iPad: New E-learning Tool?

When Apple Computer unveiled its new iPad touchscreen tablet last week, learning professionals immediately began contemplating how they could best use it.

“Whatever the Apple Tablet might do technologically, The Masie Center’s Learning Lab is focusing on how content such as manuals, learning programs and even Performer Support might be impacted,” notes Elliott Masie. ”As a trustee of a college, I would be fascinated to imagine students buying articles or textbooks in a totally new model. And what if a new model for learning content modules might emerge — where a learning app could be purchased for $1 or $3. Think of developers around the world focusing on ever-better ways of supporting learning about millions of topics.”

Vikas Joshi of the Harbinger Group says the iPad could heighten learner engagement.

“The more you can immerse the learner in an online experience, the better,” he notes. “The optimal balance of screen size and handling convenience has long been elusive. Now the iPad shows a ray of hope. You get a good size screen that you can hold and carry around easily — just like the Kindle. And it seems capable of doing much more than the Kindle.”

Sporting a 9.7 inch multi-touch screen, the iPad is supposed to revolutionize the way we surf the Internet, watch television and movies, read books and newspapers. The handling experience mimics a book — something learners are familiar with. Two or more learners can easily work together with such devices. Intuitive touchscreens and accelerometers allow easy interaction. Being connected at all times will mean the opportunity to embed social learning experiences in structured learning.

So, can it revolutionize the way we learn?

“As learning professionals, we will need to design learning applications that effectively exploit the new capabilities iPad offers,” Joshi says. “We will have a lot to learn from app developers. It will be interesting to see how app developers render richer applications for iPad; it is almost certain that they will be different from laptop browser apps and smart-phone apps. There is a new unlearning and learning curve waiting here for app developers. They need to take advantage of the larger size and touch capabilities while reducing the dependence on keyboard.”

When Apple Computer unveiled its new iPad touchscreen tablet last week, learning professionals immediately began contemplating how they could best use it.

“Whatever the Apple Tablet might do technologically, The Masie Center’s Learning Lab is focusing on how content such as manuals, learning programs and even Performer Support might be impacted,” notes Elliott Masie. ”As a trustee of a college, I would be fascinated to imagine students buying articles or textbooks in a totally new model. And what if a new model for learning content modules might emerge — where a learning app could be purchased for $1 or $3. Think of developers around the world focusing on ever-better ways of supporting learning about millions of topics.”

Vikas Joshi of the Harbinger Group says the iPad could heighten learner engagement.

“The more you can immerse the learner in an online experience, the better,” he notes. “The optimal balance of screen size and handling convenience has long been elusive. Now the iPad shows a ray of hope. You get a good size screen that you can hold and carry around easily — just like the Kindle. And it seems capable of doing much more than the Kindle.”

Sporting a 9.7 inch multi-touch screen, the iPad is supposed to revolutionize the way we surf the Internet, watch television and movies, read books and newspapers. The handling experience mimics a book — something learners are familiar with. Two or more learners can easily work together with such devices. Intuitive touchscreens and accelerometers allow easy interaction. Being connected at all times will mean the opportunity to embed social learning experiences in structured learning.

So, can it revolutionize the way we learn?

“As learning professionals, we will need to design learning applications that effectively exploit the new capabilities iPad offers,” Joshi says. “We will have a lot to learn from app developers. It will be interesting to see how app developers render richer applications for iPad; it is almost certain that they will be different from laptop browser apps and smart-phone apps. There is a new unlearning and learning curve waiting here for app developers. They need to take advantage of the larger size and touch capabilities while reducing the dependence on keyboard.”

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