Education at all levels is undergoing rapid change as governments require higher student achievement and parents and students expect high schools and colleges to better prepare students for jobs.
This approach is vastly different than the education system of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. During those decades the education process followed the post-World War II philosophy of providing a lot of exposure to different topics and then letting students figure out what they were good at and what they liked so they could pursue a career. That permissive approach has disappeared.
Today’s education world is vastly different. Students are expected to achieve in a verifiable way and their progress is tracked on state-mandated tests. There is very little leeway in learning as more time has been spent on teaching to the test than allowing students to follow their interests.
Which brings us to Goshen College’s announcement last week that every incoming freshman in the fall will receive an iPad to utilize in class and to use to reach out to the world. We think that is the best idea for expanding education horizons we have heard at any level in the past few years. The idea also stands in stark contrast to the controlled-narrowed education students in Indiana high schools are receiving these days.
Goshen College is a liberal arts institution, and as such is free to foster a quest of knowledge. Adding the iPads as a teaching tool will certainly help that cause.
The iPad is simply a mechanical device, but it and other computerized tablets tie portability to Internet access and throw in a good dose of creativity. Tablets can be used to film a movie, create a slide show and present statistical information in an easy-to-understand manner.
Tablets can even be used to easily communicate live, allowing users at each end to see what is occurring. That means a Goshen College sociology class studying the people of another culture can talk to those people on the other side of the world as part of their curriculum.
Tablets are the computing devices of the future and we are glad GC students will be able to utilize them en mass this fall. We can’t wait to find out what new ways they incorporate these tablets into their college experience.