According to this blog post, I have now been using an iPad for about five years. Had you asked me, I would have said three. I remember being shocked at the 2010 ISTE (first year name changed from NECC) conference how many attendees were already using this new and different device. From 2010...
Each time I pass the picture I take a few seconds to straighten it. On its single nail, heavy tread makes it tilt. I always have the extra seconds to make it straight, but I never have the precious minute needed to get the second nail to straighten it permanently. In 50 Words
One argument for teachers spending time to learn a complex technology is that once mastered, the technology will eventually result in time savings. As Zach commented on this blog, "I usually try and use the sales pitch - climb the learning curve and you save a ton of time later on."
And I too have preached this sermon for years: upstream costs = downstream savings.
But I am not sure there is any time cost/benefit formula that can be applied across the board to "technology." Taking the time to learn and create a macro for keyboarding a long and often used address seems to have an immediate and direct time savings. Learning to use Moodle to supplement a F2F class that still meets five days a week, I wonder? Or learning to use a digital camera and to edit video using iMovie and to upload the videos to server to create a source for students to watch or rewatch a lesson? Hmmmmmm, the pay back time seems pretty long to me. Value = time learning/time saved (and figure in a variable for the length of time to reach the savings).
I have two learning tasks this weekend: to figure out as much as I can about my new iPad 3G that arrived on schedule yesterday (thank you FedEx) and to experiment with GoogleWave* that we just turned on as a part of GoogleApps for Education. Will either the iPad or Wave make me** and, more importantly, my librarians and teachers more productive - short or long term? Any district technology leader ought to make these sorts of evaluations a high priority.
And, yes, I know it doesn't always have to be about productivity. I learned quickly to stream Netflix videos and find NPR broadcasts on the iPad. Nothing wrong with having fun with a new toy as well.
* Does anyone even remember what GoogleWave was about?
* I think one can make the case that the "pointy-haired" boss (like me) has some value leading a tech department. Tech "enthusiasts" may overestimate the time/value quotient. I worry when schools place professional CTOs instead of former teachers in charge of a district's tech. Good security, I'm sure, but ...