Thursday, November 1, 2012

Great teaching is about the process, not the product

iPads fit perfectly into teaching thinking, creativity, and problem solving because they allow for a unique and thought-filled process.  Teachers who give assignments and expect products will create one type of student - the type who knows he/she just needs to figure out what the teacher wants.

Teachers who send students on journeys where they get to demonstrate understanding, think flexibly / creatively, see things from differing viewpoints, make connections, teach others, practice persistence, experience struggle, and articulate their thinking create one type of student - the type who knows that it is the thinking itself that is valued.


What happens when something goes wrong?  An iPad is a piece of technology after all, so something will go wrong sooner or later.  When a student loses a project or an app crashes it's important to remember that just the project was lost.  The student still has his knowledge, his creativity, his thinking. He has still been on a journey of learning.  It's just the product that was lost - not the process.

iPads are not the answer to every educational challenge or opportunity.  Just because a device is great doesn't mean it's worth giving to a child for educational purposes (Mike Muir, 2011).  This is true of any tool we use in our classrooms.  However, iPads do allow for varied, individual, and creative thinking opportunities for a wide range of students. It's not about whether this is the right tool, it's about when is this the right tool, and how can teachers use it effectively.  In other words, educators need to remember that the iPad can be a tool to teach thinking.  It should be used to help students think and learn and not to provide just another way to deliver a product.


  1. This is a great reflective post. I am going to share with a group of teachers I am training tomorrow. I am coming for a visit on November 9! Can't wait to see you and what you are doing in the classroom. :)

  2. Thanks Melissa - it was great seeing the other day!