Thursday, 23 September 2010

Exploring the iPad

I met a lady lecturer from KSA today who was happily using an iPad. She's leading her university's e-learning initiatives and I would think, that out of curiousity, and the natural interest within her, got the iPad to use as a personal productivity tool.

I personally think the iPad is one cool technology. Having toyed with it for almost a month now, I must say it has the potential to be an excellent learning companion. If only, it was more versatile; able to do what one typically does on a notebook PC alongside all the other iPad applications. I find the iPad somewhat limiting...not that great a devicejavascript:void(0) for word processing or to create a set of presentation slides. However, it is an excellent device to view files such as videos, documents or slides. It's a wonderful tool for email, surfing and all things that you normally do online. It's a great book reader as well, especially, if we don't want to carry that many books with us.

Nevertheless, here is an interesting set of slides that explores the iPad in terms of technical details, if only to get a good overview of what the iPad offers the user.

View and see if the iPad has some or a lot of potential for the classroom.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

iPads in education?

iPads appear to be a hot item with many people these days. Selling at about a million units each month, it's a tool to watch out for. I've just got one to toy with. It's an awesome tool really. After the iPhone, the iPad makes more sense. The iPad screen is larger and friendlier to the eyes, provides a better interface and amazingly, there are over 200,000 applications to try out on the iPad. Note that the applications are not all free.

Compared with my trusty notebook computer, it's lighter and the battery lasts at least twice longer - enough charge for almost a whole day of use. With more improvements to come, as reported by the iPad Insider, I believe the iPads will offer more to students.

As a personal computing device, it's great for surfing the internet, checking the email, doing online banking, going into facebook, viewing online videos or listening to audio podcasts. It's not intrusive, works pretty much like having a book open in front of you except that it's a multi-media device that's connected to the entire world of resources and information. Beats the time when I was using a modem and a terminal to connect to the university mainframe to run my SPSS jobs or to print my doctoral dissertation in the 80s. Technology has gone very far, indeed.

Hence, it's not surprising that universities are adopting the iPads or experimenting with iPads as a tool. I envisage that once we can have college textbooks as ebooks that can be read and annotated on the iPads, the entire education landscape will change. For some of the latest news on what campuses are doing, read the two articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education below:

Will schools become obsolete?

For someone who once predicted that the Internet will not stay, Bill Gates predicts that in five years time, you will find the best lectures online for free and that e-books will dominate over traditional printed books. With the increasing popularity of online distance learning programmes and new universities such as University of the People , a tuition-free online university, Gates' predictions are likely to come true. And, now with the proliferation of tablet computing devices and smart phones, it will only be natural that learners will adopt learning on the go, aka mobile learning.

View part of his talk at a recent technology conference.

Principles to remember when using graphics

We sometimes make the mistake to include the wrong graphic, photo or image. Read the pointers from the web site below:!/notes/upside-learning/digital-instructional-media-design-101-graphics/480358265864