Pete is my father. I won’t divulge his age but he is a senior. Here is a picture of him with my iPad. When I traveled to England with it, I was constantly reminded of its strong points: speed, the clarity of images, and its long charge. But watching Pete, I realized another advantage- one of importance for young boys and their little fingers. When we set up laptops in the lower school classrooms, many things can and do go wrong. Some won’t connect, some have no charge. Little boys find signing on laborious. The mouse on the laptop is difficult for many so then we scramble for mice to connect. While our activities have educational value, too many hitches can make it a challenging endeavor.
Having helped Pete with many stages of keeping up with technology (I have given up on the texting lesson even though he keeps asking) I am proud that he is able to google, create documents, and write emails. I anticipated little interest in the pad. How wrong could I be! He readily reached for it when he had a question and ably navigated around the web. Touching the screen (I understand this is the point!) made the world of difference to him- as did enlarging images or text when necessary. And it all took seconds! If it is this easy for my elderly father, imagine the possibilities with a room full of kindergarten students. Now all I need to do is find some truly valuable applications!
Now let me introduce Tom who I have never met but follow closely. Tom Barrett was a classroom teacher until recently when he became a deputy headmaster. He is well known for his innovative teaching with technology and for his blogging about it. In particular, Tom creates slideshows called “Interesting Ways to.” For example one is “Thirty Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom.” He collects the ideas from teachers around the world via twitter. I think we should keep an eye on one his latest collection which is called 23 Interesting Ways to use the iPad in the Classroom. Of course the title changes as ideas are added! Perhaps you could even add you own (see end of slideshow for instructions).