And now, a few thoughts from the other side of the desk…
On Thursday, my 17 year old daughter went to school to pick up the iPad that she will be using for her senior year. I had already completed the paperwork required by her school district, and I had paid the $30.00 insurance fee (knowing my kid, this will be money well spent!!). So I was pretty excited to see the actual device in her hands. Finally, after years of writing about the need for 1:1, my own child will be a willing participant in this new adventure in teaching and learning. That is so cool…Right?
Friday night she asked me if I would help her set up the iPad. I said yes, but I could not help until Saturday. I actually had no intention of helping her, however! Why? Because as a Gen Y kid, she should be able to read the directions and do it herself. Isn’t that part of the point of giving kids their own devices? They need to become self-directed in their learning, and this starts with setting the thing up. If she gets stuck, she will need to figure out what to do. There are tons of resources on the Internet to help her.
On Saturday, I was very busy with honey-do projects, and by dinner time, my daughter had to meet her friends. Alas, I was not able to help her, so the device sat in the box. On Sunday we ran errands during the day, and then she went to a concert by some guy named Daughtry so the iPad sat in the box. Finally, tonight my daughter lost her patience with her “exceedingly busy” dad. She sat down and pulled up the very explicit directions on how to set up the device. I looked over her shoulder, and I have to admit that the school did a great job detailing the process for the kids.
Well, my evil plan worked; the kid set up the device by herself. Sure, she struggled a few times, but that makes the whole experience even better for her. She figured it out on her own. The iPad is ready to take her to the outer limits of her learning. So, I ask this most important question…
Are her teachers ready to guide her to a new type of learning never before experienced by students in schools? I will ponder the answers to that question as this new school year evolves. Stay tuned.