What A Time To Be Alive

There has been a lot of writing recently about how great the new 9.7in iPad (“for Education”) is. Most notably, check out iMore’s Serenity Caldwell’s article HERE. I think it really is a great summary of what I was reading about the new iPad, and she does an excellent job at telling everyone what it is great for and what perhaps needs more work.

As you know, I’ve got an iPad Pro with Pencil, and I’ve been doing most of all my school work only with this device. Work has never been easier in terms of creating content for class, marking, assessing, giving feedback, and doing general teacher-ish stuff.

But what really excites me about the new iPad, as well as the tech world in general, is that I think we are FINALLY at the point where I was promised we would be. My whole life, I’ve been told how easy it would be “one day” to do x, y, or z, and how technology or computers would help with that. I think we have finally arrived at the point where the tech tools that are available to us are ubiquitous and varied enough to give us the perfect situation for technology to enhance creativity and productivity in schools.

I think we have finally arrived at the point where the tech tools that are available to us are ubiquitous and varied enough to give us the perfect situation for technology to enhance creativity and productivity in schools.

If you think about it, with merely an iPhone or iPad, students can research a subject, write a report, get feedback from classmates and instructors, take the ideas in the research and try to draw it/sketch it/model it in 3D. Shoot a video of the whole process, write the music for the video, upload it to YouTube or Classroom or whatever the teacher wants, and do it all over again with innumerable variations. All with one device.

Sure, we have preferences. Some prefer Samsung or Pixel phone, some love Chromebook, but the device doesn’t really matter. The point here is that it is in our hands. We control it. We create. We distribute.

We control it. We create. We distribute.

Think: before, with VHS camcorders, we had to get tape, get a camcorder (which very few people had), and we had to make a video with basically no editing available, no titles or inserted graphics, and no music. If we recorded anything for music, it would be on a cassette. Posters were written up on big sheets of paper–don’t mess up! You’ll have to buy a new one! Things were “available” to us but not compatible with one another. We are at the point where all of it is finally there for us.

If a student wants (or has time to figure it out), they could write, record, mix, produce, and release an album of original music from their bedroom. They can become YouTube stars. They can create vivid portfolios of work and share it with Universities or in the workforce. The tools are easy and accessible.

There is a large amount of work to be done. Access and affordability are still big issues, and we must often check our privilege when discussing these things. The perfect world does not exist yet, but we’re closer than we’ve ever been. When kids get empowered to take control of what they learn and how they learn it, good things will happen.

This is why I’m so excited about the new iPad. But along with this I’m excited for Chromebook, Microsoft’s Teams app (lots of cool stuff packed in there), PowerTeacher UnifiedClassroom, Google for Education, and a host of other tools out there.

What a time to be alive.

@mrluukkonen

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