iPads in the classroom?

Do you think that iPads should be standard in every classroom?

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marcia blanco

Posted on 7/23/13 8:17:47 PM Permalink

Every kid is issued one in the small high school and tech center where I teach. I think they are fabulous. They give all kids access to resources that only some students had before. We are a very rural school and the community does not have a lot of money. Most students don't have access to computers at home so the iPad is a huge help for them.

They are also great for keeping a kid organized. They have the pad everywhere and it's easy to put reminders in through Google docs of assignments and deadlines that are due. Pdf files don't fly out of notebooks anymore and Evernote is one of the world's greatest apps.

It has also helped me as a teacher to communicate with kids, particularly if they can't make it to school for some reason. There are times when the flipped classroom model is helpful and I couldn't do that without the iPads.

However, they do have their drawbacks. They add another layer onto classroom management. Kids text on them all the time (like the phones. There isn't a whole lot of difference.) It's harder to block Facebook, Skype and other social media that tends to distract and it's hard to know when a kid is working on their pad or just screwing around. The security with them can be tricky. Kids figure out how to get past the blocks to jailbreak them or download some pretty inappropriate apps and managing them is a necessary expense. Also, bandwidth can really slow down with all that access to the internet.

We collect all the iPads 2-3 times per year to clean them off and make sure that they are being cared for. There are 3 levels of usage: #3 use means that the kid can use them at school and take them home; #2 means that the kids can only use them at school and #1 means that the kid loses rights to the ipad and has to use an old ibook instead. If a teacher complains of misuse or the tech guys find misuse of the internet during the day, the kid will lose his/her right to the iPad.

Theft and loss hasn't really been a problem. The Find app is really wonderful and since all the kids have an iPad, and since they will get caught if they steal one or the iPad will be locked and erased remotely, rendering it useless, there is very little problem in that area.

Quinto Martin

Posted on 7/23/13 7:07:45 PM Permalink

This is a great question and has to be looked at through a variety of lenses. This would greatly depend on the support and rollout of the IT Dept., and would also depend on having a solid Faculty development / Training program to support the device. It is one thing to have tools available to faculty and staff but, without proper support and training the devices become paperweights.

Jean Langston

Posted on 7/15/13 10:07:16 PM Permalink

Our district is piloting iPads in some classrooms 2-8th grade. The biggest challenge we have faced is that the iPads are really designed to be used by a single individual. Threre isn't currently a nice way to set up user profiles, and each class has access to the photos and projects of the other students who share that iPad. We have had some success using webdav to allow students to transfer keynote projects to Gaggle digital lockers, but we still have some work to do. BYOD seems to be a better model at this stage wherever possible, or checking idevices out to individual students rather than sharing them.

Steven Burt

Posted on 3/5/13 5:26:26 PM Permalink

Certainly not - tablets have their place, but mandating any tablet would be just as silly as requiring "calculators" should be standard in every classroom. A more sensible approach would be to look at the broader needs for the school: i.e., laptops or netwbooks for some classrooms, tablets for some classrooms (or available for checkout), and possibly BYOD capabilities so students can use their phones or personal tablets to access the school network.

Jasmine Brix

Posted on 2/27/13 10:13:42 AM Permalink

I personally don't like the iPads much as they tend to hurt my fingers more than a standard keyboard, however I am sure in time I will get used to them. I don't believe they have a place in every classroom however. I think the iPad could be more easily broken than a computer or laptop especially by students in lower years or with behavior management issues. While they take up less room I personally think something a little bit more unbreakable is better.