Search This Blog

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What Project?

From Education, Teaching, Learning:

You are not doing an iPad project

ImageYou are not doing an iPad project.
You are using iPads in your classroom, but that by itself is not a project. If the project is more specific, then name it so. If you want to find the 10 best apps to use with for literacy in Year 7, with a particular focus on boys, then call it that. The iPad is something shiny which may or may not enable you to achieve your aims. Nothing about the iPad is remarkable in pedagogical terms, there is no magic learning dust. If the devices allow you to achieve something different, interesting and exciting in your classroom, then focus on the full range of interventions you made to enable this to happen.  Then ask yourself if the iPad did the pedagogy, or you the teacher did.  If the iPad did the pedagogy, then Steve Jobs (rest his soul), was even more of a genius than we ever gave him credit for, but if you did it. then examine how you did it and see how you can push that kind of innovation right across your practice, either with or without a shiny flat digital thing in the hands of the students.
You are not doing an iPad project.
Because even if the shorthand you use to refer to your project when talking to other people is ‘the iPad project’, then you’ve put the technological cart before the pedagogical horse once again.  The very act of naming the project after the technology inverts the order in which you should be doing things, which is looking for innovative pedagogy first, through the medium of new technology.  And if you’re finding is that ‘students were motivated to learn when using the iPad’, then that is piss piss poor. Of course they are motivated, they are human like you and I and given a shiny device to use, we all get a bit excited.  Try and tease out a little more about what important was going on when the devices were being used, and then remember that it’s not a iPad project, but a project to achieve something new in your classroom.
You are not doing an iPad project.
Because as remarkable as it seems, one day in the not so distant future, the iPad will no longer be the shiny, must have, fetish object du jour. Its lustre will have faded and something else more shiny, or thinner, or sleeker, or cooler, or ‘whateverer’ will have come along and people will be buying into that vision with gusto. And if you think that’s a ridiculous thing to say, you show me teachers today going weak at the knees at the sight of their interactive whiteboard. Once upon a time they did, but now they don’t anymore.  So one day, the iPads will languish in the cupboard, oversize coasters missing their final vocation, or the kids will have taken them home and overloaded them with apps they’ll only even open once. So make your project about teaching and learning, and think about the technology not as something essential or fundamental which underpins your goals, but simply as a convenient way of getting from A to B.
You are not doing an iPad project . .  . you are doing a teaching and learning project
Image is creative commons (so I’ve not robbed it), by Wolf Gang. Available from Flickrhere

No comments:

Blog Archive


Subscribe Now: Feed Icon