iPad: will technology lead to school change?

by Steve Wyckoff on April 6, 2010

I had the opportunity yesterday to play with the new iPad and as I was putting it through its paces I kept wondering, “is this the new technology that will lead to school change?” My friend Kevin Honeycutt had pre-ordered the new iPad and sat patiently on his front porch Saturday until it arrived.

This new technology is off the charts cool! Actually it’s an iPhone on steroids. All of Kevin’s apps from his iPhone work on his iPad. But in many cases their functionality changes dramatically simply because there’s a bigger screen. And in some cases there are some new applications.

As I played with it I kept wondering how might kids use this in school? Reading books on it is amazing. The lighting is perfect and I can control the size of the font, while still holding it just like a book. I can easily see books that we have kids read being downloaded and read right on their iPad.

And if you read my blog at all you know that I don’t type, I use MacSpeech dictate which is a speech to text software application. Well the new iPad has built-in Dragon speak. It may be even better than the computer version of the software since you don’t have to train it. For all of those kids out there like me who struggle writing, this free application could be a lifesaver.

I haven’t even talked about the Internet search capabilities. The iPad is blazing fast and is completely controlled by the touch of your finger. Students could use the iPad in class to instantly access any needed information. To say nothing of the engagement factor this technology would have on kids.

So what do I think the chances are that this technology will lead to school change? None. Once again, what we have kids learning and how we have kids learning, is completely isolated from modern technology and the modern world. Perhaps if somebody could show educators how this new technology dramatically raises standardized test scores then it might be adopted, until then there isn’t a chance. –  Steve Wyckoff

If you liked this post then check out Kevin Honeycutt’s post on Literacy Apps For The iPad.

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