I see potential for a powerful personal education tool. Gone are the days of “losing” your homework or not being able to refer back to a particular worksheet in order to complete an assignment. The iPad gives you the ability to recall anything that you’ve worked on. For now it seems they are mostly used as a supplement to worksheets or regular computers, but I see more potential than just a portable word processor. I see potential for specific lessons and labs that could be done exclusively within the iPad.
I’m making these predictions whilst looking past the shiny novelty and hype that often times captures hearts and minds. It’s important for me to keep my perspective. If something isn’t a useful tool to bring into the classroom then no amount of new buttons, higher mega pixel cameras, or faster processor speeds can remedy that.
In their current state, most public schools in the State of Washington are not equipped with wifi and therefore can’t utilize any sort of tablet PC or mobile device that requires an internet connection. And in an age where wifi is available in every McDonald’s and coffee shop from the Atlantic to the Pacific this is a sad state of affairs. Because what is the internet if not the most powerful research tool in the history of mankind? At most when I go into classrooms I am able to expose students to technology allowing them to cultivate skills that are potentially useful when seeking employment as adults. At least, my job is validated by showing the students(and teachers) how you can utilize technology with science education and the overall potential for the growth in education.
The voters and lawmakers of tomorrow need to be educated that learning doesn’t need to be only the read, memorized and regurgitate style that has been prevalent since the 1950s. There is potential for growth in our educational system and teaching our young people how to become life long learners.