Thursday, February 9, 2012

IPADS AND THE CLASSROOM

I am a huge fan of the Apple iPad. In fact, we have two of them at home, three if you count the fantastic touch pad on my MacAir!

Yesterday afternoon, our school council at Virginia Park discussed our spring fundraising initiatives and the want list from different school departments. High on the list, as usual, is literacy tools - books, computers, associated technology. Literacy is a black hole for money. Thanks to the generous support of the community and Rotary, , we have been able to make significant investments in literacy.

Over the past few years, we have purchased SmartBoards, with a goal of ensuring there was one in each classroom. We were better than half way there when the province offered to put one in every classroom in the province. One more item of the check list.

This Spring, we want to focus on teachers needs. A few years ago we purchased a new server and new computers for every teacher in the school. This year we are going to earmark funds for an iPad for each classroom.

Somewhere between the smart phone and the laptop lives the iPad (or tablet generally). With built-in wireless functionality, students, parents, and teachers can interact in real-time -- whenever and wherever. Apps are being released to meet the need of educators and students.

Our teachers say that the students react very well to using them. A lot of teachers already own one. When they bring them to school the kids love to interact with them. I have written a number of posts advocating the use of these fantastic tablets in the classsroom. More any more, children's book publishers and software companies are offering products for the iPad.

Traditional academic publishers, student information system providers and educational toy/game companies have had a captive audience. They have made incredible profits, with little competition. Their catlogues roll into the schools, students check the products and that is it. Captive markets.

Now, these companies will have to compete with innovative competitors in the digital world of  the internet and clouds -- with software, books, learning games that are accessible on devices like the iPad 2. I can envisage a time when iPads will be a staple of every student. Lower costs, proven utility and family usage make the iPad a game changer in education.

So long scribblers and textbooks.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where is all this money coming from for all this computer stuff? Most kids can not afford to eat or buy books, littleloan pay for iPads. You got your head stuck up you ass!

Jay L said...

Interesting allegation... Anon why do you think that "most" kids cannot afford to eat?

I'd say some, as always, have financial difficulties, but most is just being silly. But then, so is telling someone they have their head up their ass while posting anonymously.

Peter volunteers to coordinate a school breakfast program to help those kids... what are you doin?