PROCESS POST: Exploring Metaphors – Schools as iPhones or iPads

For those of you who are iPhone or iPad users, consider this –

Would you like your iPhone or iPad to be fully app-scripted for you? In other words, would you like it if someone determined all the apps you should have and pre-loaded all of these apps for you? Your level of personal choice and engagement is considerably constrained because all of the application content has been decided for you, by someone else.

Or is much of the fun and excitement of the iProduct residing in getting to load the apps that you find empowering, fun, and useful? In that well-designed, operating-system-enabled shell, you can personalize and individualize your experience in the ways that make the device most intriguing and captivating for you. That’s part of the magic, isn’t it?

From a student’s perspective, is school – in the traditional sense – more like the app-scripted, pre-loaded iProduct, or is school considerably more like the iPhone or iPad experience that allows for individualization and personalization – the “make-it-your-own-best-tool” that Apple devotees have come to love?

How might we make school more like a user-determined, full-of-choice, I-can-choose-my-own-apps system? There would still be considerable structure – the device shell, the internal electronics, and the operating system. But there would also be more flexibility and adaptability for what fills the structural shell.