As usual – a Doug Johnson post gets me thinking. Why Ipads?
I often wonder why I am SO attached to my iPad. Especially since I pretty much view cell phones (even the smart ones) as evil little beasts – or at least as occasionally necessary evils. I know Doug’s post was related to classroom use – but here are my thoughts as someone whose iPad has become an extension of myself.
Perhaps the answer to “Why iPads?” is in the name of the device – the iPad. Think of the letter “I” in iPad as the personal pronoun we are all most fond of.
Thinking of the “i” as an UPPER CASE Letter I
The iPad shines as a personal device – customized to ones own self only. Therein lies the best reasoning for 1:1 ipads in school. The iPad can be taken with the student and PERSONALIZED for that students learning preferences.
Thinking of the “i” as a lower case letter i
Herein comes my prejudice toward cell phone and other pocket-sized devices. These little beasts are handy, but they are NOT particularly inclusive. They pull people into their own little world, excluding the real people in the immediate vicinity. How many times have I heard a friendly “hello” while grocery shopping, replied with a hearty smile and “hello” in return – only to realize that I have just intruded on a private cell phone conversation? Mostly I am ignored (and sometimes glared at) – making me feel like that socially inept self that I remember from gym class in school.
The lower case i in iPad makes me think of how inclusive the iPad is in comparison. The “i” is not prominent. iPads allow a user to share so easily with the person sitting next to them, or across the classroom from them. Yes…netbooks can do almost the same thing at a fraction of the cost….but they are cranky little monsters – and the touch screens of tablet devices just cries out for people to work together. Yes – there is some sharing going on with desktop computers – but I feel that the ipads are so much more condusive to this kind of sharing. Groups can research together at a table on the same topic, discuss how they will go about their research, divide up the research tasks, follow a link shared by their study group mates quickly and seemlessly.
I know since I have had my iPad, my husband and I communicate a lot more. Instead of him on his computer in one room, or watching TV in the living rooom and me on my computer in the other room – we are together again. Miracle! Bob is an auditory learner. I am visual through and through. Now we talk about the evening news or a PBS documentary, and I look up things that confuse us on the iPad. Or he watches those endless cop shows and I read a book or email on the iPad. He feels more open to talking to me when I am using the iPad, because it is no more intrusive than in the olden days when I always had a book in my hand.