Affordances & Constraints - iPad

The details of this chart are less important than the process of creating it. After playing with the iPad, reading/watching how others use it in the classroom, and trying it out with your own students, get together with a few other educators and fill out your own chart. Here's a blank chart we give out as a part of a Think-Pair-Share. You might want to divide it into sections and consider the affordances and constraints by user (teacher/student/special needs student/administrator), use (reading/word processing/movie making/note taking/etc.), subject, or taxonomy (Bloom/SAMR/etc.). Hopefully you'll revise the chart as you use the tool in a wider variety of ways. This can definitely be combined with ideas of balancing technology, content and pedagogy. (Check out this podcast on TPaCK and SAMR.)

  • Instant on (much faster than computers in many networked environments with security software)
  • Battery Life - 10+ hours
  • Portable - small and light - compared to most laptops
  • Can be used sitting in a chair, sitting at a desk, or standing
  • Freedom from cords (most of the time)
  • Built in cameras work directly with a number of apps
  • Ease of Use - Compared to Windows & Macintosh computers - A "lower floor"
  • Lend themselves to "play" and immersion due to their touch capabilities and size
  • Accessibility features
  • iCloud - available on different devices, frees up storage space
  • Built in onscreen keyboard (can also work with external keyboard)
  • Price - cheaper than MacBooks
  • Almost instant on
  • Easy to share (physically)
  • Likely to cut down in printing and photocopying
  • Voice dictation built in - Dragon app also available - will it work for student voices?
  • "If you change the technology but not the method of learning, then you are throwing bad money after bad practice." Cathy Davidson
  • Syncing files between devices (on the other hand, this can help educate students about life in the "cloud")
  • Purchasing,installing,and updating apps for multiple iPads - iPad Deployment
  • iCloud - requires internet access, features still being worked out, account can't be transferred from 1 teacher to another when staff changes
  • iPad 2 cameras could be a little higher quality (like the new iPads & iPhone 4s), but kids don't seem to notice
  • Charging - will charge slowly, if at all from a computer or iPod charger - really requires its own charger
  • Price - initially more expensive than some Windows/Linux laptops and desktops, especially if you don't factor in human time
  • (Remote) Monitoring - What are the students doing when you aren't watching? This is an issue for all devices old and new.
  • Depending on usage, storage memory may be an issue (see textbooks)
  • Can't print to all printers (requires special printers or a sharing service)
  • Files can be accidentally/purposefully deleted in a shared environment (rarely are though)
  • Screen and weight make sharing between two students easy and likely, similar to a piece of paper, but the larger screen of a computer works better (not needed that often) when trying to get 3-4 kids in a group working together
  • How long will they be usable and secure if the OS is no longer updateable after 2 years? (original iPad won't run iOS6)
  • Backing up your work can be an issue depending on how you use your device, especially if you don't sync it to a computer
  • Number and range of apps
  • Apps can be used for all levels of work from consumption to creation
  • Many apps are easier to use than equivalent computer apps - Low Floor
  • The range of apps also offers wide walls and a high ceiling
  • Cost of apps compared to cost for computer apps
  • Notetaking - centralized, multimodal (if used in a 1:1 setting)
    • Can be used for a Commonplace Book, learning journal, etc.
    • Notes can also be taken within iBooks, Kindle books, and PDFs
  • Can be purchased using more than 1 account (district & teacher or student)
  • Can plan, shoot, edit, and publish videos from within a single app (iMovie) - integrated media capture device
  • Full photo studio for shooting, editing, enhancing, and publishing photos (iPhoto)
  • Apps can be powerful or time wasters - See Apps Taskonomy
  • Schools, teachers and students gravitate toward free apps which are not always the best
  • Can be purchased using more than 1 account (district & teacher or student)
  • Multitasking and app integration not as fully developed as on computers
  • Multitasking can be a distraction (but so can many things, are these inherently harder for students to resist? Will this be any different in the "real world" and shouldn't we help students learn to deal with this from an early age?)
  • Can't create "apps" with apps like you can with Scratch or HyperStudio.
  • GoogleDocs - Not fully functional
  • Can display ePub, PDF, and iBooks documents
  • ePubs, PDFs and iBooks can be self published by students, teachers, etc.
  • ePub and iBooks documents can be enhanced (currently, iBooks can be enhanced in a wider variety of ways)
  • Students can take highlight and take notes in ePub and iBook books
    • notes can be emailed
  • Built in dictionary
  • Searchable
  • Adjustable font size
  • Textbooks (see below)
  • As with most books, most cost money (there is a decent set of free books)
  • Books can only be read on your iOS device (no iBooks for your Mac or PC)
  • Notes cannot be shared with class from within iBooks
  • How will this work with libraries and media centers? How will this affect classroom libraries?
  • How do they compare to traditional books?
  • Can be nonlinear and multimodal
    • students can easily rewatch teaching videos, how do you rewind the teacher?
  • Students can take notes within book
  • Searchable
  • Can be easily updated (but will they?)
  • iBooks 2
    • Easily available through iTunes Store - Textbooks
    • Can be relatively easily authored with iBooks Author
    • Automatically creates Notecards (some things do need to be reviewed or memorized)
  • Other formats available
  • Lighter than traditional textbooks
  • Textbooks have been a fallback option for mass consumption of information, usually with little processing, transference, or application. Putting them on an iPad does not inherently change that
    • Does the portability and touch capabilities (if used), combined with the other affordances make it any more likely for a student to ask themselves questions, make connections, or understand at a deeper level?
  • So far, only a limited number of titles available
  • Districts will have to figure out how to purchase them and if/how they can be "reused"
  • How will the social/collaborative nature of learning work?
    • Files can be quite large
    • Font size cannot be adjusted in landscape mode (switch to portrait mode for this)
  • iBooks Author
    • Can only be sold through iTunes Store (but if you make them free, you can distribute other ways - plus, Apple's rate is on par or better than Amazon's rate right now)
  • Wonderful readers model pacing, tone, voices, etc.
  • Increase many students' motivation to read and appreciate literature
Podcasts & iTunes U
  • Amazing number of quality podcasts and iTunes U content
  • Free
  • Multimodal content possible
    • students can easily rewatch teaching videos, how do you rewind the teacher?
Podcasts & iTunes U
  • Range of quality and appropriateness
  • Search tool could be improved
  • Takes up storage space on your device
To categorize:
To Categorize:
  • Can be difficult to keep content organized if using both an iPad and a computer, is it on the iPad, computer, or both (DropBox, iCloud, etc. can mitigate this)

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