From TechLearning.com - An intelligent and reasoned argument by Dean Shareski about not whether the iPad is suitable to education BUT how the iPad and the expectations that come with them are changing the ways that we think about using technology in the educational setting - What are the new Possibilities?
While many would argue against it as purely a consumption device, the addition of a camera, creation software such as iMovie and Garageband, as well as keyboard enhancements means it offers some of the best creative applications for education.
This isn’t really about the iPad as much as it is making computing easier. Those pioneers of educational computing such as Seymour Papert and Gary Stager argue for the transformational use of computers. Computers should be imagination machines. The conversations I’ve had recently with teachers and administrators suggest, they are beginning to see more possibilities. It’s making it very easy to advance the conversation to consider how technology might make learning different. Partly it’s due to the fact that everyone seems to be on a level playing field. There is no iPad curriculum, at least not yet, I hope never. Much like the Hole in the Wall experiment, everyone seems to sense, there’s something interesting here and are willing to explore and play. That exploration is naturally facilitating conversations I’ve not seen generating before.
Another reason there is increased conversations is because the form factor allows users to more easily manipulate and “own” the device. No longer are users dependant on a keyboard and mouse as the primary input device but can have a more intimate experience with content and ideas. The keyboard served as a prosthesis, the iPad and other touch devices eliminates the middle man. Teachers are asking about how to create content for the iPad. The epub format in particular has enormous potential. The development of homegrown textbooks is within grasp.
These possibilities have indeed existed for years. Open source software offered similar hope but for the most part, the learning curves were not overcome by the masses. Those who have been the creators and makers using technology are generally the ones who have persevered and were willing to put in the time to be successful. Beauty and quality will still take time and sweat to create but I believe the iPad represents new hope more than ever before. At least I hoping so.