Saturday, April 14, 2012

Karen Geary Reports on the iPad in Mathematics

Karen Geary, member of the Exeter mathematics department, has been an avid user of the iPad. Last term she taught a class in which every student had an iPad, then reported to the faculty on her experience. Karen is very innovative, more than willing to experiment with new teaching technologies,  and very willing to take risks with new teaching strategies. She has contributed much to the discussion about iPads in education over the past year. Here is her latest message...

"While doing the Babylonian algorithm problem in math 410 this morning, we were talking about the usefulness of using simple operations like addition, multiplication and division to find a square root back in 1600 BCE. The question of what numerical system the Babylonians used came up. A student suggested that I could google it on my iPad. In about ten seconds, I had an image of their system up on the document camera and we spent 5 minutes or so looking at it and noticing how cool it was, that it was base sixty but with elements of a base ten structure, and looked pretty intuitive. I don't think it added anything measurable to their understanding of calculus. But it is the kind of rich classroom experience I want to provide for my students. I've taught this problem 5 times or more, I think. I've never felt as good about it as I did this morning."

Education as we know it is changing rapidly. Today, with current technology, anyone can learn anything at anytime. Will schools become obsolete? Hopefully not. But, will we need to rethink how and what we teach? Hopefully yes. Helping students to learn how to find information, how to sift through the information, and whether or not the information can be trusted is becoming a large part of our role as educators. As the technology improves, more and more apps are developed, more books are digitized, and more information is made available, this shift in education becomes more and more urgent.

Jenny Oakley Wows Students with iPad Art

Jenny Oakley of Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock, Scotland presented her iPad artwork at assembly on Tuesday, April 10th. Ms. Oakley, who teaches art and drama at Cedars, spoke to students about how the iPad has influenced her teaching of art. Moreover, she spoke of how the iPad allows students to experiment with design, texture, and color without fear of making mistakes. While at Exeter, Ms. Oakley visited with art classes and with members of the art faculty. Becky Longley, member of the Exeter art department, taught an art class over winter term in which each student had an iPad. In January she gave a very impressive presentation to the faculty. This spring, Tara Misenheimer is teaching Art 444 with iPads. To see more of Jenny Oakley's iPad art, and that of her students, click here. Below are some pictures from Ms. Oakley's visit...

iPad painting of Danbo

Art teacher Becky Longley thanks Jenny

Students speak with Jenny about the iPad after her talk

Jenny "coaches" batting practice with legendary baseball coach Bill Dennehy