Gratefully, no leads panned out, and as a result, 15 years later, no Baby Grand resides in the corner by the windows overlooking the lake. Just lush, beautiful, oxygen-giving plants.
(Stay with me here - the piano analogy will make itself known by the end of this post, I promise).
So today, this iPad Day 2, I am here to report a mixed bag:
The sturdy, functional part of the bag: students are completely engaged, iPads in hand; iPads are, I believe, at one with the student mind. Quick enough, responsive enough, individualized enough to maintain student attention and engagement, period.
The soggy, ripped part of the bag: iPads are certainly are most successful in a 1-to-1 environment: it's challenging having 5 different students use each iPad, saving pictures, documents, tying to push their work out of apps to their own ends.
Two Teacher lessons-learned today:
1) I'm finding myself challenged with the notion of letting go of control. Case in point: students were writing on iPads today and as I was circulating, I saw one student had taken a goofy picture and embedded it in his document. That's not what I asked them to do, but when I look closer, I realized he was writing about the picture. I need to loosen up my presumptions and allow this multi-tasking generation to max out on these machines.
2) At the same time, I have to figure out a way to help students leverage the technology to access and develop their critical thinking skills. I had my Sophomores today exploring the question: "What is Poetry?" I presented Bloom's Taxonomy for Technology, encouraging students to answer the question using higher levels of the taxonomy. Tomorrow, I'll see the full results, but from what I gleaned in class, most were clearly at the bottom level, knowledge. My work is cut out for me, central question being: how to help students use this technology that they are clearly crazy about - to help them access high order thinking; after all, the music's not in the piano; the learning isn't in the iPad: I need to orchestrate; they need to practice; and only then, will boyfriend sing.