Matt Scully (our instructional technology head) and I had a cup of coffee yesterday morning and started brainstorming the possibilities of running my AP Environmental Science classes off iPads next year….
I’m excited, but trying to get my mind around using an iPad as a portal or passport for learning environmental science. As I look at the napkin, maybe portal isn’t the right metaphor. Seems more like a Swiss Army Knife as I look at my doodle…
Is my main reason to replace printed text for my subject, now obsolete almost immediately after printing? PDF “etexts” already exist for many college texts. Digital texts with hyperlinks and animations are in the works. Some good online course content resources already exist (Hippocampus seems like an option).
Or, is the goal to harness the collaborative creative power of social media that I’m already using? Right now, my kids have to wait to go home or the computer lab if we want to access our class blogs, flickr project, etc…While social media has been great for asynchronous collaboration, how would having iPad access during our face-t0-face time change our online interactions? Can I leverage the device to shift my class to a more student-centered environment?
I guess I’m struggling with the why. Why use an iPad as an instructional tool? A Swiss Army Knife has lots of gadgets and gizmos, but sometimes you just need knife…will this just be a big distraction for kids who need to focus? Any advice?