to be only that.  The iPad can do this and so much more.  Why not have everyone download the next book in the series the teacher is guiding the class to read?  Saves paper.  Better yet, many books online these days are more interactive than just reading.  Students also have the ability to rate and comment on books, which gives other readers a possibly more informed opinion about such text
  • As an administrator or tech coordinator, forget going out and buying all new portable labs for the students.  These are the new portable computer labs.  Make sure there is enough wifi available in the school and allow for more electrical outlets in the classrooms, libraries, study areas and lounges.  (Don’t forget the teacher’s lounge as well)
  • Science teacher? Art teacher? History teacher? These new devices with their camera capabilities are now mobile data collection devices.  Not only are they great for taking pictures of needing sources, but they quickly have applications like Word, Excel and too many others to mention at the tip of your fingers to add, configure and consolidate said data.
  • Going on a field trip?  Don’t forget your iPads.  These little creatures will add a whole abundance of knowledge to wherever you plan to explore. Have students search for information on the fly as they encounter everything from new flora and fauna, to extra specs about the T-Rex they are viewing, to what is really happening on the assembly line in the Toyota plant, since you can’t hear the guide.
  • What about content creation itself? With the advent of multi-touch, product developers who create Photoshop, Garageband, iWorks and so many more have to rethinking how people are interacting with the programs in order to make work-flow more intuitive.  The mouse changed things years ago, but the surfaces and abilities to use them in different ways will probably allow for undreamed of possibilities in the creation arena.

A recent Reed College report:

After extensive student interviews throughout the Fall 2010 semester, “The bottom line feeling was that the Amazon Kindle DX was not adequate for use in a higher education curricular setting,” Chief Technology Officer Martin Ringle tells Fast Company. “The bottom line for the iPad was exactly the opposite.”

The most impressive iPad feature was also the simplest: a smooth scrolling touchscreen. “The quick response time of the touch screen was highly praised and seemed to be extremely beneficial in class discussions because it allowed students to navigate rapidly between texts to reach specific passages,” notes the report.

Some questions that were recently brought up at an ISTEC meeting are worth considering:

  • Is your school allowing students to use tablets or slates? Will you be?
  • Do you have policies regarding the tablets ans slates?
  • Do you think it will be a replacement for laptops?
  • How do you support slate technology?
  • Are schools allowed to scan in textbooks that they have already paid for?
  • Is there site licensing for apps? – ANSWER: No, in Asia and anywhere not North America schools seem to be buying one app and sharing it.  However, this seems to be highly illegal.
  • Buy and app and you can use 5 machines – 21st Century Learning conference mentioned this

Some notes from the same meeting were:

  • Tablets do not seem to be using major bandwidth versus laptops (in Cambodia)
  • Laptops seem to be used more for creating, versus iPhones, iPads, iPodsthat are used for consuming
  • Apple iPad seems to have the advantage over the other tablets due to educational software that is available.  However, from an administrative point of view, the apps are lacking in support and management.  Apple users can install parallels in order to be able to use PC softwares.

Paul White recommended a great area for sharing called http://www.Appolicious.com

With that said, I see no reason to not try out the iPad2 for myself and for education.  Woot!

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