Originally Posted by Orlando
What you are describing, whilst cool, is really the benefit of introducing computers to the classroom rather than specifically the iPad. I love my iPad and often type quick emails and other messages on it, but if I was typing something longer liked an essay for school I'd prefer a proper keyboard. Schools are probably better off providing laptops instead of iPads.
Yes! A lot of what you say is true! Especially introduction of computers in the classroom:
The first computer/lab classroom was installed in June of 1980 at Saratoga High School Saratoga, CA. It included 7 Apple ][ computers sharing a 5 Megabyte Hard Disk. AIR, the installation cost $25,000.
Among other things, the instructor was able to monitor a student's computer activity and guide/assist him.
In the late 1980's, a similar capability was used at the US Army Command and Control College in Fort Leavenworth, KS. This installation was 100 color, large-screen computers on 10 LANS, each LAN with a 40 Megabyte shared Hard Disk. It cost $1 million.
These were highly specialized installations, used for very specialized instruction.
AFAICT, while many of today's classrooms may
have several computers in each classroom, they are used infrequently. The bulk are still in specialized "computer labs" and limited to certain subjects and certain instructors.
My granddaughter just entered HS, and was debating a laptop or an iPad for school use (both are available at home). At orientation. her Mother asked which was recommended... The answer: "neither-- no electronic devices allowed in the classroom."
What I was trying to describe was a goal or an ideal -- a portion of a typical school day where a non-threatening technology is powerful, ubiquitous and familiar-- and is used comfortably/naturally by all teachers and students
. It wound require little or no training and be as natural as a pencil and paper. It could be used for testing, studying, homework assignment, preparation and submission.
I don't believe classroom computers have met the above ideals.
I don't believe that giving a laptop to every teacher and every student will meet those ideals.
I agree that I would want to prepare an essay using a proper keyboard (and maybe a proper computer).
There still will be a need for classroom computers and specialized computer labs.
That doesn't detract from the other things an iPad
(or any similar tablet with hidden complexity) can do better.
The student and teacher can load up the device with the work and study material. The student takes it anywhere-- everywhere. If he needs a drawing/writing tablet, he always has on with him-- with an infinite supply of paper, pens, paints, etc. More exacting dewing needs (drafting, etc.) can be done with an inexpensive stylus.
They aren't just replacing textbooks, rather books, reference libraries, A/V materials, and the information on the web.
IF HMH is successful in these trials-- they will change Education!
A high school student will have 1 book-like device -- no workbooks, homework handouts, tests, class pictures, yearbooks, etc.
If he breaks or loses it-- he gets another.
If a Law or Medical student needs 3 "books" open at once -- he borrows additional devices from a pool.
Gone will be warehouses of textbooks and supplies and the infrastructure and costs to staff and maintain them.
Home for the holidays, and you need a text (you forgot to checkout from the library)-- tap the BookStore icon and grab it instantly.
You can argue that you could do all these things with a laptop! Yes, you could,
but, you wouldn't...
And, you haven't!
As I mentioned at the start of this rant, much this has been possible
since the 1980s-- but it isn't happening today!
I think that to happen it needs to be practical
At $500, the iPad can satisfy both criteria...