I am often asked what apps are best for education. I promote creation apps over consumption apps. Consumption apps are generally drill and practice. There is a place for drill and practice on the iPad or any tablet, but I don’t believe it should be the only use. These devices should be used for creating material much more than they should be used for drill and practice, even at early years. Check out this blog for ideas from Ms Lirenman, a Grade 1 teacher and how she uses creation tools in her classroom.


Change…Adapt or Perish

About 15 years ago when I only had a dial up connection I used Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. Then I used Firefox and more recently Chrome and Puffin. I now use any number of browsers depending on the site and what works best. I first started creating web pages with HTML, then Netscape, then Front Page, then Dreamweaver, and now some of those tools plus any number of free sites to create content like Weebly and Wikispaces. I contribute to a number of blogs, have a YouTube Channel, and post photos to Google Earth.
For email I have used Eudora, Thunderbird, Yahoo and Hotmail. Now I use Outlook and gmail. I have used a number of word processors over the years including Claris Works, Word Perfect, and a number of versions of Word. I also use Pages, Google Docs, and Open Office.
I regularly use a desktop PC, Mac laptop, iPhone, iPad, Windows Surface, and Nexus 7. I mention this because they all have one thing in common…change.
Today if there is one thing we can count on as educators is change. We as educators can dread change or, accept it as inevitable and try to figure out how to leverage change to help our students prepare for their future.
Will there be fewer technologies in our student’s future? Is the Internet a passing fad? I don’t think so. New technologies will always emerge. For all of the technologies I have left behind, I have moved on to something BETTER. Innovation is not always new but it should be better. We shouldn’t jump on every band wagon that comes along but when change makes sense we can’t fear it or wait until the next thing comes along.
Since technologies will constantly change we shouldn’t really be “teaching” technology. That is, we should not be teaching all the features and functions of a program such as Word or PowerPoint. Those software programs may not be an option in our student’s future. Instead we need to demonstrate the similarities of Word with Pages, Open Office, and Google Docs and teach students to explore and learn new software independently.
To try and predict the technology we will be using years from now in education is impossible. Four years ago I never would have predicted the growth of affordable tablets or Chromebooks. Just expect to be doing something different in the future.
Those educators who are adaptable to change and see it as a way to do something amazing will survive. Those who cling to the past and dread change will eventually go the way of the dinosaurs. I hope educators can find a way to survive.