I can understand why a lot of people shy away from ‘technology’. Instead of being introduced to technology naturally, like using a device to play a game or perform a task that you know it will help with (and I mean any device, Spectrum ZX, Sega, washing machine) the first experience of computer technology for many people was because they were told to use it. Pre-iPad, the first computer experience was probably some sort of desktop computer. Their experience was of words, buttons, icons, abbreviations, menus, and all else that didn’t make immediate sense. One ‘wrong’ click was often a disaster, and for a lot of people it put them off for life. These experiences lower your self-esteem and dampen our natural curiosity – you become afraid to try anything new or push a button for fear of breaking the whole thing.
For me, the iPad changes everything. I’ve worked with a load of different technologies, and still do, but the technology that has had the greatest, most excited, most positively transformational response so far has been the iPad. Since the iPad came along I have had the joyous experience of introducing educators to ways in which this device can help transform the learning experience, both for them and their students. Showing educators why and how to use this technology in and out of the classroom is a pleasure. Seeing educators engage immediately (and I mean literally immediately) with the iPad and gasp with amazement when they open a beautiful book, experience an App full of possibilities, surf the internet, or just perform a multi-tasking gesture is a wonderful experience.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke
As Apple say, the iPad is a ‘magical window’. I don’t need to know how the technology works inside (unless, of course, that’s what I’m teaching), I just need to be able to use it to enable, encourage and enhance learning. With the iPad, the technological barriers have been broken down and I see educators grow in confidence and believe that this is for them, they can do this. I see educators regain their sense of curiosity for learning. How brilliant is that?!