It has been about 3 weeks since I had my iPad 2, and I must say it has been a value-adding experience for me. But rather than just to use it to read books, entertain myself with games and video clips, and perhaps take notes, I do believe that the second version of this tablet has truly more potential that is still untapped. And I believe nothing is further from the truth when it comes to the main reason why I bought this...to see its potential in education.
Some online articles mentioned about the revolution that the iPad 2 would bring into the classrooms. Well after having tried it, I think more than just about the iPad 2, the true revolution would come when a teacher actually uses it to enrich the learning (and teaching) experiences. I applaud the idea that the iPad 2 can be a catalyst, but I would also like to hold my horses back and say that the evolution and revolution in the classrooms must be seen as more than just about the emergence of A product, and for that matter, any products at all. At the end of it, IT IS about how a teacher can masterfully weave the tool, into his or her teaching experiences, and get the students to really learn.
Yes, perhaps I'm just being a wet blanket, but the truth be told, teaching is all about that added human touch by a teacher, about how he or she can skilfully and effectively encourage the students to learn...and more importantly UNCOVER the intended, or sometimes even unintended knowledge. Much like how the great innovative companies have a 20% work time policy that allows employees to work on something non-work related, I truly believe that sometimes it is that 20% of what is not the intended knowledge, that sometimes could make that difference between making a lesson, good...or GREAT!
So am I still a firm believer in using the iPad 2 to revolutize my teaching. More than just about revolutionizing, I am more of a believer in 'evolutionizing'. Yes, there is still learning that needs to be achieved, but with the tablet on our side, I believe that it just added one more tool to our arsenal, and what an arsenal it is so far!
I am still having my share of fun with the apps and possibilities available in this second variant, and my first order of the day for a real evaluation would be to 'field-test' it for my learning trip to Vietnam. The media angle definitely opens up to a wider possibility with the addition of a camera/video capability, but how can I then leverage on this to deepen the learning experiences would be something that I am looking at, thinking of, and would definitely experiment on, during the trip. But alas, there's only so much that a single mind can think of, so if you think you can help me out with apps or possibilities that I can try out during an overseas trip, please do give me sound out, be it in the 'Comments' section on this blog post, or to my email.