With the recent release of the iPad 3, and my obsession with any new tech, I found it fitting to somehow incorporate Apple’s gorgeous new product into a blog.
If you’ve ever used an iPad, it dazzles with the plethora of activities and entices users of all age groups including children. I recently asked my girlfriend’s 9 year old sister what she wanted for Christmas, and without blinking she replied “iPad 2”. For children of this age group, I am certain she is not alone in this feeling. With technology’s integration in our society today, it make too much sense to integrate iPad’s and similar tablets into the classroom to make learning interactive, hands-on and above all else accessible.
Similar to the tech-boom of the 90s which integrated computers into the curriculum of elementary and middle school students, iPads have found their way into classrooms with positive results. As of January 2012, 600 schools in the US have implemented a 1:1 iPad program. With attempts to link the heavy use of technology to a shortened attention span in children, would the use of an iPad in the classroom really produce a beneficial result?
Certainly still in the prototyping phases, studies have shown that the use of iPad based resources resulted in an increase in student performance when compared with paper based resources. Gameplay based learning is not a new concept but the use of electronically based gameplay in classrooms certainly is. Although seemingly counter-intuitive, the method has produced positive results. Outside of the elementary level and moving to the secondary and post secondary levels, electronic versions of textbooks have become all the rave. The reduction of paper based weights for students to lug around, no longer needing storage for said weights in bookstores/classrooms, interactive animations to reinforce essentials and more all contribute to a situation that screams for the use of a tablet. Many electronic textbooks retail for a fraction of their paper counterparts thus ipadifying even makes economic sense.
Thinking back to my elementary days, I learned math by counting popsicle sticks, and can only imagine what kind of super genius I could have become had I had an ipad to learn from.