Imagine a world with no textbooks, no classrooms, but limitless learning. A class with no walls and a curriculum which is just as boundless. Sounds scary? Or exciting?
Chances are, if you find such a thing scary, you are part of the old paradigm in education. Right now, with all the mandates and the need for differentiated learning (and a growing demand for teachers to be the panacea for the illness that plagues every child’s education these days), there is a quiet door which is being opened for those bold enough to see the new paradigm. I feel part of it has arrived in the form of the Ipad.
I tested one out and now have access to one of my own. I am very impressed with it. Not so much for the hype, but to be sure that is a part of its potential, but in just using the device. Right now, it has shortcomings – it is more of a peripheral device than a stand alone solution for most. Yet, if you can imagine a student body issued with these, then you can see where this is going.
If every student had an Ipad, they wouldn’t need textbooks. They wouldn’t need backpacks. Heck, they wouldn’t even really have to come to school! Instead, we could make the world our classroom. Maybe you want to do an experiment – everyone meet at the park, beach, library. Or just stay home and follow us via a chat engine or virtual classroom.
Now, we could do all of this right now – and that is the point. We should be pushing education into an arena which utilizes more technology so that we can reach our students and give them the skills they will need for the 21st century. But we aren’t. In part, it is because there are just too many loose ends that have to be tied together to make something like this work. With the Ipad, however, there seems to be a device just for this that is affordable and with enough sizzle that it just might push educators to think differently about the future of education. I know I am and always have been. We’ll see just where this device does take us because what we may think the future looks like today is going to change drastically by tomorrow.