As a Certified Instructor for the Council of Residential Specialists, I attend meetings twice a year with my fellow instructors. Typically, we discuss courses in general and specifically, as well as the overall state of the classroom. In the last couple of years, a hot topic has been the emergence of laptop computers in the classroom.
Instructors have differing opinions on the impact of students possessing these technological contraptions in classroom. The scope of those ranges from it being no problem whatsoever, to it being some sort of a manifestation of evil, and everywhere in between. Personally, I don’t mind. I don’t like distractions in the room, so like anything else, there is potential for issues. I just haven’t really had any to date.
What I have noticed in the last few months, however, is a huge increase in the number of tablet computers, predominantly, iPads. One reason for this phenomenon is the iPads relative newness in the world and the novelty attached to being a user. The other reason, I suspect, has to be the ability to utilize this machine for everything from note taking, to checking that website just mentioned, to critiquing the class (good OR bad) on social media.No matter the reason, they are everywhere (almost).
The apparatus sits ever so sleekly upon the student’s work area, they don’t fill an over-abundance of space, and make little or no noise when being used. The only way they are even close to being a distraction is because of me. You see, I suffer from an extreme case of Pad Envy. I wander the room, asking people how they like theirs, what Apps are their favorites and say things like, “Yeah, cool!”
Sure, I know what you’re thinking: Buy One, Silly! Well, not so easy. At the Sands household we are still digging out from a much less than productive spring and summer. The iPad, while a wonderful, practical tool, is still very much a luxury. And the odds of Santa delivering (since WE are Santa) are few and far between.
So, ever so diligently, I keep my eyes focused on the big picture: climbing out of the holes, booking courses for 2012, and silently, yet forcefully relying on you-know-who ….. yeah, the Easter Bunny. Now, THAT is a plan!
As I said in my last blog, If you got ’em, use ’em. They truly are one of the finest technology tools to emerge in this century. Just be kind, okay? I have Pad Envy.