iPad in classroom: yes or no?

In recent years, education has been exposed to an incredible number of changes. More recently, technological changes have definitely been the most important. The way to present lessons is in constant evolution going from the “old school projector” to the SMARTBoard and now, Apple, with its iPad wants to create a revolution in classrooms by including its tablet in a 1-1 ratio. Indeed, on its website, Apple claims to be changing the way we teach and learn.

First of all, iPads are extremely appealing to students so it is important to keep a good control of their use. That means, controlling when students can and cannot use it because with the incredible number of applications available on the App store, any student would find it very easy to drift away from the class’ objective.

In the classroom, the is a ton of apps to help teachers and students do almost everything in a more efficient way. For example, Dropbox can be used to submit assignments right from the iPad, TeacherKit which I discussed about a month ago on my blog can be used to take attendance and to manage many apsects of the classroom. On Katy Schrock’s website, a ton of tutorials, apps and related material is offered to help teachers find their way through the impressive amount of education-oriented applications. When working on a project, iPads can be very useful as students can research directly on it instead of going to a computer lab. Moreover, when working in teams, iPads make sharing very easy as students can use different apps or websites in order to share their things.

Here’s an interesting video about the benefits of iPads with young learners.

In my opinion, even if it very expensive to buy iPads for all students, I think it is a good idea to buy a good number of them for students even if its not at a 1:1 ratio. iPads can make every aspect of the class much easier for everyone as easy access to apps and websites makes the classroom more efficient. Of course, there are some negative aspects because the teacher needs to keep an eye on all students when they are using the tablets since they can easily go off-task. Finally, let’s hope one day all schools will be able to make students benefit from iPads to make their learning more fun, interesting and interactive!



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