In this article the authors speak about their attempt to use iPads in a classroom full of first graders. While the idea of using this expensive technology in little hand made them apprehensive they did see some real word benefits. By the end of the year the teachers were able to record higher end of the year test scores compared to students who did not have access to iPads. Not only were test scores higher but the teachers also noticed that student’s time on task (TOT) increased. Also, the teachers quickly realized that they were able to use iPad time as a reward for good student behavior. Not only that but students seemed to be enthusiastic about using the device and showing and sharing that knowledge with other students. While the use of the iPads was successful the teachers did run into a few pitfalls. Most of the issues seem to come from a lack of support resources because using iPads with grade level was fairly new. There were also technical issues such as noise and keeping the technology up to date but these seemed to be quickly resolved. The article also lists great apps that the teachers used and how easily or difficult it was to locate them. So while using iPads in the classroom was a great success it wasn’t with out some technical and teaching issues. As with anything new there always seems to be a learning curve but the ones that the teachers ran into seemed worth the extra effort.
What is another issue iPads can cause in the classroom.
While the initial cost of iPads is something school districts and teachers talk about there are also hidden costs involved. The iPods charging cords and power outlets are easily broken especially with younger kids. Also, the iPads Central button was not designed for the rigorous use found in a classroom and after a few years these are sure to stop functioning properly. While these seem as small issues the cost of these parts will rack up quickly in a classroom.
Is there anyway to protect the iPad from potential accidental damage.
Yes!, There are many third party cases which can be used to cover the iPad and protect it from accidental drops. Also, there are film screens, which are specifically made to protect the iPad from scratching and breaking. While the extra cost of these materials can quickly rack up they protection is well worth it.