I believe that an app should definitely not “reinvent the wheel” by showing the same information that I can already get from my mozilla opera browser. An app needs to engage someone with some sort of application rather than presenting, redistributing, or giving information. Yes, those are the easiest apps to design and create, and that is why both the Android markets and the Iphone apps downloads are inundated with apps that really don’t do anything. Engaging apps that keep users involded such as Words with friends or Google Sky can really keep those users invested in the application and searching for new interactions and updates.
And therefore, this leads me to an answer to a question recently posed to me about educational technology. How do I envision technology in education? While a difficult question to answer, I do understand the importance. I think it is time to apply technology to education in more than just a presenting, redistributing, or giving of information. We need to create learning spaces that allow students to create, design, develop, test, debug, evaluate, and do over again. Just like we need great apps for our phones that engage us we need to develop learning spaces that allow our students to be engaged in the above actions.
By the way, this is happenning at the Archer School for Girls in Brentwood, CA and the Chandler School in Pasadena, CA. Thank you very much for welcoming me into your schools and showing me excellent examples of technology in education.