My post kind of goes off Caroline’s discussion of the iPad/fact and fancy in “Hard Times.”
Questions: What is our (students’) function in this iPad test section? Is it to learn, or to be guinea pigs? Both, I suppose.
Obviously, the whole “facts” thing is probably the biggest pedagogical question of all time. What does it mean to truly learn? In our section this semester, the question has come up regularly in regards to what will be expected of us on the final exam, since our other responsibilities have been quite different from those in other sections. As we’ve discussed, having to worry about that stuff just tarnishes what we’re actually aiming at in the class.
Part of what I’ve enjoyed observing is how our use of iPads in the class (and the surprises and inconveniences that have gone along with it) has kind of gradually, unexpectedly pushed us away from the factual side of the class. We didn’t take the midterm. Just this week we decided to put more emphasis on the final project, and less on the final exam. As a result, I feel like I have the freedom to have more fun with the Dickinson project, and I’m sure I’ll get a lot more out of it. If I can somehow thank the iPad for this, then it’s been worth it!