Yes, the iPad *will* transform education

…but not in the way you think it might.

There’s been a bunch of chatter about how Apple’s iPad might “transform” education. Here’s a couple posts to that effect:

THEY’RE ALL MISSING THE POINT.

An article in THE Journal, Measuring the iPad’s Potential for Education discusses iPad’s potential as a new publishing and development platform. The fact that it has it’s own software development kit will help to make it impactful in education, creating a new platform for educational apps to come to the market.

iPad on Tanmay's jeans

cc: flickr.com/photos/neuralchaos

BUT, the *real* change, in my opinion, is that (to use Steve Job’s words), the iPad is a “post-PC device”. By design, it extracts/elevates itself from the world of personal computing into *something different*. It changes the game in terms of how users (students) interact with it, how they access content and communicate with each other. You do not need to know how to use a computer in order to use an iPad, and that’s the point. Love it or hate it, it’s revolutionary. It’s changing the way that people use computers. It’s changing the way people learn.

This can be quite liberating. If an instructor or student doesn’t have to worry about how their device works (provided that it does work), maybe we can get on with what’s really important – teaching and learning.

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Here’s what I learned from #a4a10

Coming down from a conference high. #a4a10 – Aiming for Accessibility: meeting standards, making change was a tremendous event. Congratulations and thanks to the speakers, attendees, organizers and sponsors.

Word clouds from the event:

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Here’s (some of) what I learned and was inspired by:

  • “Meeting the requirements of the AODA really isn’t the goal in itself…we need to nurture a culture of accessibility and inclusion, which is different than simply accommodation and compliance.” (Mike Ridley)
  • Chronic conditions are the health care challenge of the 21st century.
  • Accessibility means revenue. People with disabilities are an untapped resource.
  • Apple & Accessibility
  • WAVE toolbar
  • D2L & Accessibility
  • Accessible Course Templates cc: No Rights Reserved License)
  • Vanilla Ice references have a place at most conferences (e.g. “Stop. Collaborate and Listen”, “If there’s a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.”)
  • Simply Accessible (Derek Featherstone). Design ideas for disabilities.
  • “It’s more than getting into the interface. It’s about being able to participate.” (Stephen Hockema)
  • Good design is accessible design.

See you next year!

Maybe the iPad *is* what I want?

I’ve been ruminating about the announcement of the coming of Apple’s new iPad.

Worst name ever for a device. Period. Moving on…

I bought a netbook last year, thinking it would fill a certain void in my life. I want something I can take notes on at meetings and conferences, reference sites and gather emails. I’ve tried, and the netbook’s not it. It’s slow, the screen is poor, the battery is weak, and the keyboard is too small.

I don’t think I’m alone here. For students, I think the iPad would be a good solution for note-taking and research.

Unless y’all can think of a better solution…?