iPads: “Bane or Boon”?
An earlier post commented on the use of iPads in the classroom. The Chronicle of Higher Education notes two contrasting reports of the value of iPads for teaching and learning, the one referred to in the previous post and the other in the FT. The latter was much more positive about the value than the former:
How could this be? The two articles even reported on some of the same studies. One possible reason for the differing conclusions is that the FT story focused more on students’ reactions—the devices are great for reading, and just plain cool—and less on teaching.
For instance, both articles quoted Corey M. Angst, an assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame who tested the tablets in class. The FT reported, correctly, that students felt the iPad was easy to use and hard to give up. The Chronicle, however, also noted students’ complaints that it was hard to use iPads to take notes—the finger-touch interface isn’t good for writing. And one more telling fact: “For their online final exam, 39 of the 40 students put away their iPads in favor a laptop.”
Mr. Angst felt the iPad was an overall plus, but other professors who use computers in class to highlight material and respond to students’ questions said the iPad couldn’t do what they wanted.
No doubt iPads aren’t for everyone but, as the article also notes, iPad2 is arriving and may well address some of the issues identified in the piece.