Tuesday, March 1

Joy in the advertisement: Spotting my alma mater

It's no secret that my alma mater (Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA) is head over heels for the iPad. It was about a year ago that they announced all students would receive an iPad. There has been some news since the announcement, but I had heard most of the feedback I wanted from my former professors. (Since I want to teach, this is the most relevant feedback for me.)

Today I spotted an iPad advertisement on Inside Higher Ed while reading an article about the humanities. It's tough news to take, especially as someone who hopes to break into the humanities, but as I read along I got distracted by the photos in the ad. They looked so incredibly familiar... the thick, hand-carved wooden baseboard, the large, brilliant windows, the classroom podium, the chalkboards framed with heavy, old wood. I also thought I recognized the teacher in the lower picture. It looked an awful lot like the one business professor, Mrs. Guinta, a friend of mine through the women's business center, e-Magnify, where I worked at during my entire undergraduate career.

I rarely click on ads, but I needed to see if this was truly my alma mater.

I was redirected here, to Apple's Learning with iPad education site. I roved around for a moment, not seeing my school listed anywhere, but knowing quite well that they had fully adopted the iPad (and surely Apple had noticed!). I clicked on the video with the caption "See how iPad is transforming teaching and learning at all levels."

Seconds after the video started, I heard a familiar voice. It was Seton Hill President, Dr. JoAnne Boyle. She is a good friend of mine and she taught one of
my English classes when I was a senior—of course I recognized her voice!

I was thrilled they used her sentiments to open the video, but I hoped they weren't through talking about my beloved school. I watched the rest of the video, learning about how Chicago public schools was using the iPad (cute kindergartners learning the alphabet and phonics), how an 8th grader named Emma was succeeding in chemistry (as a visual learner, I think the iPad is really helping overcome those specific challenges), and how a med student at Duke believes that the future of medicine will rest in the interactivity of the medical information with the real application of medicine (perhaps with the iPad as intermediary). Then I was delighted to see more beautiful shots of my school.

I was also thrilled to see that the photos I had identified with my school from the advertisement were, in fact, from my school. Not being there every day for about four years now, I'm pleased I can still recognize its beauty in a few small photos. I'm more pleased, though, that Apple decided to feature my school in the video about how the iPad is changing the face of academe. I'm proud to associate myself with my alma mater because I'm proud of the things they're doing.

A video like this serves two main purposes: an advertisement for Apple (of course) and a means to get more people thinking about how the iPad can change education. There are bound to be more purposes tied up in the philosophy of such a video, but I think the reality of something like this—something so far reaching as a very mobile, technological device that is a silver brick until you turn it on and push it to its limits—is that education will be forever changed for the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me! Leave a comment and let's chat.