Saturday, January 8, 2011

iPad Elementary?

By Jack Simony

I’m both intrigued and repelled. As the NY Times reported today:
A growing number of schools across the nation are embracing the iPad as the latest tool to teach Kafka in multimedia, history through “Jeopardy”-like games and math with step-by-step animation of complex problems.
There’s a battling raging in my brain: Good or bad development? Arguments pro and con are obvious and myriad — it’s more environmentally sustainable, but students lose the satisfaction of turning pages in books; it broadens horizons, but not all the info is, umm, CORRECT. It can both spark creativity in teachers and dampen it, creating torpor as they leave lesson-planning to others. What will my boys encounter when they get to school, and will it lay the foundation for critical thinking or inhibit focus? I see possibilities for both. I will reserve the right to be vigilant.

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