How the iPad will change education by Nick La Fountain

tug of the screen by woodleywonderworks

After the original iPad was released (back in 2010), one of my students wrote the following blog post about how the iPad will change education. 

How will the iPad change education? By Nick La Fountain

There has been a lot of talk around my campus about becoming a 1:1 school. In this vision we imagine each student owning a mobile device and integrating this device into curriculum. In the past our thoughts were limited to tablets, laptops and netbooks. While each has their pros and cons, neither really stood out as a clear winner. With the advent of the Apple iPad, it appears that there may be an opportunity to take our ideas to the next level.

As Rob Reynolds points out, the iPad could be prove to be a real game changer. According to Reynolds, the benefit of a tablet like device include the following (This blog excerpt was written by Rob Reynolds on the topic of 21st Century Learning):

“They are about productivity — Learning is about doing and, increasingly, about doing both in and out of the traditional classroom. In the 21st century, learning is contextual and promotes engaging students in real-life applications. This means learning on-the-go but with all of the necessary materials and digital tools necessary for their tasks. A phone isn’t quite up to the task and a laptop isn’t exactly mobile. A tablet is the perfect device.

They are about convergence — E-readers will not take hold in education because tablets will negate their usefulness and appeal. An e-reader is a single-use machine and a fairly limited one at that. The tablet, on the other hand, will support e-textbooks — Web-based and offline — color, Web productivity, and a whole host of other media, content creation, and communication options. The tablet can serve many functions and the e-reader only one. We want convergence when it makes sense and the convergence offered by tablet devices will appeal to educational users.

They are about mobility — Make no mistake about it — tablets are mobile devices. They will run mobile apps, have mobile contracts in some cases, and be designed for productivity on-the-move. They are perfect for augmented reality applications, distributed learning, and student success tools.

They are about price and availability — Tablets will allow users to have the functionality they want at a price they can afford. More importantly, they will usher in a new era of learning material distribution and subscription models for textbooks. The net result will be lower education costs across the board.

They are about community — Tablets are mobile devices that connect users to one another. Learning, particularly in the 21st century, is a community-based activity. Enough said (2010).”

It’s clear that the benefits to this new device need to be explored and taken into consideration when planning something like a 1:1 campus. I have already signed up to attend a couple of workshops based on this idea and my administration would like me to purchase a couple of iPad’s to test on the campus.

[jbb] I added the following comment to the blog post:
I, obviously, agree with your belief that this could really change things when it comes to the role of tech in the classroom going beyond just one:one computing, but the whole textbook industry built on a scarce-resources model, 8am – 3pm education, etc. I started writing about this when the first Amazon Kindle came out and then when the larger DX arrived. The iPad changes things to a great degree in that it is more general purpose and can be the perfect mobile LMS.


About the Author:
Nick La Fountain is a graduate of Full Sail University’s Education Media Design Technology Masters’ program and works in Salinas, CA as a Technology Director at Palma School.