The second keynote address was given by Ed Tech Teacher’s Greg Kulowiec.
Greg is a full time employee of Ed Tech Teacher and a former history teacher (go history teachers with technology!!). The crux of his talk is the focus on using iPads as new, integrative tools – to move beyond the substitution model (using them as a new word processor). We should be considering how we use these devices.
He asks the audience: “What is the most impactful and significant aspect of using iPads?’ In other words, what makes these different from traditional computers or even pen and paper?
Greg argues that the iPad is first and foremost a tool, it is a part of the educative process but it is not the end all be all. It should be a means to an end and allow students to achieve their objectives and goals.
“If you give kids a project and you get all the same results, then you have given them a recipe not a project.” – Chris Lehman
The iPad is not a replacement for “traditional” education practices and tools – in fact, traditional media should be a part of the exercise – hand drafts, scripts, clips, etc. However, we need to focus on students creating rather than simply consuming.
He also noted that iPads change the physical construct of the classroom – they are devices that lend themselves to sprawling rather than sitting in a straight row. Teachers need to reinvent the physical space of their classrooms.
“IF the nitty-gritty details of iPad use distract us from our larger mission, then we need to smash them. If we get too lost in the ‘how’ of iPads in classrooms, then we need to stop and ask why?” – Justin Reich “If You Meet an iPad on the Way, Smash it!“
We always need to ask why we are implementing these tools – we need to have objective goals. At first it will be chaotic, but ultimately we will be able to streamline the process.