There's an App for that Syndrome

The best of Apple slogans...


Macintosh-The Computer for the Rest of Us

Think Different

The Internet in Your Pocket


...and then the one that most of us know today...

There's an App for That


This is an older commercial but it is still pretty awesome...

 

 

 It's a phrase that has become a part of our cultural lexicon.  Apple and its many iOS products has moved us as a society from talking about software...to talking about "apps".  App this and app that it has even crossed over to other platforms that provide an App Store.

 As you can imagine, there are a lot of articles about 1:1 iPads, education, and school rollout.  I was reading this particular article--http://ipadeducators.ning.com/profiles/blogs/10-steps which details the authors 10 steps to a 1:1 iPad initiative.  While they were all good points, number 6 just jumped out to me as I was reading...Overcoming "There's and App for that Syndrome".

 Go to the App Store and you are sure to find apps to satisfy every little curiosity that you have...apps for kids, apps for teachers, apps for Grandma and Grandpa.  You get the idea...so it should be really easy to find apps for all classes right?  I mean its an iPad, lets make sure our students have as many apps a possible...

 But do apps lead to better learning?  Are apps the key to a 1:1 iPad initiative?

 The simple answer is kinda yes but really no...

 Yes, Apps can allow students to do amazing things.  Note taking, book writing, photo editing, the list goes on and on.  You can find apps for the Common Core, you can find apps to make a comic book, and you can find apps that can help you  edit videos right on the iPad.  Amazing, amazing, stuff can be done on an iPad with really cool apps.

 BUT.....No, the Apps do not lead to better learning.  Look deeper, its not really the Apps but the awesome teachers that put kids in the situation to learn.  The iPad is another tool that teachers can use to improve school learning, but it dosent take great apps to do that........it takes a teacher that puts kids in a great environment to learn.

 Learning on an iPad is not app dependent.  Sure, there are some very good cross curricular apps that can work in Kindergarten as well as for High School Juniors.  Apps like iMovie, Explain Everything, and Notability are versatile apps that can do wonderful things...but they need creative innovative teachers putting students in a position to be creative innovative learners.

 Learners should not be bogged down in content specific apps.  While some of those are nice to have, and can be a nice resource, the real advantage to an iPad is the creative apps that allow students to demonstrate their learning.  Content heavy apps do not allow students to show, demonstrate, or create the outstanding things that our kids can do...

 So yes, there is an app for that, but even better, there is a teacher for that.