they would share the materials on
the day of the shoot. As a result, a lot
of time was wasted working out the
details when students could have been
focusing more on the actual shoot, says
Myers. Now, using the technology, they
can email their work to each other and
have online discussions ahead of time.
“They’re emailing, saying, ‘This is
my storyboard or lighting setup. Tell
me what you think.’ They’re chatting
back and forth, and when they show up
on the shoot, everyone is on the same
page,” Myers says.
Elsewhere, in Scottsdale, journalism
director Julie Knapp uses the iPads to
foster classroom discussions. Using a
website called Poll Everywhere, Knapp
turns students’ iPads into customized
student response systems. Students
are polled or quizzed on a topic, they
input the answers on their iPads, and
the results are delivered and calculated
instantly. Knapp then shares the results
with the class via a classroom projector.
Educators say tablets are light-
weight, convenient, and typically have
excellent battery life. But they are not
At SCC, a group of English students
who were surveyed after they used
iPads for a semester told administrators
they preferred to write their papers
on computers with regular keyboards,
rather than have to attach a wireless
keyboard or fuss with a tablet’s touch-
In 2009, Doug Rowlett, director of
educational technology services at
Houston Community College (HCC)
Southwest College, applied for and
received a $100,000 grant to pilot
emerging digital tools in classrooms.
He purchased 100 Kindle e-book
readers, 35 iPads, and 30 dual-screen
tablet/e-book readers from a now-defunct manufacturer.
The Kindles—used primarily in
English classes—did not change instructors’ teaching styles, but students
who switched to electronic books saved
money, not to mention their backs, by
eliminating the need to haul several
pounds of books around in their backpacks, Rowlett says.
During the initial pilot, administrators
negotiated with textbook publishers
and offered students the ability to
purchase electronic versions of their
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