5 Reasons iPads are King of WTF?

Over at Edudemic (a utopia of splog-lists as far as I can tell) –  the iPad will ‘stay king of the classroom‘ – a remarkable claim by any measure – and manages to provide 5 reasons. I would ignore, but seriously this is dripping all over my internetz and it’s crap.

Firstly, an argument that an iPad’s greatest attribute is that it’s not a laptop (?) and that it supports the SAMR model. No evidence is provided as to how or why this is – though Ruben has discussed workflows in relation to iPads in the recent past.  It is debatable whether the iPad is progress or only cyclic change – but certainly the claim “The iPad is a new kind of device that asks you to think and work differently.” is a puerile a mash up of slogans which fails to convince.

Secondly, the iPad can multi-task and allow students to  to create a creative workflow. What has ‘creativity’ got to do with it? The iPad pre-multi-tasking was widely criticised and required hackers to solve it … but I digress …

Creativity requires that new information comes into the world. The is no correlation here between a workflow and creativity. Indeed I’d argue kids don’t multi-task at all, they rapid-switch and that is requires procedural knowledge (what is known) not imagination (what could be).  The iPad workflow also requires a dogmatic acceptance of how to access and produce information within the (Apple) world. It is deterministic – and always in Apple’s favour.

The third assertion is that the Apple Eco-system gives some teachers some assurance of learning – as everything is connected and ‘just works’.  There are so many floors here, not least confirmation bias,  I won’t waste time on it.

Finally, discusses Apple’s commitment to education. This makes Apple a bloody good cyber citizen. Apple has to plenty to invest (reported to be $120bn), yet it seems very hard to know where or why they actually do it according to the Guardian. How much goes into education, appears a drop in the iOcean.

Perhaps a clarification in the article might be “Apple has seen education as part of it’s market and has consistenly developed and targeted that market with consumer electronics though a loyalty programme”. A global platform of super-sleek but largely dumb devices is already in place. The opportunity for Apple lies in changing how devices are being used. For Apple, the shift towards micro-payments and low-cost high volume “apps” which it get’s other people to make – is without doubt remarkable. At the same time, is hard to argue that Apple is doing much at all in regard to education – certainly not in the way Gates or Lucas have (in America) – given the $120bn it appears to have kicking around.

There are thousands of ‘apps’ for education – most of which are neither innovative or unique – with the vast majority ports of Flash games and Java games which are freely available elsewhere. I’m yet to see an educational-game app that I didn’t delete.

Lastly, Apple is aspirational. Do you Remember eWorld? Well, if not, eWorld competed directly against AOL, CompuServe, and MSN, and finally lost this competition. On March 31, 1996, at 12:01 am the service shut down. No one aspired to eWorld. Now we have iWorld – a cyclic, secular kingdom that while popular today as a life-style brand – owes as much of it’s success to brilliant form design and marketing management as it does it’s performance – not education.

Finally, as far as I know, a classroom is still for learning – and before introducing any technology, it is preferable to have some form of empirical evidence or at least find an imperative. Because I like it – is neither. Schools are not a factory where children are altered to fit and better survive in the technological milieu or fools in a kings court – with an iPad or anything else. It is perhaps one of the few places they can still afford to be children,  not Honey Boo Boo or something for teachers to experiment with.

After all, when culture becomes disconnected from truth, our understanding of freedom itself becomes distorted. This piece isn’t just distorted, it’s whacked on bias and lack of understanding about how learning actually occurs.


Twitter ate my brain and I liked it on Facebook

Too much information hitting you too fast? Are we pushing information at educators simply in response to the massive multiplayer game known as Twitter? Maybe so and here’s what I think is causing the potential edu-Snow Crash.

First, I’ve been on Twitter 97.8% longer than everyone else according to some info-mining algorithm. This must indicate I know more than all but 3% of the planet which entitles me to speak with authority. I also have a cute avatar and willing to drop a button on my shirt at a conference for the boyz. What rubbish.

Second, back in the day, blogging was kind of slow. People took time to write, time to think and time to respond in what seems today a very civil conversation between people who had the sense to learn how to search properly. So back in the days when young Will Richardson got a glimmer in his eye and wrote a book called “Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts”, people we’re already connected to a network. Then came people like Clay Shirky and added a dose of moral panic with tales of civic-technology-saves-the-princess and someone kicked off TED talks and scooped $6,000 a seat and a bucket load of ad-revenue. The “PLN” was born – and all of a sudden, it’s not cool unless you’re tweeting motivational messages or summizing Prensky on your IWB. No one got more literate, they got more distracted and a few got paid or joined the Spice Girls.

Twitter is increasingly useless on purpose. It wanted, and has manged to become, the worlds most used bookmarking service as people like @grattongirl endlessly fling link bait into the metaverse and we follow Captain Obvious to whatever bloody web conference he’s at today – RT-ing his own Tweets and telling people what we should do, before hitting the buffet. If you want to be cool, that’s the way to do it. Then we have the social climbers – those who don’t do much at work apart from Tweet, feasting on their public funded iPad until it’s home time. If you want to get ahead, get on Twitter. Bugger reality, just keep saying it and the drones will believe you. Guess what you’re still in reality. Take a look around.

A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a drink. The bartender replies, ‘For you, no charge.

Reality check: Twitter isn’t what it was (let’s have a beer and talk about glory days later). To put it into perspective – its the Internet equivalent of CNN’s screen-ticker. It’s designed to distract and hold your attention only long enough for you to snack on link-bait (and download Snack Games to Snack Apps) and thereby pay less attention to the big picture above which is often full of rhetoric that we’re also supposed to consume without question. And we do – as Twitter is the ultimate bar-tender, happy to listen to anyone and everyone. I wontz my MTV, Kittahs and links to Fat Kid on a Rollercoaster as long as it doesn’t stop me yelling at politicians on #qanda where I endlessly ‘top’ them with my dazzling appreciation of culture, media, politics and religion. Is that what you really want to show teachers? Yes, of course someone will pay you good money to do that in a workshop so I hear.

It’s called information fluency. Take a breath, learn from someone like Judy O’Connell. Do you think Judy is drooling over her iPhone, tapping refresh like dog trying to scratch an unreachable itch? No. Do you pay enough attention to what Judy’s been saying about the Semantic Web? – Nope. I just tap my screen and RT things, unless I’m being really cool when I RT it to #yam to impress the boss.

Judy – like many other curate their information sources, as they know how to organise it into useful collections for a purpose. I’ve been to Judy’s house – there’s no digital dumpster out the front.

If it takes a 3 seconds to read a Tweet, it takes 30 to follow the link – it takes 3 minutes to read the post and 3 hours to digest what it said (assuming it is a post intended to make you think). That is nuts, no one can process that kind of information. If however, it comes to you, behaves itself and sits in the spot you want it, then like a good dog – you are it’s master. No one wants a dog that barks and bounces around when you’re trying to think. 90% of links that get RTs are not about getting people to think – they are like information coupons offering you a discount in the knowledge isle, or about you buying into someones Top 10 hyperbole.

This would be one of those circumstances that people unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would call a coincidence.

This is the tragedy of blogging these days – people want a free coupon not a conversation – we want it now and we don’t want to work for it. It just may be that we are now more dangerously irrelevant than we’d like to admit.

I thought the the point of social media was that it could help fill the (_____) gap in thinking, and yet, just a few years on we’ve managed to invent snack-media. Yey for us … for we are many and they are n00bs. There, I said it, leave a comment in 140 characters of less  or just maybe go and blog something that tells me a story that changes everything.

And please follow and RT @massMinecraft if you notice it *wink*