Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Unfetterred Inquiry & Creation (iPad 1 of ?)

Testing the waters...
I'm not an early adopter of the iPad, or for that matter pc tablets. I would not give of my laptop, nor the desktop--although their growing compactness is very appealing. What the iPad provides is a "light weight" computing system with above average web access (as of this posting my local library Internet is not friendly to this iPad. To be fair I have similar problems with laptops there too) and good content tools. Combined with the social networks and communication tools (like this blog) there is no single desk or chair I must reside to work.

With wifi a part of our society. Including many free access points + cellular access there is more possibility for students to do field research. Traditionally, Science corners the market on technology used in the field, such as water quality studies and measurements of force and speed on roller coasters. It's time to open the field. Think of data collection that can occur through a robust system that allows for such data collection as survey work with upload access. Or if I want to collect costs in a supermarket, upload and do a comparison with stores in other regions--same or different store chains.

Even better follow a news item in it's reporting in different locales or across states or countries. What does Joe and Joanne Citizen think about a current event. Bring up a source document and see how view points change. Students learn the importance of reviewing multiple sources before making a judgement, rather than leaping to conclusions. Take for example the current flap around ShirLey Sherrod, an employee of the USDA. She was forced to resign over alleged racist remarks. Now the White House is apologizing for jumping to judgement. The incident raises many issues from misuse (deliberate and otherwise) to a need to verify sources and facts. just for the record of this example, reserve judgement until you see the full video. The edited version, slanting context, is on YouTube.

A final note on usage is that this entire piece was constructed with related, reviewed links on an iPad.

More to explore and share...