Some additional items re: iPad 2 as Interactive White Board replacement

Both of these blog posts were from Fraser Speirs.

#1) Fraser Speirs new AV set-up (much less expensive than an IWB)

#2) Speed of Creativity

I find it interesting that these authors are no adamantly opposed to the iPad. Speirs has made his anti-IWB stance clear since I’ve read his blog, and it is clear that other teachers are looking for alternatives, too.

The overwhelming statement, for me, comes from the Speed of Creativity blog:

School leaders around the United States continue to spend HUGE amounts of money on interactive whiteboards for classrooms, despite the fact that these devices universally FAIL to empower students to become more independent, self-directed and engaged learners in the way mobile learning devices (like laptops, tablets or other personal digital learning tools) can.

Overall, I think this is true. With larger class sizes, particularly at the secondary level, and in music, the IWB doesn’t empower the student–it empowers the teacher. It’s a 20th century model–the IWB is used by the teacher to teach the class. Sure, the teacher could use the Socratic method, but even so, the technology remains in the hands of the teacher and not the student. 21st century education is about empowering the student, by giving putting the technology in their hands. I’m convinced that any 1-to-1 initiative is better than the “technology in the hands of the teacher” model. And I think there is huge potential for the integration of iPads in those 1-to-1 initiatives.

There’s still a place for projectors, or even a gianormous LCD TV–with AirPlay streaming from iOS devices. Steve Jobs called the iPad the “Post-PC era device.” The IWB was an input device for the PC era. Can it be modified for the Post-PC era? Possibly. But if I had a choice, I’d rather have every student in a room with an iPad instead of only having a IWB.

(I do realize that 34 students in a class represents a $17,000 investment, whereas an IWB is a $5000-$8000 expense including installation and other options, such as wall mounted controls. Do note that I’m a proponent of families providing hardware and schools providing resources [eBooks, PDFs, etc.].)


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