Pagliaro, J. (2010) Apple America: Why Canada’s learning technology experts say tech handouts are lackluster Macleans, May 17
Another disappointing article from a national journal, this time Maclean’s of Canada. It went after Canadian reaction to giving out the latest technology to students. Not much to learn from it, but it’s here for the record.
Generally, my view is that students are usually ahead of faculty in acquiring the latest technology, so why give them stuff they are already likely to buy for themselves? If they are not likely to have it already, why would you use it?
However, there is one exception I would make to this. We don’t have enough innovation in teaching, and it would be good to see faculty, using decent evaluation methods, exploring the potential role of new technologies for teaching and learning. This might require buying some iPads or iPhones just for the purposes of trying them out with a small group of students – provided students are happy to be part of such an experiment, and there is a clear learning strategy behind the choice of the technology.
However, our research funding agencies (and the ethics committees in particular) probably couldn’t handle this kind of improptu research and evaluation – by the time they agreed to funding, the technology would already be obsolete.
See also: A good reason to give students iPads?