This year I received the best Christmas present, a shiny new iPad. My entire family pulled off a great surprise to give me the big gift of the holiday. I believe my initial reaction was jumping up and down and shouting. With great restraint, I tried to avoid playing with my new toy all day and did actually spend the day with them. The next day however, I spent the whole day exploring how I could use this new tool.
My first reason for wanting an iPad was to use it for my assessment management. It allows me to keep running records and instantly import assessment data directly to my online grade book. I appreciate the instantaneous nature of it as well as the lack of paper needed to keep records. It allows me to be more accountable to my students for providing accurate and thoughtful feedback.
Three weeks in and many visits to the App Store later, I have found a great number of resources to provide me professional growth (TED) and mindless entertainment (Jeopardy). I can move easily between reading a classic (The Scarlet Letter downloaded from the app store), a piece of history (The Constitution app), or profound (YouVersion Bible). I have started using new productivity tools (Evernote) and am able to access my pln blogs (Reeder) with the click of a button and a good wifi signal. (I did not get the 3G plan and this is a mistake. If one is getting an iPad, please get the 3G, otherwise it can be rendered an expensive electronic with stunted functionality.)
I have read a number of articles recently purporting both the positives and negatives of iPad use in schools (see below). I can absolutely see both sides of the coin. It is too early in my adoption of the device to be even remotely thoughtful on the subject. I’m still in the “this is cool” stage. But, I hope to decipher how this teeny piece of metal and computer chips can make my life more productive, my professional practice more efficient, and provide for a bit of fun. Once this is more concrete in my mind, I will be able to effectively reflect on how I believe this device can be transformational.
Articles to peruse with my many thanks for my PLN pals, known and unknown.
Cultural Shifts when using iPads
iPads for Children’s Creativity
Tech Won’t Change Education (I really appreciate Larry Cuban’s candor)