YouTube + iPad + Hanalei = Happiness
Image by Wayan Vota via Flickr

Working on an iPad presentation and in my research, came across an interesting interview with Warren Buckleitner, editor of Children’s Technology Review ( childrenstech.com).  I’m enamored with the iPad right now, and even though I don’t have one, I think the current iPod Touch is an amazing device.  Aiden isn’t even 4 yet and I keep considering getting him his own iTouch.  The main reason is that I see it becoming an integral part of the formation of his digital identity.  And Buckleitner’s comments in the interview hit right on the ideas that are playing around in my mind.

Two favorite parts.  The first:

Think of devices like the iPad, and its little brother, the new camera-equipped iPod Touch, as the bicycle of the digital age. These devices are at the center of a modern child’s play. They capture and manage information.

Followed closely by this, when asked whether Montessori would approve of the iPad:

Buckleitner’s view is this: “Remember that Montessori was a physician prior to being an educator. In her speeches and writings, it was obvious that she wasn’t afraid of new technology.”

Montessori would “use iPads, but she’d be choosy about the apps,” Buckeitner said. “She’d look for experiences that empower a child, promote active learning; and that have smart features, such as the ability to self-correct and auto level.”

He adds that she’d use it to supplement, not replace, traditional experiences.

I think one of my biggest issues with many iOS articles and presentations is that they devolve into a ‘favorite apps’ conversation.  That’s like starting off with a solution and trying to find a problem to fit it.  We need to reverse the discussion.  The better question is, what do we need to teach our students and how can technology support it?

There are apps that I absolutely love and rely on daily.  But they’ve all become indispensable because I had a need first, and then the app fulfilled that need.  The apps that I bought because I thought they looked or sounded cool?  More often than not, they haven’t been launched since the day I bought them.  And in the classroom, we shouldn’t be changing our content based on the availability of an app that keys in on it.  If we have a need and the right app is there, that’s fantastic.  If the right app hasn’t been written, then you need to look elsewhere.