When it comes to education I am very opinionated, yet I am also conflicted as to the direction for the future of education. Certainly it should come as no surprise that computers are at the center of education and educators have embraced Apple since its earliest days, but is adding more and more technology helping our kids learn the skills they need? Reading through Apple’s redesigned educational site provided some interesting insight today and I think it is worth a look.
Apple has recommitted itself to being a part of education and is spotlighting the role that the iPad can play in the classroom. While I understand that this is a marketing campaign, the site is also a comprehensive look at the role of technology in the teaching and learning process.
“We believe that technology has the power to transform the classroom. It can pave new ways of thinking. New ways of sparking ideas. Yet the foundation never changes: A dedication to learning that’s always been part of our DNA. We’ve been proud to work alongside educators and students to reinvent what it means to teach and learn. And together we’re doing things we never thought possible.”
The primary point of struggle for me is that my kids seem to be able to master every iOS technique the minute they are released but when I put them in front of my laptop they find it more difficult to accomplish anything. That isn’t necessarily a problem but I consider some of the tools we put in front of them a gamble on the future. Two examples: Auto correct is making it more difficult for kids to spell and touch interfaces are making it harder to learn to type. These are still skills they need to learn outside of the world of iOS.
On the other hand, my autistic twins are learning technology in ways that were previously unheard of in the home and at school. Part of the Apple education site focuses on special needs learning and I was blown away by the offerings of iOS. Perhaps I need to be more grateful that they are learning skills which will aid them in the years to come instead of stressing about the things they still need to learn. In either case, Apple is both filling an important need and building a user base for years to come.
If you want to grasp the full impact that computers and mobile technology are having on the education process then check out the site and read through the stories that Apple has collected. Your appreciation for teachers and the efforts they are making to educate our children will rise to new levels.