What Do I Need to Avoid Being Bludgeoned With an iPad

That's an impressive amount of damage to an iPad

That’s an impressive amount of damage to an iPad (Photo credit: sujal)

I tried two new tech tools in class tonight and neither worked. So, on to plan “C” , the whiteboard and dry erase marker. The good news is that I didn’t run out of the room crying , nor did the learners; and in the end we accomplished what needed to get done.   As a result, I can put on my “well isn’t that interesting” hat, and say that we all learned about the affordances and limitations of a couple of tools.  The bad news is that I still don’t understand what I did wrong in Google Calendar…. back to the drawing board there.  Moodle  calendar works fine; I went to it as my plan “B”, and discovered it  just wasn’t designed for what I wanted it to do.

So what’s going to keep me motivated to change my teaching/ learning practices  with the use  technology when I failed tonight?

As with any change process, this endeavour has the potential  to bring out the worst and best in me .  At my worst I’ll get overwhelmed , become paralyzed and procrastinate.  I’ll be  frustrated by other people’s plans.  I’ll want to run on my own schedule and get really cranky and critical  if I feel like I’m being pushed. Also, I’ll get very vocally protective when I feel others are being disrespected or hurt  the process.  On the other hand, if I have success I might REALLY  annoy others by being “over the top” excited, and a tad unrealistic about how my success might be useful to them.  Doesn’t sound pretty, does it?  This is where I’m at risk of being bludgeoned with an  iPad.

To save  colleagues from damaging their iPads  there are a few  things that will help me work through this change.

 I need:

  • my independence,
  • time to gather and process my ideas,
  • time to practice with the tools in the context  of course learning outcomes and  what I believe and value about teaching and learning,
  • to be able to talk about what’s hard and what I’m giving up in this process,
  • to be able to move on  in a positive way toward a vision for the future that I believe in,
  • the opportunity to work with others,  and
  • the chance to get excited  about and learn from what others have tried and learned.

I enjoy the challenge of change, but need to make it my own .

What do you need?

Will I be a better instructor if I use an iPad?

“Mobile technology can be used to re-envision education”

“Rather that using iPads to deliver and drill content, we should strive to empower students to create, investigate, and innovate” (Gliksman, 2013)

What friends are for...

Went for coffee with a friend after session to help faculty learn about their new iPads, in preparation for September’s crop of students, who will be looking at us expectantly,each with their own iPad. His response to my wish to do more research and write a paper on the pedagogy of mobile learning was abrupt. “If you spent less time researching and more time trying things, you’d be further ahead.” BUT…. well ok! Perhaps he had a point. I know myself well enough to know that I can happily live in the researching, theorizing and imagining stage of learning. However, September is getting closer and the perfect pedagogical affordances of the iPad are not likely to present themselves if I don’t turn it on!

I exaggerate. I’ve used one before, just not with the thought of it being a tool in the classroom. So this weekend I methodically worked my way through most of iPad in Education for Dummies. While I’ve yet to create new “game changing” ways to help my students learn, the structure that select chapters provided did help me stay on track to learn more tricks with Safari, introduced me to the joys of Evernote, reacquainted me with my dormant Diigo account and got me hooked into  iPad educators.

Another significant accomplishment was the set up and inaugaural post to this blog. I’ve espoused the importance of making learning visible  for a while but it took another friend who started teaching AND blogging this fall, to inspire and prompt me to “walk the talk”.

This weekend the  challenge was to tryout new tools and change the way I’m used to doing what I’ve done for many years.  It was a gift of time to focus, practice and keep trying until I could  make things work (curse you Diigo bookmark in Safari! and getting this blog posted!!!).

So here’s to a year of  iPad Buddies and AppyHours,  to collaborating and risk taking, and to the students who keep me learning.  And here’s to the honest appraisal, example and support of friends.

Alright, I confess.  I did find a couple of other books on learning & technology that I want to read…but I bought them as ebooks to read in the Kindle app; that’s progress, isn’t it?

Reference

Gliksman, S. (2013).  iPad for education.  New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.