About this blog

Students can feel constrained by ways of communicating and learning that seem opaque and fixed because they are permeated with norms never made explicit, knowledge they do not share, or the language of others.

Janette Ryan and Rosemary Viete
Respectful interactions: learning with international students in the English-speaking academy.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Teaching with iPads: Beyond the Shiny Surface

I have to admit right up front that I am not disinterested in seeing the very positive aspects of teaching students with mobile technology - and iPads in particular. My role as an Education Technology Manager in an iPad Project needs me to be an advocate for the investment in time, money and resources so far expended. But before I took on this role, I was teaching Literature to nine different tutorial groups of English language learners a week, and I used my iPad in almost every class - sometimes frequently, other times not at all. If you are interested in reading more about this pilot, look at the blog, and the recent report on the six month pilot, here.

My use of the iPad in the classroom has been wholly dependent on the learning task I have designed. It is never just about using the technology, and any good teacher will tell you that about any learning technology. The number of times I have read negative comments from people on blogs, and in response to positive articles about iPads in classrooms, arguing that the iPad is just a shiny toy deployed by Apple to take over the world, are not comments from teachers who have actually made a good effort to teach with one.

Here are five of the top reasons I love teaching with the iPad, and just a note, we have a reliable dedicated WiFi network for the iPads at our college.