Academic Digital Event

The iPad – A Game Changer for E-Learning? // Graham Brown-Martin // #jiscel10

The article by Graham Brown Martin prepared for the #jiscel10 conference is fascinating, particularly having reviewed one recently, and finding that others want to use it, but because of the way iTunes works, it has been personalised to me, and I don’t particularly want people being able to use my email, etc. I have picked out some of the sections that particularly stood out for me:

The fact is that the office metaphor doesn’t work anymore, it’s just not relevant to the way most people now wish to see their lives. Why do we need to have a “computer” with an “operating system” that we must master with endless “applications and drivers” to configure and so on? As I wondered out loud in a recent volley on one of the Becta research lists – why do I need a bulky lump of tech with a lardy OS when I just want to surf, write, look and listen? If a computer is really advanced then anyone should be able to use it without any formal training.

This razor blade business model of constantly buying bloated operating systems, massive applications, managed services and an industry that exists to show you how to switch it all on and off has got to be heading for the cemetery.

So can I carry out most of my day to day work using an iPad?…

In a few short weeks I’ve found that my iPad, like a sort of transitional love object, is rarely far from my finger tips. But here lies a new problem. The iPad is intended as a personal device, it’s not easily adaptable for sharing. Friends, family and interested bystanders who want to hold and test the device have access to my private email, social media accounts, etc. There is no “guest account” and from what I understand nothing on the horizon although a printing App is coming soon. If this really is a new, third category of device between the smart phone and the laptop then guest or multiple accounts is a must.

The most surprising aspect of her immediate use of the iPad was an instantaneous understanding of how to operate it without any instruction at all. Of course, she’d had the experience of using Apps on her iPhone but that also required no instruction and the skills were completely transferable but how she used the iPad as a consequence of the size of the screen was different and noticeably better.

Not as qualified… to say how valuable this new device is to the learning and teaching process after all until it’s used as a tool it is just an inanimate piece of tech. It’s usefulness will surely depend upon how it’s deployed

Yet schools in some parts of the country and indeed HHL Girls own school where she is due to join this September are ill-prepared for this generation. They are still preoccupied with interactive white boards, ICT suites, keyboarding skills, learning platforms, educational software that is so boring your grandmother would die using it… Some will be unlucky and will risk being a generation lost to somnambulism at best or Ritalin at worst, accused of being disruptive because they can not contain their desire to learn.

Other stories about the iPad on here (including a review as an educational tool).

By Digital Fingerprint

Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture  in the third sector (especially faith). Author of 'Raising Children in a Digital Age', regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.

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