What have you found most interesting and/or useful in your use of the tablet thus far?
I am a mac person surrounded by iphones, laptops, ipods, and a lab filled with imacs and I was a little unclear about what exactly the ipad had to offer that I couldn’t already access. By using it as much as possible over the semester I am more excited about it as a teaching tool than anything else. If I had ipads for my lab I know I could use them to fill in the gaps we experience in the photography classes as some students try to learn using point-and-shoot cameras and others have access to full range DSLR’s. Everyone is expected to learn the same concepts and gain the same skills but some students have the right cameras to actually work through the ideas and gain the skills – others just have to work around their cameras limitations and then just learn the concepts in theory. Although I didn’t teach the video production course this semester I can also see the same need in that course. I did appreciate the demonstration on how to project from the laptop so you can share an app with the class.
What challenges have you experienced or do you foresee?
The biggest challenge for me was that I couldn’t find the aps I wanted. And then I was frustrated that if I couldn’t find them I also couldn’t develop them as a student project if I wanted the ipad format – which I do. I once came close to finding what I wanted only to notice at the last minute a warning that the content may be “for mature audiences only”. A simulated camera app for mature audiences only? Part of the problem of the field of photography – often lessons using the female body as subject. Sometimes I’d find an app that came close but was artistically so lame I’d be embarrassed to show it as an example to my students. I did discover some beautiful sophisticated apps (Back in Time) but could not seem to find the combination of creativity and technical lessons I want. I’d say an exciting time for me was when I realized that maybe what I really want is mini etextbook? I love the idea of replacing our textbook with lesson formats that show what I’m talking about rather than just talk about them. I also love the idea of creating the content so it is always up-to-date and relevant. Our textbooks seem out-of-date even after researching them in January and using them in September.
Another big challenge was that we have 3G internet access at our house in the country so I only searched when I was near wi-fi – while at Parkland I always had something else pressing to do it seemed so often my time was in little bits.
In hindsight I would have approached this semester differently. I came in with a clear idea of what I needed and wanted and spent all my time pursuing it. I wish I had come in with more “play” in mind – I might have stumbled on an idea. I will still keep working on this but now I’ll do it through my phone or laptop I guess? Now like most people- I wish I had more time...