How You Feel About the iPad = Your Educational Philosophy

That’s according to Doug Johnson at The Blue Skunk Blog anyway.  He points out something I’d been feeling since it was unveiled: that it’s the perfect tool for the consumption of media, but not even close to your standard netbook when it comes to content creation and productivity.

In one sense, the reaction to the iPad is very clear indicator of one’s educational philosophy. If you are a teacher, administrator or politician who sees the school’s role as filling little empty buckets with prescribed information, the iPad is a potential fire hose. It CAN deliver content, and given Apple’s control over the apps that run on the device, that content can be provided by a very select number of publishers.

But if your idea of an educated person is one who constructs knowledge, solves problems, and communicates effectively, this is not the tool for you – at least at the current time. Unlike a netbook, the iPad makes  creating, saving and sharing even simple written documents, let alone multi-media, nearly impossible.

That’s not to say the iPad won’t have educational uses.  I could see it as a boon to special education, for example.  I’ve seen the videos of children under three taking right to the iPad and there’s definitely something to be said of the intuitive nature of the interface and the ease of just handing someone something and being able to say, “This is what I’m talking about.”

It’s quite amazing for what it is.  But it’s not any kind of revolutionary change for education.

Oh, and I keep hearing how great the Marvel comics app looks on the iPad.  Those people are missing the point of comic books.  Maybe I’m too old, but one of the best things about collecting and reading comic books as a kid was trading them with other geeky friends.  I’m worried that every time someone buys a comic book on an iPad, a fairy will die or something.

Jim Randolph

Posted on April 12, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I just came across this post and wanted to say I totally agree!

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