Constructive Use of the iPad in the Humanities Classroom – One Teacher’s Experience

By:John Herring

ipad classTechnological Skepticism

One of the most formative books I read in college was a book by Neil Postman entitledAmusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show. First published in 1985, this work argues that the medium of communication influences the message. Postman analyzes the famous Kennedy vs. Nixon debate, considering the impact of television on their communication. He urges caution with regards to advancing technology.

While no Luddite, Postman believed that technology came with a price and unless we carefully examine the impact of technology we may find ourselves paying an unknown bill.

With Postman’s cautions in mind, for three years I have now taught humanities courses at Thales Academy, a network of private classical schools based in North Carolina. As a school, we emphasize studying the enduring subjects of mankind while utilizing the latest technological tools.

Our high schoolers each have iPads, as do all instructors. During my second year at Thales, I taught two 9th grade humanities courses (ancient literature and ancient history). The freshmen were brand new to the iPad as their main tool of education, and I was equally new to the problems and successes of the iPad in the humanities classroom.” To read further please click here:

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