Educational Uses of iPads: October 18-29, 2010

A quick poll

A quick poll

by Sylvia Currie -
Number of replies: 7
This is something I was wondering about today, so I thought I'd create a quick poll.
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: A quick poll

by Heidi Piltz -
I did use an iPad, indirectly: after the first several days, I managed to borrow an iPad for the duration, and used it intensively, so that I could have questions or comments to add to the mix. It was not very suitable for viewing my emails, or the SCoPE discussions, however - I preferred a larger screen with familiar on-screen behaviour.
In reply to Heidi Piltz

Re: A quick poll

by Emma Duke-Williams -
No, but I did use an iPod ... though only to read messages that had ended up in my gmail a/c, not to do any more.
In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: A quick poll

by Derek Chirnside -
I didn't use an iPad to enter into this discussion. I do my e-mail at a desk (on my desktop) or my laptop (in a cafe or somewhere with wireless) or a network computer (if I happen to be near) But I went to get an iPad to see what all the fuss was about.
Twice. And I followed up on other xpads via the blogs.
We should be thinking not "How can I do the same old stuff" but "What new stuff?" - or "old stuff MUCH BETTER".
My two dabbles:
  • once I have described elsewhere
    "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."
    http://scope.bccampus.ca/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=16148
  • and once at a conference when friend had an iPad. We were doing a debate (Technology vs humanity - which wins?? by the way). He had compiled his notes on it. Didn't need much tweaking.
    Did the last of the notes under the table during the debate. Portable. The keyboard IS OK for this level of input. No-one will want to use CS5, Indesign, write thesis on them.
    In the moving, sitting, grouping the iPad was very portable.
OK, anecdotes over.
  • The iPad is really really cool in their portable, kinesthetic, tactile, simple aspects. (Buy the way, I think the next xPad clones will be good too)
  • The xpads will be good for the different things we can do, not the same old things.
  • Lots of apps are just simple web page functionality additions, and are nothing special, but they are nice.
  • Other apps are just so nice and unique and best suited to touch screen. Little music-y things for example.
In reality, I think this is doomed to succeed for reasons of coolness alone. Even with no flash.
Here's what I think you guys could do. I have great plans for your life.
Some sort of action-resesearch coalition. Be a bit intentional about this. I say 'you' because I think it is unlikely I will have any shot at this. This is a suggestion of a long term intentional coalition on this subject.
THE SCOPE xPad RESEARCH AND APPLICATION PROJECT 2010-2011
  • Get Sylvia to ask the admins to install Forum NG here at Scope. This give a HUGE benefit. First: Drafts. You can write and save a draft. (How cool is that!!!!!!!) And: subscription at the thread level.
    This gives a decent tool for community. [I can expand on this is you like :-) ]
    I'm not sure that the way the forums are set up in standard Moodle with no subscription at the thread level will work for real big projects.
    http://moodle.org/mod/data/view.php?d=13&rid=2927
  • Now, having doubled the niceness of your Moodle @ SCOpE experieince . . . . .
  • Using the word PILOT and SYNERGY and 'MAKE OUR SCHOOL A MARKET LEADER' get some special funding to buy some iPads (or xPads) for your classes. Do a project.
  • Then set up some small action resesarch projects with your classes, basing your community of support here at ScOPE. Describe these plans (for feedback before the event) and then report on these (after the event)
  • Host little meetups once every so many weeks (I'd suggest 2-3) to capture ideas and discuss. [A thought that occurs to me is this: do webheads do this already?]
  • Along the way share your ideas on good apps etc. Get some decent protocools going: one thread per app maybe. One thread per project. Several nicely specified forms.
  • Think of these ideas: case study, intervention, story . . .
  • On a volenteer basis, each week produce a small summary of the events, plans and projects underway that gets posted. Save cluttering up inboxes with 37 posts a week. Except the threads you are deeply engaged with. Subsxcribe to them. [Hmm. Sylvia do this maybe if there are no volenteers?]
  • Write papers, have fun, push back the frontiers of ignorance.
If you mac-users or maybe better expressed as potential xpad users are really serious, this workshop question needs a long term community framework container/structure to really work with this questions are xPads any good? (probably yes) or how to use xPads? (Hard). In this workshop we are really just like theoreticians sitting around pondering with a few people reporting back having stroked the wonderful screens. I also think forget the sad sad apple vs Flash for now, or at least leave it to others.
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: A quick poll

by Nick Noakes -
or another question ... What are the emergent practices that are productive for learning and teaching using xPads/TouchTablets? ... whataever they end up getting called.
In reply to Nick Noakes

