Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Starting Anew This Year...

I read the closing posts from last spring with interest, as some really resonated with me.  So far, I have found the ipad to be an amazing tool outside the classroom, but I haven't found as many direct uses for it with my teaching or research as I had expected. 

I suppose I had also been hoping to crowd-source the creativity of my students for ideas about how to use the iPad in connection with our learning--but that also did not pan out as expected.  At the beginning of each of my courses last year, I told my students about the iPads in Education experiment and offered to make mine available to them for any purpose they wanted that was related to our class.  But that opening announcement was the last we ever spoke of it; not a single student indicated any interest in the device. 

In my Negotiation class, where I had most expected to use the device to record and review simulations, the device lacked enough memory to do that job.  In my more traditional law classes, students were fully satisfied with the digital tools available to them in their laptops (or spiral notebooks), and saw no need that the iPad could fill.  The primary benefit that the device could provide to me was portability, but I was unable to shift files back and forth from my main computer to the iPad in a way that allowed me to take advantage of it for remote preparation purposes.  

Granted, these law students are all pretty overwhelmed with managing the old-school technologies of our discipline, and I'm sure there are more immediately obvious possibilities for using the tool in other disciplines.  And as last year was only my first year with the device, perhaps things will go differently this year.  I am participating in the IT Training on iPads next month, and hoping to get some new ideas (and competency) there.  Perhaps when I'm more of a power user, I'll have some more powerful ideas on how to use it!