Since this is the last time I’ll be blogging for the semester, I think it’s appropriate to finish out with another iPad post (I’m pretty most of mine have been about this, but hey–that’s the point of the section, right?).
I took my iPad home over the Easter weekend, and had different people ask me on different occasions if I was going to be sad to give it back. Both times I said I was looking forward to the day, and then wondered to myself, why is that?
I don’t regret having stayed in the section. At the beginning of the semester I felt, and still do feel at the end, that we’re providing a valuable service to the department and the University by reading on our iPads and giving thorough feedback. That said, it has been somewhat frustrating:
I remember several times envying my classmates in lecture who I saw flipping luxuriously through their coursepacks, annotating and underlining in real-time along with the lectures, when by the time I could’ve gotten there on my iPad, lecture would’ve already been over! I’ve felt disorganized, lost, and endured a pervasive fear that I’m missing something/everything.
More than that though, I haven’t become attached to my iPad at all. Quite the opposite. As the semester progressed, I cared for it less and less. It’s not mine, and that’s been clear from the get-go. Why should I put in the time and effort to get to know it/make it my own, when it’s just going to be leaving me as soon as I do? After three months, ‘Rochester’ is more of an unwelcome houseguest who takes up space in my room, and who I feel obligated to hang out with when, all joking aside, I’d much rather be sitting down with a good book.
A few things that would improve the experiment: 1.) Have students buy their own iPads, or give them to them. I know this isn’t as feasible, but regardless, I think the ownership issue is a major flaw in the experiment. 2.) Better formats. Buy EPUB texts and preload them onto the iPad, or reimburse us for buying them (also, better editions (i.e. not simply scanned) of Google books would have been nice). As for PDFs, I can more easily read and sort them on my laptop. 3.) If you must use PDFs, preload the $10 app, iAnnotate PDF onto each iPad.
I guess that’s all. Like I said, no regrets and no bad feelings, but I won’t be sad to see him go.