“There is no reason today to assume that our kids have to use the same tools they did back in 1950 – Infact to do so is to prepare them for a world that has already past”
This was a quote taken from some of the marketing video streamed last week, in Apple’s latest presentation in a bid to help teachers face the challenges of education today. In the launch Apple’s senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller talked about how they can help in the area of student engagement in the classroom and he ran a short video stating some of the challenges that teachers face in the classroom. Here are some of the teacher quotes from the video shown:
“ Education is in the Dark Ages- No fundamental changes have occurred in 150 years”
“ It’s very difficult to be a teacher and to be a student when resources are not available; when class sizes are 40+ and buildings are in disrepair”
“ Students have difficulty with reading writing and arithmetic at the high school level”
“ There have been studies of classroom walk -through throughout the country and (generally) there are very low levels of student engagement and kids are just bored!”
“You can’t expect them to go from a world at home where they’ve got a laptop or a smartphone in their pocket, or a computer on their desk and come into school and have all that disappear”
“Unfortunately not all classrooms have all the technology or even textbooks they need to succeed”
“Teachers get very discouraged when their students don’t succeed and graduate knowing that their teachers have failed them or the system has failed them”
“The ability to engage a student is the key to being a good teacher”
“Using outdated materials such as textbooks make the job (of teaching) much more difficult”
“Textbooks are usually very expensive- they’re usually $50-$100 each, so they’re adopted for 4-5 years and then you’re usually stuck with them”
“Textbooks are usually heavy and if you have three or four of them in a backpack, they’re a lot of weight- so some students will quit bringing them to school”
Apple’s answer to the challenge of promoting more student engagement in the classroom is a new iPad application called iBooks 2 . I’ve put this short guide together to explain it in a “nutshell” and to look at some thoughts about it’s use – especially in the music classroom.
What is iBook 2?
As Apple’s senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller explained in Thursday’s launch, textbooks are outdated – They are often old, dogeared, expensive to buy, students don’t feel they can highlight them, they are heavy and these days the information inside often dates before the book has been released from the publishing house. Since The iPad has fast become every teenager’s number one wish list item, using an iPad to encourage reading text books in the classroom is the future of learning.
All any iPad user needs to do is download iBook 2, which is a free application to their iPad. This application enables any user to browse though textbooks of different categories and add them to their bookshelf. In the classroom, a teacher would suggest a textbook for each student to use and each student would download the book for a cost of around $15, which is a very competitive price compared to any traditional text book publisher.
Thursday’s onstage presentation of iBooks 2 outlined some exciting features which included:
Take a look at this short YouTube Video put out by Apple which brilliantly outlines it’s use and need:
How Could it Be Used in the Music Classroom?
This seems like a great new system to encourage learning and technology with junior – upper high school students. What do you think? What would you be looking for in a Music textbook for this age group? Would your students afford an iPad each to use? Could you imagine using an interactive textbook with your classes? Let us know what you’re thinking on this “hot’ topic as any new advancements in technology are always great reasons to network with the wider teaching community.
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