Coming Off the Fence…an i-Pad at Last

Innovation CentreAt long last, I finally made my decision and joined the i-Pad posse.  Having spent nigh on a year ‘hmmmming and ahhhhhing’ about various android tablets, I heeded the advice of many and last week bought an i-Pad 2, courtesy of those wonderful folk at TICB.

That very day, I attended a training session at Samuel Lister Academy, Bradford, where I met the informative and entertaining Professor Steve Molyneux.

Steve talked passionately about disruptive technologies and how they have changed our access to information.

The line, ‘It’s just a piece of paper…right?’ makes you realise that actually, it’s what you do with the paper that matters. You need to consider how innovative you can be with the material available.

Bringing the line up to date we now have the statement, ‘It’s just a piece of glass…right?’  Teaching and learning is being transformed by technology.

In the right hands and with the right minds, we are now in a better position to develop the experiences and engagement of learners through:

  • Exchange
  • Enrichment
  • Enhancement
  • Extension
  • Empowerment

The videos shown by Steve demonstrated students entering into Socratic dialogue with their educators. Using i-Pads strategically we can now really promote and develop both project and challenge-based learning.

There are some detractors that say that the use of i-Pads and other tablets, as well as smart phones for that matter, is just providing ‘education for the well-off’. Having taught in areas with high levels of socio-economic deprivation, I can empathise with the view entirely.  Families facing financial difficulties, as well as issues related to their well-being, are not necessarily going to prioritise such purchases.

One solution may be the leasing of i-Pads and other tablets. There are schemes available whereby schools enter into agreement with providers and then lease the technologies to the families. The best deals currently include:

  • AppleCare;
  • Insurance against accidental damage and theft;
  • GAP insurance;
  • Flexible payment options;
  • Access to an online integrated billing and collection system.

If anyone is interested in finding out more, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will point them in the right direction.

Meanwhile, I am off to the App Store to find out more…

Bryn Llewellyn

April 29th, 2012

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