Being an educator today is very exciting. It is 2011. We have rolled over to a new year and there are so many educational opportunities on the horizon. Today’s technological advances are as monumental as the world-changing inventions of paper or the printing press. Information is dispensed at increasingly rapid speeds.
However, the speed and methods we use to absorb information has not changed, but our access to it and the ways that we interact with that information has changed greatly.
As human beings, we continue to process information the same way that we always have – through our 5 senses. For education, we usually rely upon our eyes, ears and sense of touch. If you own a smartphone or mobile device (especially an iPad), you hold an incredible educational tool in your hands. Why, you ask? Because it is interactive and multi-sensory.
How is an iPad different from a computer, is another question you may be asking? Here are my top 5 reasons why an iPad is superior to a regular computer and even textbooks when it comes to learning.
1. No mouse! As quickly as we all pick up the concept of a mouse moving a cursor on a screen, it is still an extra step for the information to travel from the brain to the device and vice-versa. When a child uses his finger to manipulate information or draw in a letter or a shape, there is no extra step of the mouse to get in the way.
2. No cords! You can take a iPhone or an iPad with you anywhere. In fact, that’s the whole point – technology on the go. You can learn from anywhere – not just a school desk or a kitchen table.
3. No books! Now, I love books and have thousands of them, but you can learn everything from Spanish to math to grammar to handwriting, all from one single device without having to lug around an armful or backpack full of books.
4. Less waiting! Installation of an app is much quicker than installing software onto a computer.
5. Less expense! Frankly, I think that apps are too cheap, but why not take advantage of it while this is the trend. Take foreign language for example… You can buy a textbook for $50 or more, or computer software for upwards of $200 or more, to help your child learn a new language. Or you can buy an app for $4.99. This is simply amazing technology at ridiculously low prices.
TIP – If you do purchase apps for education (and you should if you have the technology!), then remember to back-up your iPhone or iPad to iTunes so that you can re-install it if ever it gets inadvertently deleted or you replace your device with a new one.