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Always On…Always Connected

December 15, 2010

I’m sitting at O’Hare airport about ready to head somewhere further south, but curiously not that much warmer. The holiday decorations have me in a festive mood and I start to think about all the good little girls and boys who will receive portable electronics this year. I think about the number of people that will receive an iPad in the next month and I tremble for unsuspecting support centers anywhere.

I love my iPad. It’s a life changing bit of technology. Two simple tenants: it’s always on and it’s always connected, add a wealth of functionality and accessibility beyond what my massive laptop offers. (Don’t get me wrong. I love my hulking laptop, but for entirely different reasons. My heart is big enough for multiple tech devices.)

Beyond the host of trembling support analysts wondering how they can plug the security holes, fix the terribly dysfunctional documents, and answer all the questions inviting an iPad into a firm will introduce, there ponders a mass of training specialists trying to figure out how they can use this marvelous technology to help people learn the evolving skills needed to provide greater success at their jobs.

I offer the same two ideas I find so amazing about the tool: It is always on; it is always connected.

The educational term “teachable moment’ reflects the optimal point in time when a student can gain insight. Most often, teachers need to watch for these unscripted events, ready to jump in and guide their charges when opportunity strikes. Now, the self-directed learner has the ever on, always connected iPad to turn to. Instructional texts, videos, and firm specific software (perhaps) lay at their fingertips, ready to guide them through the task at hand through a number of educational vectors.

I do not believe the iPad can replace an instructor with a well-developed sense of “Withitness.” I do believe the device will appeal to a number of learners in the moment of transitioning data to knowledge. The iPad brings information to life with an unrivaled ease of accessibility. It is always on. It is always connected.

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