Monday, May 6, 2013

Closing Reflections

My use of the Ipad as a teaching and learning tool ended up being largely behind-the-scenes.  The Ipad is an incredibly convenient way to read electronic documents.  Whether it was class readings or student papers, I was able to reduce my reliance on paper.  I appreciated the increased portability and found that e-annotations are actually superior for my long-term personal filing system.  I also valued having electronic copies of my text books.  Though I only probably accessed them a half-a-dozen times, it is really nice to have a back-up copy available literately at your fingertips. 

The Ipad was also a useful tool in the classroom, but my usage there was more ad-hoc.  The value-added for using the Ipad to project lecture slides was minimal.  Instead, I ended up using it more for miscellaneous classroom needs.  For example, the camera feature came in handy when I didn't want to copy down my notes not white-board by hand.  the Ipad also ended up being a great debate timer for formal debates in my public policy class.  The Ipad even made a jeopardy-style review game more lively with a special buzzer app.  I will definitely continue to bring my ipad into the classroom -- you just never know when it is going to come in handy.

Overall, I definitely will continue to use the Ipad as a teaching and learning tool.  This is particularly true since I expect the availability of education specific-apps to improve.  I do envision myself using the ipad as a grade book someday, or an easy attendance tool.  I didn't quite like the functionality of the existing apps for those purposes yet, but I'm sure it is only a matter of time.  

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