A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rethinking the iPad

People at work have an absurd idea that I'm this all-knowing iPad guru so they come to me with all kinds of iPad questions expecting that I actually have the answer. Worst still, they come to me for a consult when they want to buy one. I keep thinking that one day I will be exposed as the fraud that I am but so far so good.

(It's a bit like sin methinks when you think you're not such a bad person because compared to some other people I'm actually not that bad. In fact, some may even think I'm nice... But they don't know me as I know me or as God knows me.... but I digress..).

So I'm hardly an iPad expert... but admittedly I do love 'em. At work, I'm the official iPad indoctrinator... it's my job to spread the word and the joy that iPads are the best thing since fried rice... well, maybe not quite...

I've spent a lot of time thinking and reading about iPads in education lately and I'm a bit of a convert to the fact that when properly used, iPads are a great educational tool. There are thousands of apps for things that most people don't even think of but as a learning device, there is a lot of untapped potential to promote literacy. It gets a bit of a bad rep for being a consumer device but actually with some thought, it can be used for creative collaborative multi-modal learning. And I'm not even talking about "education" apps either.

Although I personally love technology, I'm actually old school about education and I used to think of iPads purely as a distraction. However, in recent months as a multimedia device, it can have wide application for the macro skills -- reading, listening, reading and writing. The iPad camera itself can be a brilliant educational tool for creating learning opportunities for producing language and building narrative skills.

Obviously I'm not saying that children can't learn without iPads... of course they can. As long as we keep producing books and teaching them to read, they will. But with iPads, they can create their own books and make their own movies. Digital literacy can help reinforce conventional literacy.

Notice I didn't even mention the word "game" once...

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