Monday, 20 May 2013

Parents we have an iPad problem

Sat down in a funky little cafe in St Kilda this morning (for breakfast) reflecting on a wonderful teaching and learning conference I had just attended over the past 3 days. A young family joined us at the table next to us. The father began analysing the menu whilst the Mum reached into her oversized handbag and pulled out the child's pacifier. The pacifier was a little larger than the normal one. The pacifier was an iPad, an amazing tool that I use on a daily basis with my students and the staff I mentor.

We use the iPad in a plethora of ways from digital storytelling, world building, multimedia presentations, Augmented Reality, student feedback giving, observational record keeping.......I could go on and on.

Not a doubt in my mind the iPad is tool, that when used by motivated students and innovative educators, learning is both enhanced and engaged in.

Back to the family sitting next to me. Mum and Dad converse openly. Child does not make a sound for the entire meal.

Time to fly back to Queensland, family sits a couple of rows in front of me. This time Mum and Dad and 2 children. The first, a boy 4 years of age and the second, a young female toddler. Both parents hand over an iPad each to their children. Over the course of the flight both children say very little, but I watch closely. Both are watching movies and using coloring in Apps.

So what's the problem?

Our world is changing, and the world our children will enter into during and after school is much different to that of our generation. Firstly, we passively consumed Media. We watched TV and later consumed the Internet by browsing websites. Secondly, the work place required a different set of skills to that our children will require.

We are entering a time in history where creativity and divergent thinking is what our children will require in the work place. As Dan Pink states:

"The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't."

I recently viewed a concert on Youtube. The concert was a little different.

This needs a little explaining. 

  1. This is a real audience. 
  2. The singer is completely virtual.
  3. The concert was sold out in 3 countries.


A team of individuals created this character collaboratively using completely open source and free software. No ones owns this character. Anyone, or more likely group, can create a concert using this free software. 

I could give more examples. Wikipedia. Who would of thought the largest resource site would be created and fed by us, hobbyists and enthusiasts who don't look for payment or recognition. Wikipedia succeeded because we are changing and the world is changing. Microsofts plans for a CD encyclopedia (ENCARTA), hiring the best academics and writers in the world, was blown out of the water because it didn't involve us. We are creators and collaborators and we own the Internet.

So why do I have a problem with iPads. Young children are being kept quite by iPads. Young students are being kept quite using iPads in a passive and extremely unnatural way. This is the problem Parents need to address. We are fostering an environment that is completely foreign to the generation coming through. We are fostering skills that will be (currently are) obsolete.

I see greatness with tools like the iPad. I see naturally innovative and creatively blessed minds using iPads in creative and innovative ways.

Unfortunately I also see something else and it worries me.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Augmented Reality in Education featured on iBookstore

Proud to announce Augmented Reality in Education featured on the iBookstore in the Made with iBooks Author category and the New Category.
Download below.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

AR in education

“Whilst technologies such as QR Codes and Hyperlinks provide a valuable service with holding data and directing individuals to external sites, Augmented Reality connects real life objects, places and people around us to a variety of information and simulated experiences. The power of students self exploring the physical world around them and discovering for themselves should never be underestimated.
Learning should be connected to life and the experiences our students have already been through and will go through. This will enable more authentic learning experiences for our students. The results outlined later in this book look at a Mathematics Augmented experience. Linking an effective video tutorial to that of a real life object resonates with students. As one of my students stated:
“Next time I look at any triangle in the world, I will remember how to work out the area”.
This comment reinforces the inadequacies of linking tools such as QR Codes and traditional Hyperlinks. By linking a structured lesson to that of a real life objects, the student automatically makes connection with other real life objects resulting in a conceptual learning approach. ”

Excerpt From: Hamilton, Paul. “Augmented Reality In Education.” v1.2. Paul Hamilton, 2013. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBookstore:

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Augmented Reality in Education iBook

Paul Hamilton has just published a free multi touch iBook on the use of Augmented Reality in Education. Outlining statistics, influences on the mind and practical tutorials for creating an AR experiences for students, this book is proving to be a valuable edition to your iBook library. And the best thing it is a FREE iBook.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Augmented Reality in Education iBook release

Proud to say that my iBook Augmented Reality in Education has just been release in 51 countries. Totally free. Hope teachers find it informative.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Learning and the iPad

When looking at using iPads and Apps in education let's not forget about proven teaching methods and connect them to the technology we use in the classroom.

3 things that tell you your iPad program is not working

1.Your iPads are sitting in filing cabinets not being used

This is a direct results of schools funding iPads and not committing to professional development for their staff. Schools should work on a 60-40 model in regard to spending. 60% on Ipads, Apps and infrastructure and 40% on the professional develop of staff.

2. Your young students keep asking for free time on the iPads

Clearly a culture of learning using technology has not taken place. Maybe this is because of a lack of shared vision or staff simply not setting open, creative tasks and giving adequate feedback on content and creation.

3. Your students are "playing" educational games all of the time

The iPad is a wonderful tool for creation. 21st century skills and the push for innovative, creative and divergent thinkers is what we need to foster and develop. Forcing our students to become passive consumers instead of active creators is creating a generation of children unable to problem solve or think for themselves.