It appears that while schools and software companies are gearing up for students to start creating and curating a digital portfolio, the reality is that colleges and their admissions directors are more conservative on the current and future role of this medium. Right now, few colleges and universities will consider additional application materials and do not see this changing in the near future.
It’s Arwen Kuttner’s first year with iPads and her first year as a reading support teacher in second grade. Can the iPads help her struggling readers? When it comes to letters and sounds, she’s not willing to trade her multisensory learning techniques for a digital tablet. But creation-based apps could help deepen reading comprehension. “It’s up to me,” she writes, “to know when to use the iPads and when not to, in order to keep learning effective and meaningful.”
In this open letter, “Connected Educator” offers a blunt appraisal of the consequences for teachers and students when leadership refuses to connect classrooms to the world via public social media.
Public blogging, says teacher Ann Michaelsen, has proven to be the best way for her Norwegian high school students to sharpen their English writing skills. “When I do something everyone can see,” says one student, “I make it as perfect as I can.” Assessment data: Eleven of her students are finalists for the 2012 EduBlog award for student blogging.
When educators combine the modern smartphone with wireless internet access and the remarkable number of cheap and free mobile apps now available, they become truly amazing pocket-sized learning devices. Teacher Jennifer Carey tells how she’s using smartphones in her classroom: to charge up lessons, promote research and fact-checking, and harness powerful mobile apps to expand learning.
Teacher Jen Carey left the first iPad Summit, held at the Harvard Medical School, with three takeaways: the iPad is just a remarkable piece of hardware; iPad implementation requires large-scale professional development; and if iPad implementation doesn’t redefine the way educators use technology to create and perform tasks, it’s not worth the investment.