Ipads and teaching: some literature and thoughts

Blue bar

There is now a "dummies" book on using iPads in schools and colleges! Sam Gliksman, iPad in Education for Dummies (2013). The book promises:

In a recent post, I mentioned some ways that I thought Ipads could be especially useful in the classroom. Apple is very active in encouraging educators to adopt Ipads, but you know what happens when educators require students to have Ipads--there is an explosion of gaming and social media-ing. (See, Devin Leonard, The iPad Goes to School)

IPads in Education - Exploring the use of iPads and mobile devices in schools and colleges

No doubt that iPads can be a far cheaper alternative that sitting students in front of desktops or even laptops in the classroom. It is really easy for students to watch videos; and they can do some quick exams or surveys, and they can even quickly work together on typing up some things. I'd like to see more students actually show up in class with iPads to see how they are working out.

Check this out, All Full-time Hood Students Will Receive an Apple iPad. Wonder why and what they will be expected to do with the device besides playing fantasy football, watching the Walking Dead or sending Instagrams? And there was also something in the Washington Post that the new superintendent of Fairfax County Schools wants all students to have an iPad. Again, what are the concrete goals and objectives.

Well, I finally got an Ipad from our college, since I am involved in mobile learning. In about a month's time, I've probably used it no more than ten minutes (just to see how my new assignments worked on a Ipad). I do plan on making more use of it as I do some more course developing. In the meantime, I am not finding a lot of new commentary about Ipads and teaching on the web; maybe it has become such an accepted scenario now.

50 resources for iPad use in the classroom, Charlie Osborne, is a set of really good links. I found Evernote and Writepad and lists of other tutorials about using the Ipad. I also found this list of Note-taking apps, and there seem to be a lot more on the way. Here are some more apps that I need to check out: Study Blue flashcards (see also Quizlet), Graphing calculator, Trello for group collaboration projects, Outliner. As I am trolling around the web, looking for substantive articles that deal with using the Ipad and smartphones in the college classroom, I stumbled upon something called ItunesU course Manager. Maybe I can use that instead of Blackboard.

Buster Heine, Why You Should Buy An iPad Instead Of A MacBook For College [Back To School] This I found very interesting. While he does talk about a few drawbacks (mainly concerned with printing), check this out:

"People think that the iPad is only fit for consuming media, but that's not true at all. Most of your college homework assignments can be done on an iPad, and most of the time, it's more fun to do them on an iPad. Unless you're a Computer Science major who needs to program in C++, Visual Basic, XCode, and Java, then you can probably get all your homework done on an iPad.
You can check your email, write essays in Pages, create PowerPoints, record videos, print documents, make music, procrastinate by playing Kingdom Rush for hours, listen to new music, and watch movies, and Skype with your mommy all on your iPad. Just make sure to buy the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard to write your essays with, because no one wants to type a 2000 word essay on a virtual keyboard."

Rita Robison, Top 10 reasons why an iPad won't replace a laptop for your college student (little work will get done because of gaming temptations)

Although written a while ago, this article, IPad Struggles at Some Colleges, is something that I still wonder about, i.e., the readiness of wireless networks at colleges to support large scale use of Ipads.

iPads in Use in Wabash Classrooms, students can annotate the course materials that they read using Iannotate, but what a stupid thing to say re laptops: "The laptops took up space, annotation and reading was clumsy, and they crowed the students' workspaces making learning more difficult."

Much of what I've seen cited on the web comes from the k-12 classroom.

Grading with Voice on an iPad I think that we have long had the ability to deliver audio feedback; it might be a little bit easier now on a Mac or an Ipad, but I have some privacy concerns about this.

Look, these is something called the Ipad Academy. There are frequently posts here about different experiments with Ipads being undertaken at universities and colleges.

Melissa Venable, Evaluating the iPad in Higher Education. Found this statement interesting:

According to the event's presenters, students are using their iPads (both owned and borrowed devices) for course-related activities as well as personal use. Students use the iPad primarily for reading and taking notes, but prefer it for shorter, briefer tasks, and use laptops for larger projects. The iPad received high marks from students for its portability.
Students also found drawbacks in using iPads for course-related activities. Some of the features, such as auto-correct, were seen as inconvenient. Students also identified the potential for distraction and a need to develop self-monitoring skills – especially regarding games, social networking sites, and exploring the wide variety of apps available, all of which can take away from time spent on schoolwork.

Ryan Tyler, Higher Ed should get over its love affair with iPad Some good points here, mainly the fact that many are smitten with Apple's marketing magic instead of taking a hard look at just what an Ipad can and can't do. Big problem, that I've read about elsewhere and confirmed, is the keyboard absence which makes typing difficult. Another issue if Apple control of Apple hardware and software.

Then there is the supposed onslaught of etexts. Steve Kolowich, Hype vs. Adoption

Boy, there is certainly a lot of opinion about the Ipad/smartphone and higher ed, but I find so much of what I find posted on the web just ideas of what people think is happening, and usually it is ideas by people who are not at all involved in the educational field. For example, when I saw this headline, iPad Screencasting: Educreations and Explain Everything, it naturally made me think that yes, watching screencasts, are something that can be done very easily on an Ipad (but it can also be done easily on a smartphone, a Mac, a laptop, a Lenovo, a PC). Now where is the advantage if a student viewer must simultaneously take notes on that screencast. The advantage is certainly not with an Ipad or a Smartphone.

"The LectureTools iPad app is an excellent alternative to clickers." Really, hard to figure how a clicking device ever became a staple of higher education in this country. Don't you think that tells you something?

There is just so much garbage out there and hype. After all, the essence of education is making students think; it is not giving them an entertainment device to entertain them. Remember how much TV was going to change education?

8 Great Free Web Resources Focused on Using the iPad in Education. I'm suspicious, but I've got to investigate this more closely.

I am seeing more videos from different colleges about their use of Ipads in the classroom. I know that our campus now has a cart full of Ipads available to instructors, and the cart seems to be getting used a lot, but are the Ipads being used mostly just to access the internet and maybe take some notes, or is there anything really innovative being done with them?

In regard to videos about Ipads, see