Why the iPad will not….
No matter what device or machine you contemplate using in education, the magic panacea that imparts knowledge, structures what is appropriate, important, safe and critical to the development of the child as a learner does not exist. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows this. It never will. The key to any learning is the teacher, the mentor, the guide.
Bringing the disparate particles and atoms of knowledge together to form the molecules and structures is the magic formula, which in turn forms the elements of learning, built on the frameworks of experience, that eventually form independence as a learner.
“ The most important thing is a person. A person who incites and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that a person can’”
Steve Jobs, Smithsonian Institution Oral and Video Histories, April 20, 1985
ICTs can never replace great teachers. They can be very powerful aids in teaching and learning though, providing both the vehicle for the learner to learn, to providing access to stimulate curiosity, to inform, to open up knowledge, organise thoughts, build ideas, extend concepts, communicate, enhance capabilities, enlighten, simulation and as a vehicle for creativity and experimentation. For the teacher, such a potent tool brings the possibility of accelerating and enhancing the possibilities for learners - but only if they trust them and their own capabilities in handling such powerful and consequential instruments.
Apple has a long history of providing ICT tools in the classroom, and brings with it insights lacking from other companies. It is in a unique position, experienced in developing its products and strategies from the early instigation of PCs, resulting in the development of their use in learning. Apple has always sought to do more than simply help learners be better learners, but has worked with teachers to explore and research how they can ensure the capacity to use technology meets todays as well as tomorrows expectations, and can be gained by the widest audience of educators.
The iPad, unlike other devices that now ape its technological functions, sits in a complete product and resource rich ecosystem that forms a complete wrap around solution set to embrace all of those things needed to help create and develop an individual, a learner in tomorrows world. That doesn’t mean iPad doesn’t fit in to more varied situations, but it is literally the key by way of versatility, simplicity and ease of use.
The world today has more knowledge than any one of us has the capacity to retain in our memory, or experience in a lifetime. The iPad alone cannot solve the problems of learning about this burgeoning expansion of the world around us. The Apple ecosystem does offer the best vehicle to employ in helping a learner to adopt, adapt and appropriate their own path through the world effectively.
Where as most “tablet” platforms exist in their own right as tools to use in various situations, Apple has conceived the iPad to be the critical interface to its ecosystem envisioned from its experience of education. Apple has long worked with teachers and educators at all levels and phases, building the hardware, the software and helping develop the resources for learning based on experience and observation. The iPad has been designed to be incredibly simple to use; for access and discovery; to manage, modify, manipulate and to create content in consistent and remarkably intuitive ways simply. It even puts Apps through rigorous safety checks before allowing them onto its App Store. It created iTunes U (University) as a free-to-use repository, and has developed tools to enable audio, video, interactive and augmented content to be easily constructed. If you have not seen it, take a look at eBook Creator on the Macintosh, or one of the many Apps (applications) that can be downloaded either for free, or at low cost from the App Store to create interactive “texts” or eBooks quickly and cheaply. These really open up the possibilities for teachers to utilise content that really means something to their communities of learners, because they can contextualise and even personalise the learning.
Contextualisation is vital to developing understanding for learners, extending to a learners capacity to be independent (as well as a member of a team). Apple has brought Accessibility across the platform in a way no other manufacturer has. Simply use the speech and listening features, the visual enhancements and even the extension of sensing that iPad has. These unparalleled features open up the world for some learners. Take a look at FaceTime, and suddenly video conferencing becomes a daily possibility.
Apple has always been focused on learning happening at the point of discovery. iPad is a critical component in the learning infrastructure, in that it is designed to utilised in a moment, supported by the unrivaled battery life. Even the ability to share experiences and work is made supremely simple by using Apple TV or Apps such as NearPod to manage and exchange ideas. Some tablets will not even allow video output.
Audio recording, image and video capture, durable construction are very versatile. They work with the plethora of Apps (over half a million) many of which make use of these media features, and the choice is slightly beguiling. This is an issue that will not be lost on those seeking to understand how best to employ iPads in their classrooms. Bear in mind that some tablets will only run certain software, a problem in the Android world iPad users do not have to worry about. Apple’s Apple Distinguished Educators support and assist, and can rapidly help you find the Apps and the methods best suited to your situation. I know, I appointed the first of these in the UK, as well as being one myself, and we all believe that is is just as important to understand how to employ the products before buying them, and not simply to assume the investment is right and diving in early. Does that make sense?
Schools differ by culture, diversity of learners, legacy infrastructure, teacher capabilities and funding. Teachers and Senior Management need to ensure that what is selected is a fit for the future, has proven longevity, flexibility, is well designed, supported and trusted. Trust? Consistently iPads are by far the safest and most trusted devices of their type, effectively immune to malware and viruses ( See Page 17 of this report to quickly see the differences: )
iPad gives you all of this, and access to the sort of support that gets you up and running quickly, and to rapidly integrate learning scenarios. Why would you use anything else?
Director iPad Academy
Linked in: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/johnarudkin
iPhone launch 4S and the opportunities for Educational use. Rumours...
There’s been a lot of speculation around the October 4th launch event by Apple. Too many people jumped on the bandwagon about it being iPhone 5. That’ll have to wait, but what we are now seeing is something we should have foreseen in the runes. It was a little like the weather. What we got was not what we expected. Summer didn’t finish, we just got more of it, and better. So it is with Phone 4S.
By the way, most of this article was modified from Lasky’s newsletter. A great source of information about modern electronics sensibly written.
So, did you pour over the launch. I caught up with it midstream and was generally quite heartened, but over all not surprised.
|Kindle Fire vs iPad 2 vs Galaxy Tab 7.7 vs HTC Flyer|
|iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 – last minute rumour round-up|
'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says
What follows, we make no excuses for, but we have to admit being delighted to have found the complete text from Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech. This is educational content, and in context. In Steve Job’s own words he addressed the students and staff of Stanford in a way that manages to be uplifting, humble and inspirational all in one short orotory. Connecting the dots is a voyage of discover; Love and loss, a reflection of the course one chooses in life; Death is a telling tale of anticipation that we are sure reflects on where Steve Jobs the person is today.
This is not old news, or even new information, but it is something that, once read, will put the ideas of how a person can be honest, open, driven, tireless, single-minded, dedicated…..because they want to be.IDEAS? How you might use this in the classroom:
Take the speech in three pieces and explore its content. What do you love? Anonymise it if necessary. Reflect on the sentiments, explore the content, attempt a 2 minute speech on subjects derived from the content, allow free expression, create a video, record a podcast, find images that exemplify a speech, gather inspirational speeches from history…..
This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Thank you all very much.