May 9, 2012 33 Comments
If you want to enhance learning for students then use an iPad. There, I’ve said it. Colours to the mast and no doubt scrutiny abounds. Whenever I find an issue there is a solution. Whenever a question is posed, there is an answer – for students and staff.
It’s a tool – another weapon in an educators arsenal. The iPad is not the answer, the be all and end all, the cure to educational woe. It will enhance learning when used appropriately, at the right time and for the right reason. The point is, the iPad provides opportunity that hasn’t existed in mainstream education.
A student can use it in a lesson for learning. Instant-on means research can be completed quickly and efficiently to maintain lesson pace. Creation is easier with a multitude of applications designed to engage the user. Personalised lessons are available to all with a device that encourages individuality. In short an educators ‘job’ is made easier by an iPad.
This does not mean that the iPad should be blanket purchased for all. The educator is still the most important factor. There is a pedagogy in development and the hours required to understand the iPad’s use are a barrier for some. However, it is worth it.
When faced with iPad scepticism I often refer to how I would like to learn something new. Sure I want to be told and if it is facts I require please enlighten me. However, this would be a struggle for five hours a day. So please vary your delivery, engage my mind and make me curious. Of course, educators have been utilising many different tools to do this and have been very successful. The iPad is just another technology but (and here’s the thing) it’s a really powerful one.
I could refer to my new found productivity, the increase in test scores and the amazing way the iPad has changed the manner with which I offer learning opportunities to my students. Instead I believe an educator will only know if an iPad has a use in their classroom if they discover it for themselves. In our school educators will be offered all the training required to get to grips with the device. However, it is ‘ownership’ that is necessary for the iPad to be adopted into the learning process. There is a time and place for the iPad and it should compliment the best practice already prevalent in education.