Steve talked about PCs as the trucks and busses of our working world dedicated to the heavy lifting of computing and work but looked at the iPad as the family car of the post PC era. The device we choose for personal adventures along the technology highway.
In the last quarter of 2011 Apple sold more iPads than any computing company sold of their entire range of computers. The world has embraced Steve's post PC device.
I was in conversation with a teacher who was bothered that she had not used the iPads in her classrooms in 2012. She wanted to assure me that “as soon as the dust settles,” she will be back choosing apps and designing programs to use the iPad. I asked if girls had just stopped bringing iPads to lessons since she was not using them.
“iPads are there in all lessons and girls are jumping to them all the time to clarify ideas and find new information.”
She told me a lovely story of a discussion of cross stitch that arose recently in class. As the lesson progressed girls used their iPads to find cross stitch patterns and general cross stitch information. The lesson became wonderfully rich as girls brought their discoveries into the lesson. They created this richness with personalised hunting. The lesson was all the richer for this instant, always on, always connected device of the post PC era.
A lightbulb moment happened in the underground parking area at Walford when this teacher saw how much was happening incidentally with the iPad, how it invisibly pervades the learning in her room.
I love this example of personalised learning and it struck me that there is a wonderful new model here of learning as a craft.
If you visit IKEA and purchase a table it will be millimeter perfect with every similar table in IKEA. If you want a personalised table that perfectly suits your wants and visions you visit a cabinet maker to use his craft selecting the best materials and tools then build from the design created with you. It is still a table but it is your table and it fits your life perfectly. It is a personalised craft experience.
Perhaps some schools have been like IKEA. Producing millimeter perfect learning experience for all. It has not been too bad, the educational tables have all worked well enough but they have not been crafted to perfectly fit the exact nook of any particular student.
I think the iPad allows a little more craft into the learning process, and note I say the learning process not the teaching process.
A new model is developing in post PC learning and I observe it happening as a direct result of iPads in classrooms. Teachers are still designing the learning activities (we want a table) but students are now selecting the best tools to help them build that table using their always on, always connected, mobility learning device. They work through the learning journey determined by the learning professional in their classroom then select the most appropriate way to publish their learning.
Learning in this model is a craft. Just as the cabinet maker crafts each table to perfectly fit the need, the iPad allows students to craft the best educational table perfectly matching their need.