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Someday/Monday: Connecting with iPads

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Beth Holland and I have finished the fourth of our four part series for KQED Mindshift on iPads in education. In this final piece, we look at how tablet computers can play a role in creating connected classrooms.

The post features Kristen Wideen's classroom as an exemplar for getting students communicating with peers around the world. Mrs. Wideen comes from Beth's network, and by all accounts she's a terrific educator and the work that she shares is really inspiring:

Armed with iPads, Kristen Wideen's students regularly blog, journal, create, and curate throughout the day, as she describes in A Day in the Life of a Connected Classroom. Her students leverage the tools to make deeper connections with the content and extended ones with a broader audience. Her class tweets about their new tadpoles with a classroom in Singapore, and they share math problems with another via Skype. Wideen takes the online network that she's built with other educators and uses her connections to help her students learn with students from around the world.

Beth and I conclude the piece with some hopes for how educators might think about the challenges and opportunities of tablets in education in the months ahead:

From Consumption to Curation, Creation, and Connection
The greatest risk of our investment in tablet computers is that nothing will change. We could find in a few years that, at great expense, we've traded paper textbooks for digital textbooks, paper notebooks for digital notebooks, and paper multiple choice tests for digital multiple choice tests. We may find that as educators we simply take these expensive new devices and digitize existing practices.
Our hope is that we can do more, that we can take the investment that the public is making into education technologies and use them to create much richer learning experiences for students. We've tried in these four posts about Consumption, Curation, Creation and Connection to chart a journey from the ordinary to the exceptional, and in each post we've tried to point the way to transformative uses of technology while helping point out the first step (Monday) of a longer adventure (Someday).

Many thanks to Tina Barseghian and KQED for letting us be a part of the great space that Tina has curated and created.

For regular updates, follow me on Twitter at @bjfr and for my publications, C.V., and online portfolio, visit EdTechResearcher.

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