The power and portability of Apple’s iPad line have been catching the attention of progressive educators; some schools have actually begun distributing the devices to students and making them a major part of the curriculum. Here are ten of the ways that the iPad is making waves in the modern classroom.
- To Replace Textbooks – The lightweight iPad not only eliminates the need for heavy, bulky book bags; there are also apps that allow teachers to design and distribute their own textbooks to their students.
- As a Collaborative Project Aid – Group projects and collaborations are made significantly easier by utilizing the iPad. Students can work together from home or while in the same room. Easy sharing and editing can help to foster a sense of teamwork.
- Collecting and Storing Student Information – One of the iconic pieces of teacher’s equipment is the grade-book; the often leatherette-covered volume required manual entry of grading information. With the iPad, teachers can manage all required student data quickly and efficiently.
- Bringing the Computer Lab into Every Classroom – Instead of a trek down the hall to a dedicated computer lab, kids that attend a school with an iPad program have the power of the computer lab at their fingertips.
- “Go-Green” Paper Saving Programs – Eliminating grade books, text books and many other paper-based products by distributing iPads to every student is a powerful “go-green” initiative, and has been one of the greatest sticking points for proponents.
- Interactive Learning – Instead of simply reading about a subject, students can use their iPads to locate pictures, diagrams and even to watch related video content. This interactive approach to learning may help disinterested kids become more excited about learning.
- Homework Planners and Scheduling – Teachers can create a syllabus, share homework assignments and classroom schedules with their students and coordinate projects, all from their iPads. This organized approach can often prove beneficial for kids that crave structure, as well as helping less orderly children keep everything in one place. Instead of several notebooks filled with information dedicated to each class, students can store all of their information in one place.
- Creating a Digital Portfolio – Creating a portfolio of classroom work has never been easier than it is for kids with access to iPads. The ability to carry their work with them and to transfer it from one digital device to another is another way that the iPad is making inroads into the education system.
- Taking the Classroom Home – Students participating in an iPad-based curriculum are no longer dependent on the classroom for all of their needs; even situations such as collecting homework during an illness are a snap when the work can be sent directly to the student’s iPad.
- Virtual Field Trips – An actual field trip to the pyramids may not be feasible for most school kids, but the iPad can often serve as the next best thing (by rodriguez). Students can immerse themselves in these virtual field trips, which all take place from the safety of the classroom.
Portability and affordability are continuing to bring technology to new levels in our education systems; a benefit for educators and students alike. As technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, education can empower kids to make it useful as well as entertaining.