How the iPad 2 Will Revolutionize Education

How will the iPad 2 revolutionize education?

Despite this puff piece from Fast Company Magazine, there’s only one answer to that question.

It won’t.

Education – and workplace learning for that matter – will be revolutionized by people. By innovative learners, executives, managers, parents, peers, teachers and trainers. The technology – whatever is available at the time – just helps.

6 responses to “How the iPad 2 Will Revolutionize Education

  1. Don,

    I totally agree with what you say. The sad fact however is that there is an over reliance on what people think technology will do for them; rather like anti-ageing cream, it won’t actually make a whole lot of difference in the long run.

    I feel there is an ever-increasing need to get people to realise that the technology assists; rather like a pen or a flipchart does. Technology should certainly not be the hope we rely on for good education.

    As you rightly point out, people will make the difference, but unless those people are heard, or allowed to be heard then we will forever be drowned out by the technology noise.

  2. Sadly, I agree with you both. But sometimes having something cool can help to raise the awreness in an organisation, especially when the upper levels own and use the cool kit surely, must have, can only help our cause!

  3. It’s a chicken and egg question, as should be the replies. Isn’t it rather obvious to state that the people in the establishments will drive innovation? Let’s not forget that innovative people also design and manufacture the technology that facilitates your beloved educational change. In addition it is people who design and produce the apps that make the technology function, they are amongst the most creative people on the planet and drive innovation within all areas of education and business. In comparison to the lagggrds in many companies and educational establishments still using Windows 2000, your collective responses are somewhat a classic example of that mindset. It all requires people. The technology is an integral part of education and businesses and I think it deserves a little more respect than is given by the old school thinking displayed in the comments here. Recognising the importance of technology is no crime, and to state it ‘just helps’ is somewhat naive, I would have expected a more balanced view from Mr Taylor, organiser of one of Europe largest Technology conferences.

  4. Anon,

    I take issue with your assumption that my response was akin to a laggard and comparing me to someone using Windows 2000. Let me clearly state my position here.

    I have been in the corporate Learning and Development arena for over 25 years. I’ve pioneered learning technologies inside large organisations, have written over 100 courses and have developed four LMS’s. I think I therfore have a grasp of the impact technology can make.

    I am not therefore failing to give technology the respect it needs; I am saying that the PEOPLE make the difference. Many of us have access to Microsoft Word, so why aren’t we all Shakespeare? I agree that people developing technology are some of the smartest on the planet; I work a great deal with over 2000 of the UK’s smartest engineers so I see this on a regular basis. But who develops the technology – yes people!

    And to be honest, within the L&D market I have seen all too often peole looking at new technologies in the hope that it will be their silver bullet; it isn’t. That isn’t the fault of technology; it is the narrow mimdset of some people who THINK the technology will make the difference without people making a difference too.

    Take UK schools. Massive amounts of money spent on technology – I know, I’ve seen it in my boy’s schools. The results – well, we still have 1 in 5 UK adults considered to be functionally illiterate and I know of an engineering lecturer who has to put a number of students on remedial maths courses to bring then up to the right level. This is not a fuction of technology, it is a function of people and this is why people make a difference.

    Would I want to be without all the technology I currently have access to, absolutely not. But what I do know is that where I see technology, indeed anything used well, there is ALWAYS a group of passionate people making it work.

  5. Don’s tweet reminded me that I meant to comment…so thanks Don 🙂

    I have used technology since the mid 70’s. I worked in the investment department of a very large assurance company and operated what was then a ‘state of the art’ small computer. It consisted of an electric typewriter connected to two cassette tape decks. It had cost the company an arm and a leg and was considered very precious. Hard to believe nowadays, but it was so special, the company constructed a glass room in the middle of the office to protect it and only myself and two other people were allowed to operate it!

    I have seen all the massive changes that have taken place over the last 35 years…and in many ways we have seen revolutions, but do I believe that the iPad2 will revolutionize education? Absolutely not and I think that this is partly due to people and adoption, partly due to the technology itself and partly due to other what I would describe as environmental pressures or imperatives. IMHO you need all three to bring about revolultion.

    In terms of our everyday lives, I can think of three particular areas where technology has been at the core and resulted in a revolution. The first is in Banking….technology has changed banking almost beyond recognition…..remember what life was like before the ATM? I remember the only way to get cash was to go into a branch of your own bank and make a cheque out to ‘self’. Nowadays, I can be like the Queen and I don’t give it a second thought if I don’t have cash in my pocket…I have cards and the nearest ATM is never far away. The second is the way that technology has changed the workings of an office. I still remember when the only people who could produce printed documents were the typists or the secretaries….remember the days of the typing pool? It used to be the hub of the organisation and was a very noisy place to work with the clicking of the keys and the zip followed by a bang every time every time the carriage was returned. Roles have changed dramatically and so have our ways of working. My third example is the way that technology has revolutionised the way that we communicate….whether that be through mobile phones or the impact of broadband. I couldn’t find the latest figures but back in 2008, the average was 1.8 per person in the UK!

    Which brings me back to whether the iPad2 will revolutionize education…I don’t think it will for three reasons…..people – not everybody will want to get one, technology – how long will it take for something better to come on the market? Nokia phones used to dominate the market and we have seen recently how they are struggling. Where is the environmental pressure/imperative? I don’t think its there. In this country, our education system is not geared up to it, we are still building traditional schools and we currently have an administration who think that a return to traditional values of education is the answer – the reintroduction of Latin is higher up the agenda than the use of technology. Whilst we are making progress in the corporate world with regards to Learning Technologies, we still have a long way to go to convince CEOs of the value of L & D never mind convince many L & D professionals of the value of Learning Technologies.

    I think that change will happen and I am sure that the iPad2 has a lot to offer education and learning…but I don’t think it will be the ‘silver bullet’.

  6. Educational reform is the thing that has revolutionised education in the past. Investment in people. Chareles Leadbetter did a great talk at Online Educa in Berlin about how the the current education system fails a great percentage of people. Will ipad2 revolutionise Education? I think the question we should be asking is, what education will we need to have to equip us for the future? It’s been less than a year since the launch of the original iPad. Has it revolutionised education? No. But once people see it in action, they seem to fall in love. One thing I do know is that it looks great, and I don’t know if I’ll be truly satisfied until I have one!!!

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