I found this blog post from Larry Cuban (@CubanLarry) on Twitter recently (the full text is here), and just had to share it.
Although posted on Larry Cuban’s blog, this post was written by a high school student. It is full of advice for teachers on how to get the best from their students – often with technology. From urging teachers to walk around the room (and in so doing see what their students are actually up to on their tablets) to asking teachers to take charge of personally owned devices (apparently students like and respond to “no phones in class without permission” rules), to recommendations of educational apps, the advice is clear, concise and realistic. How many teachers will dare it read it and take heart, one wonders.
This section in particular caught my eye, as it refers to one of my pet bug-bears:
iPads are not Windows PCs. They are not interchangeable. They each do different things exceptionally well. Choose the right one for the task at hand. Please, please do not try to turn your pupils’ iPads into little laptops.
“A Cat Is Not a Dog; An iPad Is NOT A Computer
The iPad is a wonderful thing. But here’s what drives me crazy: Teachers expect it to replace the computer. Have you ever typed directly on an iPad? Kill me. Almost every word is a typo. Then those typos get auto-corrected. You end up with Marie Antoinette saying, “Let’s then ray bake”. You see my issue.
And don’t get me started on keyboards that connect to the iPad. The only good ones are super expensive, and they get destroyed in your backpack. Remember, even with all the cool new tech in schools, you still have me carry 45 lbs of books over my shoulder. Last year, my Logitech keyboard lasted 3 weeks before keys started to fall off. My Dad said it was my fault and wouldn’t get me a new one. After every other keystroke, “[ “ would appear. Sentences looked like, “Marie[ Antoinette, s[aid[[, let th[[em eat[ cak[e.” It was possibly the most frustrating thing ever. Did my teachers care? Not a bit.
Teachers: On behalf of millions of students everywhere, I beg: Don’t make us type on an iPad.”