Disclaimer: The author is ashamed of her prior anti intrepid anti iPad post.The author is also feeling sheepish right now. The author is feeling very affectionate toward iPads now.
My last post regarding the introduction of iPads at our school is interesting for me to read from a post crisis mindset. As we emerge from the chaos, a new educational landscape is being revealed. It is a landscape of energy, new ideas and equal measures of excitement and frustration. The leaders of our school had a vision of this new landscape that prompted them to initiate a radical change process. Their mindset before and during the changes went beyond the immediate crisis of making things happen that the rest of us were focused on. Leaders are like that. It’s hard to understand and accept that they know what they are doing until the dust settles and we realize how much better things are.
Does a website no longer work because it is built on Flash and iPads won’t display Flash? Too bad, so sad! Say goodbye to it because there is definitely something newer and better out there that was built by forward thinking educators using HTML5. If it’s not there now, it will be very soon. Most of the “I can’t live without it resources” were found a half a decade ago. No doubt that what is familiar is what is easiest, but it’s not necessarily best. The school’s change to iPads as a primary device is forcing teachers to re-examine and renew their resources and methods.
Printing problems? Who needs to print anymore? With Moodle, a popular open source learning management system, no paper need exchange hands. Students can upload their work to Moodle. Teachers can then use an editing program to mark in corrections or indicate mistakes. Then they will upload the corrected file to the student with optional comments. No paper is involved so there are no more “I couldn’t print it” excuses!
Where there is a will, there is a way. File uploading challenges with the iPad are quickly surmounted through the use of information gathered from others and also with a little problem solving of our own. With Google out there, just about any problem there is can be rectified using information gleaned from the repository known as the internet. It’s a place where the brightest people around the world generously share their solutions to problems. They are the people who are the first to invent, find out about, understand and implement anything anyway. As the classic saying goes, “why would we reinvent the wheel?”
So the moral of this story is an old one. The potential for best growth comes from the most challenging of experiences. If you are in the midst of chaos due to change, take heart! Avoid the naysayers and “Negative Nellies.” Charge in, problem solve, convene with others and “get ‘r done.” It’s going to happen anyway so you might as well focus on the future like leaders do. Not only will you smile more, but you might find the dust will settle much faster if you aren’t constantly kicking it around.