Sunday, April 4, 2010

iPADS at a College - Learning Implications

I write, design, and create webpages for several of my classes at Skidmore College and use these websites to deliver content. Consequently, some of my first stops on the iPad were my class websites to judge (a) the accessibility of the material (text, images, and sound files) and (b) whether I needed to rethink my pages. Somewhat to my surprise, I found that the material was even more accessible on the iPad than on a desktop.

The principle reason lies in the addicting interface of the screen. Using the iPad in portrait mode, most of my pages appear complete rather than in the landscape mode where I have to scroll through them. In the classroom, I often have to scroll up and down for students when talking about recordings where the dates of a recording appear at the top of the file and the text of a song might be at the bottom.

And then I began to re-imagine my classroom. How would a group of students, all using iPads, be able to interact with the learning materials?

I’m not totally na├»ve. I know that a few members of my class might at any one point in time be checking their email or giving an update on Facebook; but they can already do that on their laptops (and have done so). However, in an interactive classroom, this situation might be different. As with the game Labyrinth (which is available for the iPad), I can challenge them in real time in a way that is both instructive and fun. Instead of the famous scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where Ben Stein mutters, “Anyone, anyone…,” imagine a class competitively Goggling the name of the Rolling Stones’ producer in 1964. The future of educational technology lies in a student’s ability to access information quickly and accurately. Perhaps when planning my syllabi in the future, I’ll be able to say, “I’ve got an app for that.”

1 comment:

  1. Hi there

    As a graduate student of Distance Education and a Corporate Development technical analyst I am very curious to find out / see what you do with the IPAD.

    I would love to see programs like adobe captivate work on the IPAD for presentations.