Knowing how hard it is for schools to make their budgets go far enough, and knowing how expensive iPads are, I’m really quite impressed that some schools are beginning to equip their classrooms with iPads for their students.
When I was teaching, it was hard enough for schools to keep their computers current and in working order, and now, of course, as technology moves forward, so school budgets have to be stretched to keep pupils up to date.
On top of that, I remember, only too well, just how stressful it was for teachers to cope with workloads. Any new technology requires time and energy to get to understand what’s possible, what will help the pupils most and offer an improvement on the way learning is already delivered. There’s no one training to tell them what’s available and what will work. They’ve got to find out themselves – by trial and error very often. You can be sure, that no sooner have they made a decision, new apps will have arrived, rendering that decision out of date. Not all teachers will have iPads of their own, and using them won’t necessarily come naturally to them. With the best will in the world, to some extent, having to integrate iPads into the curriculum will be yet another thing to cope with.
I’m not surprised then by this report that iPads are not always used the best way possible.
Over the last few years K-12 schools and districts across the US have been investing heavily in iPads for classroom use. While we’ve witnessed many effective approaches to incorporating iPads successfully in the classroom, we’re struck by the common mistakes many schools are making with iPads.
However, those schools, who have invested heavily in iPads for the classroom, are experiencing a positive impact on their pupils. I bet the students not only enjoy the technology, but feel that it’s relevant to them and therefore pay much closer attention to their lessons.
And that’s got to be a good thing.
Two weeks ago, at St. Mel School, every one of their 570 students was been assigned an iPad, and teachers there have seen immediate benefits in test scores.
The Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge, UK, have been rolling out their one to one iPad project with Square Group since May, 2011.