I have been lucky enough to see many revolutionary changes in technologies over my life. There have been four main phases that I see critical in the past 15 years or so to me. The first; The world wide web giving access to information just with one click, the digital music revolution, the introduction of the iPhone and now the second wave of the iPad. What ever your thoughts and feeling toward Apple, with out them the technological world we now all reside would be a completely different landscape. Has the iPad changed the face of contemporary computing, some don’t think so, but ask any person that owns one and they talk about how it has changed the way they interact with technology. Within the next few years desktop computing will become a specialist field. Tablet computing is revolutionsing the industry. But where does this fit into education?
Salman Khan is the driving force behind the Khan Academy. It is a series of educational videos which offers fully conceived curriculum all of which can be viewed on YouTube. The concept behind this is very simple, get students to watch video tutorials at home and allow school time for deep exploratory learning. What Khan highlights is the amazing empowering features that technologies allow for educators. Technology can and should be used to engage learning. There needs to be a key fundamental change of how educators view technology in their classrooms.
The iPad is truly a mobile learning device. The fundamentally idea for all educators is to engage our learners. What some educators are missing is the way Apple has marketed their products. Don’t see many people with a zune do you? The iPad is the same, give a student a iPad and watch them go nuts! Everyone wants one. Every time I walk around with mine you can clearly see people focus on it and wonder how or what I am using it for. FEAR is what stops most educators, fear of what? Go with it, every time I have implemented any use of web 2.0 its been a learning experience for all not just students. We are a community of learners, gone are the days of the all-knowing sage at the front of the class. What we do is authentic and we discover it together as a collective whole. The iPad is the device that engages the creativity, passion and enthusiasm that I know exists in all students. The problem is that schools try to stop this! How many of our students are using different ways of accessing information through social media and the like. They come to school and it doesn’t occur like that! Our job is to promote responsible digital citizenship and give students the platform to use technology to explore their creative possibilities. We need to use the iPad in enhancing our students learning experience.