Today, at TAPA, I have been relegated (between classes) to syncing up all the iPads for our school (there are about 70 of them) in an attempt to have them ready by the end of the week for our students to use in accord with their classes.
I’d be remiss to not mention that the iPads are INCREDIBLE tools for any classroom.
Our science teacher has things like a ‘virtual frog dissection’ app, and a ‘model brain’ app that you can pull apart with your fingertips.
Our math teacher has EVERY formula grid you could ever wish for.
Our Chinese teacher (me) even has some app’s that allow you to practice writing/drawing Mandarin characters with your finger. We are in a digital age – and education eats it up.
Since we are a small school, it’s possible to have the iPads placed into individual students’ hands during the day. We have enough for the population. Alas, these powerful tools are not available for many schools.. at all. They are expensive – although I am aware Apple Inc. does a very fair amount of discounting prices for educational purposes – they are technological devices, something that rarely comes with a cheap price tag.
What saddens me a bit is that this kind of technology is available to the busy business-man, or moderately wealthy man who enjoys using this technology as a digital book (which is a whole other can of worms for me) or as something to play ‘Angry Birds’ on to kill time on his commute to work everyday. That’s all fine and good – these things are nothing short of miraculous when you consider how technology has advanced in the last 20 years. However – shouldn’t such technology be pressed, with more energy and fervor, into the world of academics and science? Schools, for the most part, are poor. They don’t have the ability of most high-powered for-profits to place these little gems into their workers hands for meeting purposes (when maybe a pad and pencil might suffice?) My argument may have holes (my knowledge of Apple‘s behavior as a world-wide company is unfortunately skewed) but after seeing the possibilities that these electronic support-systems hold for the educational sector, I have to make a plea for making them as easily available as possible for anyone with enough respect to use them as they should be. As a means to an educational end! After watching the aforementioned video from TED about video teaching – these iPads (literally, portable computers you can hold in one hand) are the wave of the teaching future, in my humble opinion. Education, in general, is left to begging politicians and government departments for the funds to merely RUN a school, let alone have access to such technology that would enhance this new age of students coming into our schools. I suppose I’m starting to touch on a topic that is moreover a rant and whine about the negligence of our education system in America – so I’ll cut myself short. But if you’re lucky enough to own one of these iPads, you must realize the opportunity schools could have in using said magic in the classroom.
… As long as Angry Birds doesn’t sneak onto those bad boys.