(Hi Nick and everyone, too many newly invented tasks to keep up with, but I'm appreciating the dialogue as always!!)
Steve's comment: "It'll simplify a lot of tasks you never had to do before"
If by Blog you mean some sort of public/semi-public reflective journal to capture reflections and thoughts (and allow feedback in the form of comments) then in some courses I can not imagine life without them. Blogging pracice is now well understood enough to get a class up to speed in 2 weeks with the basic idea - then the rest of the time to use these habits. In most cases I prefer closed blogs (ie open only to members of an LMS) (with maybe the chance to make them public) (This is in contrast to some of my buddies). It makes a difference whether the course is #2 or more in a qual, or a Capstone course or an Introducton course.
Blogs for me in some courses help simplify and deepen reflection processes and the scaffolding needed to support reflection. Just a tool. How many times have I got in the past a log or a journal or a reflection written retrospectively the night before an assignment is due? To late for interaction or feedback Blogs are owned in a different way to a forum.
You can of course use a forum. But there are clunky features alongside most forums like no tagging and no categories. You can do reflection in other ways. But I like blogs. I think this is probably the only time I have possibly held a dfferent view to you Sarah.
But would I want to use an iPad to write blogposts seriously? Or grade them? Hmm. Probably only if I was on holiday at the beach and only just for a short time. I'd leave the heavy duty input and thought to a laptop.
YOUR SECOND COMMENT: "My nagging question with the ipad -- does the lack of a separate keyboard keep its long term value for teaching and learning at bay?"
Of course the answer at the moment is yes. But with qualification.
Like saying "This little programmable calculator cannot manage C# like on a proper computer, so don't use it" In it's context a little programmable calc is wonderful.
So to with an iPad. No flash support etc etc and all.
My evidence for this includes this scene: people in groups, tables, paper, one iPad per group to surf, task, gather information when needed to assist the task at hand. Great - my first expereince of an iPad. Not the context for serious database surfing, formal assignment writing, online quizzes etc. Not the right tool for this. And I did note that I learned all I needed in 40 seconds to use the iPad.
Yes a lapotp will do all this, but the portablity of the iPad and it's unobtrusiveness and it's coolness was great. A remarkable support for this sort of work. I actually liked the outputs in paper rather than yet another lousy powerpoint.
Are they learning better because of it? Jury is out. I think maybe.
Do I think this is value for $$ and the best tool for this, and worth all the surrounding angst, a good direction for classes to go in or institutional investment? The Jury is still out. What I see is a lot of people talking about iPads the way Tigger talks about tiggers. "The wonderful thing about tiggers is that tiggers are wonderful things" (I hope the quote is accurate)
Wrong place to post this probably.
Your visual of working groups, each with an iPad for surfing and perhaps a bit more -- recording data in tables, crunching, creating quick visuals for collective examination and analytical discussion: nice....but I keep running quickly into a limitation that a keyboard/laptop design would immediately solve. So why get the in-between hardware once you have your iPhone and your laptop? I liked Derek's Tigger analogy. Agreed...I think we agree :) and yes even I still WANT one.
OK my thumbs are exhausted. Back later for more on my laptop. Big smile -- nice to be back.
Derek Chirnside wrote,
A couple of months back, I replaced my old PowerBook with a MacBook Pro ... the article below is making me question my decision and wondering if I should've waited a couple of months (although the free printer and free 3rd gen iPod Touch with the purchase was a clincher at the time).
Yes a laptop will do all this, but the portablity of the iPad and it's unobtrusiveness and it's coolness was great. A remarkable support for this sort of work. I actually liked the outputs in paper rather than yet another lousy powerpoint.
I'm not saying we have to have apple products, more pointing to this spec as it seems to meet your requirements. And maybe we'll see this type of thing in other flavours (netbooks?). It seems like the range of devices keeps on increasing rather than converging.
You can get a docking station with integral keyboard, for the iPad - for approx. $100. I'm thinking the iPad is like the saucer section of the Starship Enterprise, able to fly on its own, after a fashion, but needing to dock with either a "mother-ship" computer or keyboard/dock to be fully functional.
Ah, to go where no Mac has gone before . . .
As you say - just for fun!
Apple's little bluetooth keyboard (which I already used as my standard keyboard for my desktop iMac) will also pair with the iPad, as will any bluetooth keyboard, I believe. More flexibility in your use situation than the dock, and if you don't already have a bluetooth keyboard, you may find other uses for one once you have one.