Cal Poly Pomona (Noam)



Jan '13 - Mar '14

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    Surface Learning

    Noam Saragosti May 13 '13 0

    I remember last summer when I was talking to one of my mother’s friends about her son.  She told me that his middle school provides all the students with ipads and requires them to use it as the primary learning device. He said that they rarely take notes with pencil and paper anymore. The thought of learning through the interaction with a digital surface as the principal medium was new to me. I immediately felt dissatisfaction but wasn't exactly sure why; is this actually detrimental to the educational process? Am I simply reacting negatively to change as a resistance mechanism? Do I have some romantic idea about the importance of putting pen to paper? 

    This quarter I enrolled in ARC 454 iPad Portfolio Class (co-taught by Sarah Lorenzen and George Proctor), which is a pilot class aimed at the goal of publishing an iPad app portfolio for each student. As part of a grant, each student would receive an iPad for the quarter to help reinforce the understanding of the medium and to be able to easily test portfolio ideas. This class sparked excitement within me for several reasons. I will get the cheap one out of the way first: we are getting free ipads! Okay… second, it is a great opportunity to rethink and redesign our portfolios. And third, I wanted to get a personal understanding of possibilities of interactions with a tablet, and maybe answer some of my puzzlement.

    This is our mac computer lab.

    In the beginning of the class there was a debate about whether to use Corona or iBooks Author. In the end, iBooks Author was more suitable for the short amount of time we had to learn the platform, write the application, and redo our portfolio images.  The drawback of iBooks Author is that it’s somewhat limited in terms of its interactions capabilities. As the title suggests, it’s mostly meant for the creation of books, and has a more or less set layout format.

    We were joking about making one of those cheesy unpacking youtube videos.

    We started the class by getting familiar with iBooks, while simultaneously rethinking our portfolios. Our teachers helped us to critically examine our existing work and question the relevance, composition, communicative quality, and narrative of each image. I began by redoing the graphics for my second year museum project, which always lacked a clear coherent identity. In contrast to some of the other projects in my portfolios, which are represented more softly, I decided to portray this project as boldly as I could. It is ultimately about the heaviness of the ground as a carved public realm, and the museum which begins as an extension of the public realm, but is defined as a floating framed container.

    So if I now ask myself how my interaction with the ipad has affected me, I don’t know if I could formulate a new thought at this point. Well, it has changed the way that I think about portraying a project graphically when shifting medium. It does obviously offer greater interaction capabilities than a book. So in that sense, it’s great. To answer my now not-so-relevant question from my introduction, I don’t that the ipad is a sort of Swiss Army knife for learning yet... With that said, it is an extremely fun device to use.

     I will post my final itunes portfolio at the end of the term.


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