iPad in the classroom: New technology meets old challenges

iPad in classroomA growing number of universities and colleges embrace the iPad as a teaching and learning tool inside and outside the classroom by outfitting every student and faculty member with an iPad. What are the results, and what are the challenges? Won’t students be on facebook instead of following the lecture?

My university doesn’t have an “iPad for everyone” programme (yet?), but I stumbled over a document produced by Seton Hill University today. Seton Hill was one of the first universities to embrace the iPad, so there is something to learn from their past experience. This brochure describes how the iPad transformed learning at SHU.

What I found interesting going through this document was that it is not enough just to throw an iPad into every students’ starter kit. In order to fully take advantage of the iPad for teaching and learning, it is important to rethink the infrastructure, curriculum, and training for students and professors alike. [Read more…]

AppWriter: A writing app for people with learning disabilities

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, about one in ten Canadians are estimated to suffer from learning disabilities. As educators, it is important that we respond to the needs of students with learning disabilities. I wish there was an app for that…

Wait a minute! When I went through a list of 52 iPad writing apps, AppWriter ($20, iTunes link) caught my attention. It was the most expensive one of the bunch, so I naturally wondered how AppWriter justifies its hefty price tag. [Read more…]

Transforming the textbook industry

Inkling LogoIn the middle of the fifteenth century, Johannes Gutenberg invented the modern printing press and kicked off the Printing Revolution. Fast forward to the early twenty-first century, another printing revolution is picking up speed: digital book publishing.

On February 14, 2012, Inkling introduced “Habitat”, dubbed the world’s first scalable publishing environment for building interactive content. Habitat is similar to Apple’s iBooks Author, but at least for now it is only for the professional publishing houses out there. That means that your next self-published textbook will be still based on iBooks Author; however, it will be exiting to see what features from the pro-world of publishing will make it into the self-publishing sector over time. [Read more…]

Apple’s flirt with academia

The Apple Education Event that shook up the Big Apple last Thursday stirred up the usual hype that surrounds everything Apple does these days. “Apple reinvents the textbook” is a headline you can see frequently on the web. Yeah, maybe, but what are the immediate consequences for educators and students at universities and colleges? Unless your campus has gone fully iPad already, you don’t have to hold your breath. Apple’s event mainly focused on high-schools, and the few textbooks that are available right now are not for the university level. So while there is nothing going to change for you tomorrow, I believe Apple’s Education Event is an indication of changes to come in the next two to five years.

In this post, I am discussing the possible “fallout” of Apple’s Education Event. If you are interested in learning about Apple’s groundbreaking take on text annotations, or if you are interested in how Apple’s focus on education might help you to engage your students through peer-learning and customized textbooks, this post is for you. [Read more…]