Playing a Symphony with the iPad

Woodley Wonderworks

Woodley Wonderworks

Well almost. But I got you reading! Dan Pink in his book A Whole New Mind describes how we need to develop the right side of our brains, big picture thinking, to complement the left side of our brains, reasoning and logic. Pink talks about six aptitudes people will need in order to increase our potential to become adept and competitive in future endeavors. He stresses that too many people focus on left side thinking neglecting the right side thinking that helps with innovation, creation, and intuition. I want to explore two of them in relation to teaching with the iPad.


This refers to people seeing the big picture and then finding out the smaller details within this larger context; a typical right brain activity. I feel that with the iPad, students are creating a lot more and there is much more potential students can unlock in themselves through the right manner. With challenge based learning, students start with the big idea to see the broader picture. Then students brainstorm essential questions and they start to narrow their focus. They eventually get down to guiding questions and solutions, quite specific compared with where they’ve come from with the big idea. A challenge might include an authentic problem and students implement solutions that affect the community. How they pull all these elements together takes symphony.


The concept behind this aptitude is that play will help clear the mind and increase productivity and longevity in many aspects of life. It focuses on benefiting health and spirit through fun activities. Perhaps I am blurring the lines of play but I want to hypothesize about the aspect of play inherent in the iPad. Two things. Would we be able to utilize the iPad to provide students with different fun activities totally unrelated to the subject matter and would this promote wellness in the student to continue with other work in a productive fashion? Alternatively, are there aspects to the iPad that fit this fun aptitude to promote spirit when working with the subject matter? This article commented that gamification works when games can’t be won easily and gamers continue to level up instead. Would this type of activity facilitated by the iPad constitute play while working with the subject?

Lastly, a happy new year to you all! Bigger and better in 2013.


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