Re: A quick poll

by Sarah Haavind -
Good question, Nick. Along with Derek's image suggested earlier, I picture small groups problem solving (engineering, physics, advanced math, say) with their one 'pad per group, but that everyone in the class can view all the 'pads in the room via LAN (picture "F3" like command) and thus easily share multiple approaches to reaching solutions or course corrections or progress -- thus collaboration operates on the small group level but also more easily in expanding circles among the small groups. Think knowledge creation (Bereiter, 2002 here: http://www.ikit.org/people/bereiter.html#publications) or Kafai, Peppelr, & Chapman, 2009: The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities).

I have been recently involved in a number of projects where we are being invited by the RFPs to think back 30 years (not explicitly, but by implication) to early software creation (for Apple 11es, for example) and technology-based curriculum creation (like TERC's Global Lab or GLOBE) where interdisciplinary learning, the arts, and making connections are key to new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) curriculum design. Where Global Lab used to mail out single use cameras to every site worldwide to take pictures for posting and sharing over the internet, now an indestructible ipad in the field can serve to gather data from USB attached probes (ph, temp, velocity), imaging, DRAWING, accessing GIS data about the field site -- imagine if when google Earth or maps replaces satellite images, it makes the older images of the same site accessible, and 50 years from now you could play the "slideshow" of any local site as part of those tools...

Then back at the lab or schoolsite, everything collected and accessed at the field site could be crunched and organized for analysis and presentation on a better appointed computer.

We have easy access now to so much data and information, it's time to share the power and strategies of new knowledge creation with everyone...which brings me back to the helpful exchange here on the story about ipads rejecting Flash and where Jobs might be pointing us with this initially puzzling move. Thanks to Derek and others who have contributed to that clarification! I am thinking it's a good move after all -- speaking of Apple 11e's, it's not like we haven't left useful stuff behind already, replacing them with so much better tools. Lower power usage is a good idea for so many reasons. Even if it creates some inequity in the near future, in the farther future, pushing in that direction will create more equity it seems to me now -- and meanwhile, more jobs for programmers who need to shift everything Flash to simpler HTML-based apps. :) I am beginning to frame the move as more like McDonalds and Starbucks selling fair trade coffee and making cups and other packaging out of recycled materials and soy rather than new paper and plastic....there is potential for big impacts and more equitable solutions in the long run.

Sarah
In reply to Sarah Haavind

Re: A quick poll

by Sarah Haavind -
As for the poll, I haven't got mine yet -- but the holidays are coming. Also, on the subject of this poll, I was accused of being "over 40" (it's worse than that, just do the math on my previous post about "30 years ago" already engaged in this work) when I shared my view about the lack of keyboard "problem" at a face-to-face meeting. The 30-somethings in the room were not daunted by the on-screen keyboarding at all. Hummmm, I'm not convinced, but it made me curious. Having both an iphone and a Mac Air, I felt informed enough to form/share my opinions already -- but in the spirit of transparency, I admit, I haven't held an ipad yet...and I realize that app-development is nascent.
Sarah
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Derek's plan for us

by Sylvia Currie -
I'm popping in very quickly here... I'm away from my home office this week for a series of exciting meetings and workshops with colleagues across the province. It's difficult to keep up with the online world, even with an iPad! :-)

I love this community. Here you are keeping the seminar discussion lively even though our facilitator had to step away to recover (Brent will be back) and the schedule says we were supposed to end last week. And better yet, you're planning ways to continue this dialogue and improve our experience here in SCoPE.

Derek suggested we try out ForumNG. I've just been reading about it and wow, it sounds fantastic. I've put in a request to get it installed here in SCoPE. For continuing the SCoPE xPad project we could set up a special interest group.

Anyway, just want you to know I'm taking all of this in but just haven't had a minute to get myself to a keyboard long enough to compose (and complete!) a form post. :-)

In keeping with the SCoPE tradition of just letting this happen, carry on!