Evaluating the Learning Benefits of the iPad

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherShelly, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 16, 2011

    This Ed Week article sums up my thoughts very well. My school now has a cart of 25 iPads and 25 iPod touches. I took one of each home to come up with school use ideas and just don't see much advantage yet. A few practice apps - but I want kids to do those at home, and my demographic students probably will.

    What do you use these for, and what are your thoughts?
     
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  3. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jun 16, 2011

    To be totally honest, I love my iPad, and use it daily... as a teacher. I use it to check homework and attendance, control my PowerPoints, randomly call on students, pull up records while I'm around the building, etc. But at my level (high school), I don't see a ton of uses for it unless the kids have a class set and regular access on a 1-1 level (for things like their notes or textbooks). But for my own purposes... 'tis great.
     
  4. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I would love to have one for myself! I can see all the benefits you mentioned, plus just the fun of personal use.

    I can't find a compelling reason to use them in class, though...

    Anyone?
     
  5. TeachGA

    TeachGA Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2011

  6. TeachGA

    TeachGA Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2011

    Please excuse my inability to correctly post links :)
     
  7. gamerTeacher

    gamerTeacher Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2011

    Though I'm a big fan of technology (hence the name), but I have to agree that buying iPads (especially in that quantity) doesn't seem like the best use of money. Yeah, technology is great and fun and oh look shiny, but let's get our priorities straight first.

    That said, they've been paid for, so...
    What jump out at me is using them for independent study, research, and creative projects (make a video, write a weekly blog, create a program that does this...). I'm not sure what subject you teach, but I know of a few ideas to look up:

    iKnow- great tool for studying. You can study foreign languages, SAT level English, and some other topics as well. You can (or you could) create your own study items, so you could modify it to fit your class. I used it to study Japanese and the drilling system does work well. Unfortunately, it has become a pay site, but they do have a deal for teachers where you can track your students progress.

    gamestarmechanic- let's students create their own games. It is a main feature of the Quest to Learn schools, so it has a lot of support for teachers and literature on how to use it in the classroom.

    anki- another flashcard program that could be of use- you can make your own and it will record your progress

    alternate reality games- this would take a lot of time up front, but they have proven to be pretty successful. You could start with mini quests that must be finished by the end of the period, or something simple like that. Google I Love Bees to find out more.

    the problem site- has a bunch of useful, educational games as well

    you could also try looking at the bbc school page- they have quite a few good ideas and a special section for teachers

    That's all I can think of at the moment.
     
  8. Bogart

    Bogart Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2011

    I don't see the value of iTouches in the classroom. I think that the money could be used for much more valuable tools such as laptops or document cameras. I know some teachers have students use the iTouches because there are some good apps for practicing math facts and stuff, but that can be done in other ways. Laptops on the other hand can be used for that purpose plus word processing, research, etc.
     
  9. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2011

    TeacherGA, that was really useful, thank you! I downloaded some free apps to try.

    Bogart, I agree. On the other hand, we had money that had to be spent on technology - and we already have a shared computer cart with a class set of laptops (7 classes share it) and I have a document camera from a grant. So, I don't know what I would have done with the money if I had to spend it. Probably buy iPads and iTouches.

    gamer, I teach a multiage 2nd/3rd grade class. I'm like you, I love technology. I worked in technology marketing for 12 years prior to becoming a teacher. That's why I was scratching my head over these iPads. I couldn't think of one thing they do better than the laptops besides being portable. They are not iPad 2s either so no camera.

    The other thing is the kids hands are so grimy half the time. Swiping them across that glossy glass screen ... let's just say I'd have to clean them regularly.
     

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