Friday, May 27, 2011

A new teaching tool

Just because KHWCC's aspiration is to educate students in the traditional ways of watchmaking do not necessarily mean that the use of modern technology is excluded. Henrik is always on the lookout for efficient and better methods of educating his students. And that is what brought KHWCC to investigate whether we are able to use something quite extra-ordinary to further the pursuit of watchmaking knowledge and which we suspect might be the first few to consider the use of this new tool.

The Apple Ipad 2.

The Ipad 2 with front and back facing cameras.
The Next Big Thing in watchmaking education ?

This is what we hope the Ipad 2 could be used for :

1. Demonstrations

After the teacher gives a live demonstration, sometimes, the student requires to review the action again. The teacher will certainly be able to give the demonstration again and even provide one-to-one assistance in a particular method. However, on weekends or after normal school hours where some students require to do some catchup work and the teacher is unavailable, they are able to review the clips of the process recorded by the instructors on the Ipad. The Ipad would be a better aid in this case if you compare it to a laptop computer playing the clip because it is slim and is better able to fit on most work benches without taking up too much space. Further, the Ipad can be operated to quite a good degree of sensitivity even with work gloves on.

2. It has a camera to take pictures.

Sometimes, the teacher will be attending to one student while another student faces a problem. While an assistant teacher will be present, he/she might also be occupied. Therefore, the student would be able to use the Ipad to take pictures/video of the problem to show to the teacher. Some might argue that the student could just wait for their turn, but consider this scenario. The student not only is able to record down their mistakes but they will also be able to video their teacher demonstrating the technique. They will be able to easily review the method and technique again without troublesome editing or extraction from a digital camera.

3. Great tool in lectures and classroom lessons.

Many aspects of watchmaking education require the student to sometimes see a picture to help them better understand certain theories or problems. While the teacher could use a projector, it is now a universally accepted fact that student attention spans do not last longer than 15 minutes. With the Ipad, the teacher could direct the students to download file folders sent to their student emails which contain pictures for a certain lessons. During the lesson, the teacher will still utilize projectors to show pictures but at the same time, they could make the lesson more interactive by making the students view high definition pictures on their Ipads. This would surely catch their attention for much longer periods of time. Furthermore, the teachers could also upload live animation of certain internal mechanisms ( ie short video clip on the escapement ) which the students could view during the lesson.

4. Easy to use and great for self development.

The Ipad is easy to use and the students could use it to track their progress of their work by taking pictures and storing them for use later in writing progress reports on their school movement projects.

And there are surely many more ways such a valuable and interactive tool could be used in watchmaking education, so we hope to hear more ideas from fellow instructors and teachers of watchmaking. What do the rest of the readers of this blog think ?

Note :

Henrik is rather interested in the concept of using the Ipad as an instructing tool and perhaps he might trial 4 units of the Ipad 2 in his 2011 intake to see if its feasible for full scale use in his 2012 intake. But of course, this is subject to the school's budget and if the budget allows for this experiment.We are currently planning a fund raising drive in an attempt to subsidize school fees and perhaps this might have to take a back seat for awhile. Anyhow, we'll be conducting an internal study soon to see if the idea is feasible.

Someone has to try it. If we don't try, we won't know. Lets see what happens.

And if anyone knows that other watchmaking schools have already begun to use the Ipad 2 in their curriculum, do let us know. We want to learn from them and see how they are used in the field.

And no. This is not a PR stunt to make ourselves famous or an attention seeking stunt to attract people to take up watchmaking. Apple stuff is cool. Watchmaking is cool too. But we are not going to be responsible if you suddenly realize in your 2nd year of watchmaking school that you really signed up to use such cool tools.

And yes, Henrik is very excited about this. Very very.

Someone kind enough to donate 4 units to the school for us to try it out ?

Its only going to cost less than USD2000/ 1700 Swiss francs for 4 units ?

1 comment:

  1. Talk to Apple's regional Education rep. They have a number of programs available for educational institutions and students that you might be able to take advantage of and in some cases they offer free or evaluation hardware for novel implementations of educational programs.