August 24, 2016

“Just how big is the universe, how small is an atom, and how long have we humans lived on Earth, compared with dinosaurs? Such answers are better learned with an iPad, according to a new study that shows just how tablets tap neurocognitive abilities that help students understand enormous scale and other difficult concepts.


Students saw learning gains after as little as 20 minutes of study on the iPad, the research found, and if supported with guidance from an instructor their improvement may have been even more pronounced, the scientists suggest. “The bottom line is that these iPads and similar tools actually do make a difference,” said physicist Matthew Schneps, a founding member of the Science Education Department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts.  .  .  .”   (“iPads Improve Classroom Learning, Study Finds” by Brian Handwork, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)

In reviewing a book for THE NEW YORK TIMES, “Now You See It,” by Cathy N. Davidson, Virginia Heffernan gives us further strong rationale for the positive use of iPads (and, by implication, other tablets):

“Simply put, we can’t keep preparing students for a world that doesn’t exist. We can’t keep ignoring the formidable cognitive skills they’re developing on their own. And above all, we must stop disparaging digital prowess just because some of us over 40 don’t happen to possess it. An institutional grudge match with the young can sabotage an entire culture.  .  .  .”

 For those of us committed to technology skills training in the Process & Manufacturing industries, it is good to see education starting to catch up.

Beginning with interactive laser videodisc (IVD) and culminating with CD-ROM and media-rooted e-Learning, we have seen major advances in skills acquisition as industrial skills training has progressed into the dominant learning culture of our workforce.

Education needs to follow suit.

For too long, our education system has remained bogged down in their old ways — with an almost-exclusive use of the “lecture/reading/testing” methodology.

Not much longer!

It is becoming increasingly obvious from the above articles that, “help is on the way!”

Using technology as a learning tool is one of the more important prescriptions for better learning.

More on Monday –  –  –

         — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

      www.itclearning.com/blog/  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner, jhbillwalton@gmail.com, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)