Excited but Wary

My laptop

My personal laptop

As I said in my first post, I was “excited but wary” when I learned that our school would implement a 1:1 iPad 2 program with our students in the fall. I also said that I would explain why I described myself that way. So, here it is:

I have been–I am–and will probably always will be a PC guy. I have purposely avoided anything Apple up to this point. No Mac. No iMac. No iPhone. No iPod. No iAnything.

Where did this anti-Apple stance come from you ask? Well, there are a couple of reasons I can give to answer that question. First and foremost, the first desktop computer I had that was internet capable was a Windows PC–and I built it. In 1999 I could go out and buy every piece of hardware for a PC and do it all myself. I don’t think that was possible with anything Apple at the time– or at least it wasn’t as easy. And PC stuff is still easier on the wallet.

The second big reason for my anti-Apple stance is pretty simple: I find the whole cultish atmosphere towards anything Apple a little off-putting. People can get as evangelic as they want about the superiority of Macs as they want with me–I don’t care. I don’t care if it is more stable. I don’t care if it is easier to use. I don’t care if it is more secure. I don’t care if the same program runs better on it. I believe all that–I do. But I still don’t care. I am not giving up my laptop running Windows.

Why? Because they are everywhere. Even Apple had to finally make it is possible to run Windows programs on the Mac. Yes, things are changing. Tech is going more mobile. I don’t have any problem with that. For me, things will fall into having different tools for different jobs–and how convenient it is to move between them.

As for the iPad coming into my class, I was “excited, but wary” mainly because of the question of how easy or difficult it was going to be to move around from my Windows stuff to the iPad. Our school network is also set up around Windows and all of the teacher laptops use Windows–plus the new laptops we are getting will still be Windows. So bringing in the iPad as a major element in the classroom immediately raised some questions that I have to deal with:

  • Can I learn to use this new Apple device–and like it?
  • How will I have my students use it in my classes?
  • How will it affect my teaching?

These are the main questions I had when they handed me my iPad and summer break started. There are some new questions now and I am sure more will come.

I can answer the first question on my list now: I have learned to use the iPad. I wouldn’t go so far to say that I have mastered it, but I am very comfortable with it.

I would even say that I love using it.

I guess that is all for now. L8R

Oh where do I start?

My iPad 2

My iPad 2

I suppose it is time to get this site started. So,where to begin? Well, I decided to start this blog because of a big change in terms of the technology at the school where I teach. This coming fall all of our 5-12 students will have the use of an  iPad 2. This meant each teacher would also receive one–in addition to a new laptop.

This news about the iPads almost seem to come out of nowhere as far as the faculty was concerned. The news definitely created a lot of buzz and excitement once we got the official word that the actual implementation would be happening. Along with the announcement that the students would all have an iPad, the reality that we, as teachers would have to be sure that the students will actually USE them in our classes on a regular basis.

When dealing with a group of any size, it is natural for its members to fall into different categories. I this case some people were very excited, some were a little wary, and some were probably totally against it. I would hazard a guess and say that where any individual teacher landed in that range of enthusiasm depended primarily on their level of comfort with technology.

I would put myself into an “excited, but wary” category. And that was my state of mind as we headed into summer break. We teachers received our  iPad 2 on our last day of school so that we could become familiar with them and start deciding how we would use them in our classes.

So, now it has been about 3 weeks since I received my iPad 2. I decided to start this blog to chronicle my adventures with this new piece of technology and how it impacts my classes and my teaching.

That should do it for now. Next time I will explain why I described myself as being “excited, but wary” in terms of the whole iPad initiative at my school.