When I announced that I was writing a grant to supply faculty with iPads for experimentation in teaching, a friend asked what exactly I had in mind for the devices. I didn’t, and still don’t, have an exact answer.
So far, I’ve started writing this blog entry with it. It’s amusing, though not efficient. (To its* credit, the WordPress app is pretty good.)
I’ve also been able to email and browse, find video and status updates. I’ve played curling and air hockey. Right now I’m experimenting with books and research papers, as well as note taking and thought organizing. There’s lots of potential in these things, but lots of skepticism as well. I was impressed to see Stephen Colbert dice up salsa with the device, and my own personal favorite use so far has been a virtual slateboard, complete with chalk and eraser. All it was missing was the dust on my hands (and pants, shirt, face …).
But the best outcome of the iPad so far was before I had it in hand. On Saturday, upon getting the note that my order was at the bookstore and realizing I had a 15 minute window in my plans to pick it up, I scurried to our empty campus and normally closed bookstore. In the parking lot there was a car with a small group around, and as I walked by I recognized a host of literary characters including my friend Lawson. He was one minute away from leaving for the airport. So, driven by the latest piece of technology, I had a chance to say goodbye to our campus guest who doesn’t even use email. I wished him well and thanked him for coming; he did the same and gave me a hug.
* After re-reading this after I published, I realized that the “feature” on the iPad that corrects spelling and typos also “corrected” an “its” to an “it’s”. I just switched it back . . . but how embarrassing to the many** people who could have read this!
** By “many” I mean two.