(image source: http://www.ninjamarketing.it)
When I was in high school, we lugged really heavy and expensive textbooks around e.g. Gardner’s Art through the Ages (Amazon link), our backs bearing their combined weight during our commute. Now in 2011, a student’s life is being transformed to adapt to the digital age (at last). As we’ve seen since the advent of the iPad, the first early adopting schools have started paving the way for integrating the devices in classrooms all over the world. Will our children grow up in a world where costly printed textbooks and heavy uberdimensional bookbags are a thing of the past?
It certainly looks so. The news that iPads will be provided to Kindergardeners in Maine USA broke last week, in my view a natural and necessary step forward in early education. Here in Europe, there are already pilot projects in schools in Austria and Germany that equip highschoolers with the iOS device. Now I’ve stumbled across the article One Year Later: assessing the impact of iPads in Education (link), which explores several reasons why the iPad will fundamentally impact education.
As author Sam Gliksman points out, the iPad in Education has a lot going for it. The device is light and handy, turns on instantly, is less expensive than a laptop and easy to use. Moreover he notes its capacity to present audiovisual media and the promising potential it holds for special needs children or the creation of content. He also acknowledges that we’re early in the game and that there’s a lot to be done especially in the digitizing of textbooks and the development of specialized and customized apps for schools and their individual curricula.
I can speak from my own experience that using the iPad to study and do research feels like the way it was always supposed to be done. Information at your fingertips, literally. Visually stimulating, fun to use and handy and lightweight. I almost wish I could go to high school again and experience it with an iPad! Can you imagine holding all your textbooks AND your homework in one device?
I’d definitely recommend you read the original piece quoted in this blog post: One Year Later: assessing the impact of iPads on education (8 April 2011)
His website can be found here: http://ipadeducators.ning.com where you can find lots of resources on education and e-learning.