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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Help! How do I use iPads to Teach AP Human Geography?

I saw the same plea, from the same individual, on two different social media sites in the last few days. First I read:
Moving to a new school that just received tons of iPads for their students. I am totally unfamiliar with them or how to use them in a AP Human Geo class. Any tips? Will ESRI's web based ArcViewer work or the download? I don't recall any issues from Portland last summer with Mac v PC. Help!
Then I read:
moving to a new school that will have new iPads for students and am totally unfamiliar with them. Anyone have a guide for use in the High School Geography classroom? Will ESRI web and downloads work? Apps for ed and geo?
I applaud the instructor for reaching out to others for input and wish him well in his new school. His query, to which I've seen no public responses, raises even more questions about the use of the iPad for education in general and for geography education in particular.
  • If there are iPads, must instructors use them?
  • How do instructors without an iPad prepare themselves to use them in class? Do they buy their own?
  • Are there specific resources for using iPads in any K-12 subjects? AP subjects?
  • Would educational content vendors want to develop a curriculum for a single hardware platform?
  • Are there "tips sites" for using iPads in education? Would tips for elementary school students necessarily translate to high school? College?
  • Does Esri offer tips/special content for using iPads in schools?
  • Where do geography/high school/iPad/AP instructors go for help in curriculum development?
  • Who would build a guide for high school geography with an iPad? NCGE? Private companies?
  • Who will find and curate educational iPad apps for geography? (I have yet to find any worth mentioning...)
  • Isn't an iPad, at one level, "just" a computer? How different is it from using a laptop or desktop in the classroom? Or at home?
  • Can/should instructors "port" their "old" paper or computer-based lessons to the iPad? Would there necessarily be a benefit?
It's still early in the iPad education revolution, so it's not surprising there are still so many questions and so few answers.