B.

Being admitted to college is not always easy for an iPad

A reader without connectivity problems

The iPad is facing difficulty being accepted at Princeton University and others because of network stability issues, connectivity problems and concerns about bandwidth overload. This could be quite a setback for Apple’s strategy to go after the higher education market by highlighting the iPad’s portability and availability of electronic books. Indeed, those features aren’t worth a lot if students are unable to connect to the internet to check emails or course assignments.

But acceptance is not only about connectivity issues. As for now the volume of educational content available via the iBookstore is far to small to eliminate expensive physical textbooks. This would be another argument to seriously reconsider putting an iPad on your wishlist before Christmas. According to industry analysts and professors, schools won’t fully embrace iPads until textbook publishers offer more digital resources that go beyond electronic versions of hard copy books. It could take several months, before such content will be available. “We’re not just turning a book into a PDF,” Josh Koppel of ScrollMotion said. Educational books are usually more difficult to translate into e-books because they often include mathematical formulas, graphs and other non-standard-text material. And students demand note-taking or highlighting functionality, features often unavailable on today’s e-reader-formats, such as Amazon’s Kindle or others.

Being an early adopter has its ups and downs. And sometimes it can be quite frustrating. George Washington said its wireless network’s security features don’t support the iPad. Princeton said it has proactively blocked about 20% of the devices from its network after noticing malfunctions within the school’s computer system. Cornell’s information-technology director Steve Schuster said that the school is seeing networking and connectivity issues. The colleges all say they are trying to find fixes to the problems.

Share this article:
N.

No need for paper

(c) Staff photo by Fritz Busch (www.nujournal.com)

Do you remember the era of the writing slate? Maybe your Grandma does. Paper was too expensive and too rare to be used in schools. Well, that changed over time and everyone who left school in the last 50 years should be aware of the amount of paper used in classrooms. While it’s hard to say that all paper is wasted, every single school can certainly cut down on the volume. Much of the paper that is carried home in students’ backpacks ends up unread in the recycle bin.

Now comes the iPad and with it new ways of thinking about paperless schools. One example is the purchase of 320 iPads in one Minnesota high school. The school district allocated $267,748 to its technology fund to become what is believed to be the first school in the country to have the devices at a cost of $479 each. The money will be used to buy 320 iPads with extended, two-year warranties for students and staff, create Wi-Fi infrastructure and provide staff training. According to an article on NUjournal.com Students like using iPads in school.

“One of the first things we have to do is determine what iPad applications best fit classroom curriculum.” said High School Principal Jeff Bertrang. “Students won’t have to buy $100 calculators anymore either,” he added. Imagine the paper savings over time, not to mention the cost savings as textbooks will be digitized in future.

Share this article:
i.

iPad – a new school slate?

Was the old writing slate an inspiration for Apple’s iPad?

People were speculating about something called the iSlate long before the product’s presentation in January 2010. From the very beginning I had the strong impression, that the iPad could be far more than another gadget for geeks, but THE next learning device for all students from primary level to university. What worked in schools 100 years ago should work tomorrow as schools didn’t change a lot since then.

Nostalgic Apple-fans can already order the nice wood case from versaudio for about $80. Maybe that is why the iPad will gain new markets especially in the area of lifelong learning. A journalist put it like that: “Here are some reasons why I will buy an iPad for my Grandma (and not for myself)”.

Share this article:
P.

Put more computers outside the classroom

Copyright: www.hole-in-the-wall.com

No, this is not an ATM. This is just a hole in the wall! And the Hole-in-the-Wall project offers a surprisingly fresh perspective on the learning process, breaking the traditional limits of teaching and learning in a school.

The initiative’s founder Sugata Mitra called its approach Minimally Invasive Education to describe how children learn in unsupervised environments. It was derived from a learning experiment he has done in 1999.

Hole-in-The-Wall takes the Learning Station to the playground, employs a unique collaborative learning approach and encourages children to explore, learn and just enjoy.

It can be seen as a ‘Shared Blackboard’ which children in underprivileged communities can collectively own and access, to learn and to explore together. The whole idea is based on the strong belief in the power of collaboration and the natural curiosity of children.

Until today Hole in the Wall Education Limited (HiWEL) set up some 300 ‘learning stations’, covering about 300,000 children in India and several African countries. I think, it is a great idea and I am convinced that it would work not only in developing countries but everywhere in the world. Just put more computers and learning stations outside the classroom!

In a video CNN’s Sara Sidner reports on the Hole-in-the-Wall project linking it to Danny Boyle’s award-winning film Slumdog millionaire. Have a look!

Share this article: