A Word About Styli…

Welcome UNIV 391ers!

It was lovely meeting you all this afternoon and I look forward to learning about mobile learning right along with all of you.

I found out about UNIV 391 at the beginning of last semester, about the same time I started working as the graduate fellow at the VCU Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE).  That was also about the same time that Jeff randomly threw an iPad across the desk at me and told me to go play.  I was immediately fascinated.

Were iPads intrinsically different from laptops in regards to what could be done with them in (and out) of a classroom setting?  Would using one completely change the way I thought about learning?  How I took notes?  How I thought about things?  Connected ideas together?

A plan formed in my highly caffeinated brain…Obviously, I needed to trash my laptop and papers and pens and convert completely to iPad-living. Think of it as a sort of immersion language study.

Now you must understand that I take my classes very seriously.  In fact, some would call me a nerd.  So to trash the way of “learning” that has worked so well for me over my 27 years of education (yes, you read that right) was a big deal.

But after several days of floundering, I found my way.  And by the end of the semester, I could say that I had definitely risen to a higher level of integrated learning.  I had gone from drawing connections between ideas like this…

(My previous idea of entertainment)
(Class notes)

To drawing together ideas like this…

(Research Design Assignment)
There were other things that I learned besides adding color to my world, but, hey, we have an entire semester to cover all of that.
So when it comes to your iPad, if you ever feel like this dude…
Then please don’t.  Please drop any of us a line and we will make that frown turn upside down.  I, for one, truly love trying to help people out.  In fact, you may be running away from me before it’s all done.  But I’ll try to contain my enthusiasm…I’m working on that.  
In the mean time…one beginning word of advice…
Get yourself a nice stylus. 

I’m a Wacom fan, but styli styles are a personal thing.  Go check ’em all out, because it’s totally worth it.

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