Me and my iPad: building new literacies

I have to say, after just 10 days of owning an iPad, I am noticing some significant changes to my literacy practices – and being confronted by a range of literacy challenges!

I’ve solved the ‘where is Word’? problem – you can download apps, such as Pages, which costs about $10. I haven’t bought that yet because I want to try and do as much on free apps as I can before I get frustrated and am forced to buy (that’s what a school teacher on a tight budget would have to do).

Literacy lesson #1: There are no obvious ‘windows’ in this operating system. There is also no obvious place where you can see a directory of all your ‘files’. There are apps that are always on and you can look in on them any time.

But…how do I ‘save’ my work then? –> LITERACY OF STORING/SAVING AND BACKING UP DATA IN DIFFERENT PLATFORMS/OPERATING SYSTEMS?

Literacy lesson #2: Google docs can be used as a free word processing tool. I just open it in the web browser (Safari) and work from there.

But…when I’m not online I can’t access Google Docs. –> LITERACY OF ENSURING YOU CAN ACCESS YOUR MATERIALS AT POINT OF NEED?

Literacy lesson #3: I am LOVING using ‘Notes’. It’s an app that comes with the iPad. It works even when you are not online. The ‘what should I use to take notes in class/meetings?’ problem to me is solved with this. And because the only formatting available is the ability to leave empty lines and use capital letters, all of my focus is going into getting the ideas onto the page. None (at least much, much less) of my energy is going into design considerations. I never realised until formatting was taken away from me just how much thought I give to the design of a word document.

So…is that the difference between ‘writing’ and ‘word processing’? Or between ‘scribing’ and ‘writing’? or ‘notes’ and ‘documentation’? –> LITERACY OF WRITING FOR YOURSELF VERSUS FOR OTHERS? LITERACY OF FIRST DRAFTS (maybe “no Mary Jane, you can’t just do your draft in Word, because that’s your publishing platform and I don’t want you thinking about formatting your writing yet”. hmmm…)

Food for thought.

I should say, I have also wondered how much of this thinking is coming from using th iPad per se, or if it is the cumulation of being exposed to many new tools recently – a notebook computer, my Playstation and my Kindle had already got me thinking, but now it’s just all come to a head.

I’m thinking about this faster than I can write in-depth posts about it, but I hope these ideas and questions can launch some discussion!

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