Futuristic Inhibitions

The cool thing with all this? Our students don’t have those inhibitions. They’re just as comfortable texting as typing…. maybe more so. And a glass keyboard? Not a big deal to them. Tapping on a screen instead of using a mouse? More intuitive in their eyes.

[media-credit name=”stock.xchng” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]Budget cuts.  And more budget cuts.  21st century skills.  And more 21st century skills.  How do you successfully teach the latter while grappling with the former?  I dunno.  The unfortunate fact is that many of the new ISTE standards require some form of physical technology.  It’s hard to collaborate globally when you don’t have a computer or other device.  I’ve been coming to grips with own technological ‘fuddy-duddiness’, for lack of a better term.  I love technology, and am fairly cutting edge when it comes to knowledge of current options.  However, I’m finding it’s really a stretch to think beyond the known realm.  I have futuristic inhibitions.

What would you say if someone asked you if a student could use an iPad, or even an iPod Touch, in lieu of a desktop?  Is it possible?  My initial reaction was “No way!”.  Then, I started thinking.  (That always gets us in trouble, doesn’t it?)  What do elementary students need in order to create, collaborate, explore, and learn?  You see, I think they would be fine with an alternate device, like an iPad.  The problem lies with the inhibitions of adults.  We rely on our keyboard.  We don’t like a keyboard on glass.  We want to have our little mouse in our hand. We have futuristic inhibitions… and here we thought we were being all tech-savvy!

I’m suspicious that here is yet another case of preparing students for our past, rather than their future.  I really think that we will be moving away from a PC as a computing/collaboration platform of choice.  Sure, there are some industries where they will still be needed, but for the everyday person?  I could do 98% of what I need to do on an iPad, comfortably, if I would just wean myself away from what I think of as ‘normal’.

Case in point:  right now, I’m typing this post on my MacBook, with my iPhone sitting right next to me.  I discovered this week, that using the WordPress app is so incredibly easy when creating a blog post.  I can snap pics and post them immediately.  The app resizes said photos, and uploads them.  It’s faster, easier, and looks better than using the web version of WordPress.  And yet, here I sit.  I’m comfortable with what I know.  I think I’m going to have to force myself to change.  (Just like I’m forcing myself to adapt to reading ebooks rather than physical books… and I’m forcing myself to learn to blog without feeling like every entry is an essay paper that must be edited, tweaked, and re-read.)

The cool thing with all this?  Our students don’t have those inhibitions.  They’re just as comfortable texting as typing…. maybe more so.  And a glass keyboard?  Not a big deal to them. Tapping on a screen instead of using a mouse?  More intuitive in their eyes.

2 thoughts on “Futuristic Inhibitions”

  1. I agree with you, I’ll take it a step further and guess that the physical keyboard will be a thing of the past sooner than we think. With intuitive typing it may do away with QWERTY forever. Suddenly teaching typing doesn’t sound so terribly important.
    My students would rather use the touch device than any computer when given the choice. What we see as hindrances don’t trip them up at all. The only reason I can see for having desktops or laptop computers is for those few things that the touch devices won’t do yet. For example, they won’t do any heavy editing of video…yet. They won’t let students access flash sites…yet. But for the 99% they are fantastic. Why not invest in the new iPod Touch with the cameras built in? Cost effective, great for collaboration, will run pages, keynote, imovie, etc. and get a few desktops for when more “heavy lifting’ type activities are required.

  2. My Friend…I learn from you, I learn from my students and I learn from my child. I am an active learner who is building on skills everyday. I think our students are also building on skils everyday. We are learners together and when we have questions we ask, when we need help we collaborate. You are reflecting on your own practice and skills and that is an important, vital part of Teaching and Learning. You are a Gift of Knowledge in my Tech World and I am thankful! You are a Gift to your Students as well! The Tech world seems Seamless for you and you can relate to your students with this Grand Knowledge! I couldn’t agree more with your statements “The problem lies with the inhibitions of Adults” Thanks Julie!

    You can use our PES ipad for you Learning Lab anytime!

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