Discussion #3 – To invest or not invest…

I think the iPad has the potential to change education, but only if it is utilized appropriately.  In one of my other classes I was looking at radio and television and its uses in education and the one consistent message that I got was the the instructors either did not have time or were not trained in how to appropriately incorporate it into their classroom.  The iPad is cool and it has good potential, but I am worried that it will meet the same fate of other types of technology. 

I think teachers need to not only need to be given appropriate training on how to effectively use iPads in the classroom, but they also need to be given time to use them in the classroom.  My impression of teachers today is that they are already cramped for time and it is getting to be more and more of a challenge for them to incorporate anything new without impacting their lesson plans or curriculum.

The good thing about iPads and the new technologies in general is that they have the power to change the way students learn.  Because of this, teachers need to be retrained on how to use these technologies effectively.  In addition, as these technologies are novel and have the power to be immersive they will take more time than traditional methods.  The immersive power of today’s technology is quite complex and cause students to learn quite differently.  The complexity of the learning, requires a lot of scaffolding, guiding and frequent check-ins, which can be quite a challenge for a teacher who has little time and resources.

If I was an EVA, I think at this point I would only invest if the product is very easy to incorporate in the classroom and cheap for schools to buy.  There is no point in investing in anything that is expensive as schools simply don’t have the budget to buy these products.  While it may be cool and innovative, I can see a school administrator looking at the price tag of a product and wonder, “What’s wrong with the old way?  Why should I spend this much if the students are going to learn the same amount of information with less time and money?”


Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps